Lost Cities - Mental Math Game

Lost Cities is a card game we play often for math. Single and double digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, and negative numbers are involved in every game.

Two players take turns playing cards in number order on their side of the board. Multiplier cards must be played before any number cards. There are five different colors each corresponding to a "mission". Players may begin as many or few missions as they like, but when the draw pile runs out the game is over.

Throughout the game mental math is constant as players calculate how many additional points are needed to have a positive scoring mission. Before the game begins, players agree on the number of rounds to be played. When each round is finished the scores are totaled.

Here's an example of how the game is scored.
Add the point value for the mission (color).
Subtract 20 points for having begun a mission.
Count the number of multiplier cards played for the mission, add 1, and multiply the mission total by the multiplier.

White: -20
1 multiplier + 1 = 2
2 x -10 = -20

Green: 51
2 multipliers + 1 = 3
3 x 17 = 51

Red: -15
2 multipliers + 1 = 3
3 x -5 = -15

Grand Total: 16

Both my six year old and eleven year old girls really like this game. My six year old can't do all the math on her own yet, but she can add up to 20 and play cards in the proper order. The more she plays the more she practices her math skills.

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  1. Thanks for the recommendation - my son would probably like this one (and could use the math practice).

  2. Oh wow! Thanks so much for sharing this math game. I bet my 5th graders would enjoy this.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. This game looks like a lot of fun. I'm following the Amazon link as we speak. Thanks

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  4. Thanks for sharing with Afterschool - I am adding this game to our wish list! Our favorite game right now is Launch Pad that appears to be somewhat similar in game design and scoring to yours, but not quite. I am intrigued :)

  5. What a fun way to practice math!!

    Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great week =)



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