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Survival / The Barbarian» Forums » Reviews

Subject: From the mundane to the ridiculous rss

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Badger
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Two games in one package. 'What jolly fun!' you might think. But you would most likely be mistaken.

The maps are rather plain, with brisk colours. This is pretty much the norm for games of the age though, but these maps seem a bit duller than many.

The counters are also pretty much average for the period, being silhouettes on a coloured background.

Survival is such a simple game it doesn't really need any counters. You can keep track of your position on the map with your finger, enemies appear and disappear without moving from their start hex, so don't need to be represented on the map at all, and shots fired could be tracked on a piece of paper. As for the gameplay itself, it's nothing more than rolling dice until either you or the alien gets killed. No tactics, no strategy, just dice. It could probably be used as the combat system for a simple sci-fi rpg, but even then it would probably detract from the enjoyment.

The Barbarian is a better effort, but not by much. The aim of the game is to retrieve sacred artifacts from various wilderness locales. Each location has a number of evil creatures that you may have to fight, and once you've got past them, you may discover that there are no artifacts there after all, or even worse, a curse.

The good guy can go anywhere, the bad guys can only move in their own locale. So, once you've checked out the artifact's location and left the area, you don't have to worry about the bad guys, whether they survived or not. Each particular type of baddy is slightly different, so there is some variation to the challenges you have to face. Also, the artifacts are represented by chits which are initially placed face down, so you don't know whether you are going the right way or not. The artifacts, once recovered, improve your abilities, the curse reduces them, so again there will be some variation. But that's about it.

The Barbarian is better than Survival, but that isn't really saying very much when you see how bad Survival is.

I couldn't recommend this to anyone but a collector of these type of 80's pocket games.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Long Island
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It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
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Oh, come on. It had a retail of what, $4.95? For two games that are solo playable? One fantasy and one scifi?

I LOVED this set when I was a kid. Took it when we went on vacation for nights in the hotel or such.

Methinks thou dost protest too much.
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castiglione
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Sunnyvale
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I'd have to side with the original poster although I would like to point out that both games were originally magazine insert games (and so not likely to be very meaty...at least by the standards of the time).

No real decisions, no real "game".

Intruder was much better. At least in that solitaire, you had to decide how to divvy up your resources to find the pesky carnivore.
 
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Flavio Ezio
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Survival it's much better if played with the Nexus # 4 magazine's variant.
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