Necessary Evil
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Glen Arm
Maryland
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Survive is a light game for 2 to 4 players where each player is trying to save as many of his people from a sinking island.

The game board consists of an ocean map with four islands located in the board corners. There is an island in the center of the board created with 40 hex tiles. These tiles are in 3 types, sand, jungle and rock. As the game progresses the island gets smaller until the tile signaling the end of the game is revealed.

At the start of the game the players randomly setup the island starting with the rock tiles, then the jungle and finally the sand. After that players take turns placing their “people” one at a time on the island. Each person has a value located on the bottom that ranges from 6 to 1. Player know the value of the people they place but not that of their opponents. In addition to the people the game starts with 5 sea monsters on the board and 2 boats for each player. Additional boats along with sharks and whales can be revealed as the island sinks.



Once all the people are places on the center island play begins. Each turn a player does the following.

Flip 1 island tile
Take 3 actions (move people or boats)
Roll the sea monster die

As players flip tiles the island begins to shrink, people located on those tiles are dumped into the water hex revealed by the tiles removal. The flip side of the tile will either have a boat, a shark fin, a whale tale, a whirlpool, an explosion or some text on it.

Tiles with text are saved by the player and used later.
Shark, whale and boat tiles require a player to place a shark/whale/boat in the hex.
Whirlpools suck in any object in an adjacent water hex.
The explosion tile ends the game.

After flipping a tile the player has 3 actions (moves)] to split among his people. People move faster on land or in a boat and slower if the are swimming in the water. Boats with more than one color person in it are controlled by the player with majority, if tied them both players can move the boat.



After taking his actions, the player then rolls the die and moves the unit pictured on the top side of the die. (Shark, whale, or Sea Serpent)

Whales move 3 spaces, sharks 2 and Sea Serpent 1.
Whales can knock people out of boats (by smashing them) Sharks will eat swimmers and Sea Serpents do both.



The Game ends when the tile with the explosion is flipped. Players turn over their people who made it to the 4 corner islands and add up their values, highest total value wins the game.


I will admit to having a soft spot in my heart for this game. We played the heck out of it as children and I managed to find my old copy recently. I must admit that for a light game this one still has a lot of playability. It can be a bit nasty and sure there is some luck in there but good play will usually carry the day and it sure is fun munching a boat full of the other guy’s people with a Sea Serpent.

I recommend this game for just about anyone looking for a light game to be played with all ages from about 5 up.
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Alex Martinez
United States
Irving
Texas
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Like you, I had a copy of Survive when I was a kid and played it endlessly. A few years ago, a friend of mine (who knew of my affection for the game) bought a copy of Ebay and gave it to me as a gift. I still play it now, and find that for a quick and easy game, it's still very, very fun with enough strategy to keep it interesting and enough luck to avoid taking too seriously.

Survive is a great game that really deserves a place in classic boardgame hall-of-fame. Thanks for writing this review.
 
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Steve R Bullock
United States
Palm Coast
Florida
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I still have 2 copies of this game- one still in shrinkwrap! I love this game and have played it oh-so-much. It got me started on my love affair with game tiles. I consider this a classic- any game still around after almost 30 years and still played has to be!

And the Survive games from Europe are great too! Check them out here on BGG and try to pick one up. You won't be sorry. They are fantastic, although I prefer the German version over the English one.
 
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Andrew Breitenbach
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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This was the only game to (ahem) survive the transition from elementary school to junior high, then again from junior to high school, and then again from high school to college. I absolutely loved this game -- and so did my changing cadre of friends -- and I ended up liking it for different reasons the older I became.

Unfortunately, at some point after my mother sold her house but before I moved to Texas, the game vanished, and so I haven't been able to play it for over ten years. (Though this really shouldn't be too much of an obstacle, since there does exist a creature known as eBay -- I just hate buying something I know I already own... somewhere.)

Really, my only complaints about this game are with the tiles. It takes a while to set them up, they never quite fit exactly like they're supposed to, and it's really easy to jar them asunder. (We always had to lock the cat out of whatever room we played this in, since the only place we could play it without knocking everything apart was on the floor -- otherwise it's too easy to bonk the table. Incidentally, I come from a long line of klutzes .) Still, the game easily makes my top ten.

In any event, I enjoyed your review very much! Thanks!
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