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Survive: Escape from Atlantis!» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Great Game Saved By My Gram For Me rss

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A Maracle
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OverText is such a 23rd centruy fad.
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When I first discovered the Geek, I was a little envious at those of us who managed to hang on to one or two gems from out childhood. A game that was still as fun to play now as it was when we were young.

Enter my dad’s mom… my “Gram”.

Ever since I was married, my wife and I had made it point to always visit my grandparents whenever we had the chance. Most times, we just talk about the world and the kids, but I know they appreciate it all the same.

A few years after my grandfather passed on, we had stopped at my Gram’s for one of our visits. After enjoying some baked goods, Gram remembered she had something for me.

“You got them for Christmas one year and left them here so you had something to play. Maybe you want them for your girls.” She said as she rummaged in her closet.

She came back with an original Rolly Polly Red Apple from Fisher Price, Twelve Teepees Memory and Survive: Escape from Atlantis!. As I stared at Survive: Escape from Atlantis! in disbelief, I could only smile and think about how much I love my Gram.

Initial Thoughts

I find Survive: Escape from Atlantis! a very interesting game because it uses multiple mechanics. You have pawn movement, bluffing, strategic deployment and opponent screwage covered off with the mechanics.

I also find it a very fun game because you can never tell how it is going to play out until it is too late.

Plus it has sharks. Any game with sharks gets bonus points in my book.

Object Of The Game

Whoever has the most survivor points when the game end is the winner.

Components

You got a lot in the box for a game made in 1982. Apart from the gameboard, you also got 6 sharks, 5 sea serpents, 5 whales, 12 boats, 40 people tokens (10 in 4 colors) and 40 land pieces (16 beach, 16 forest and 8 mountain).

There is not much art in the game and it is simple at the best. Even the plastic pieces representing the sharks, whales and sea serpents are average at best, but that’s a minor bleah point for the game.

Gameplay

I won’t get into great detail about setting up the game because it is long and you can read the rules to see how it is done. What I like about the set up is the placement of your people tokens. On the bottom of your tokens are the numbers ranging from 1 to 6. Since you are trying to earn the most survivor points, placement of your tokens are critical and watching what your opponent is doing with their placement is also important.

Once the game is set up (i.e. the tiles placed, people placed and boats placed), a random method is used to determine the first player.

On a player’s turn, there are 3 things they must do in order:

(1) Move Your People And/Or Boats: You may move a combination of 3 land or sea spaces.

(2) Sink An Island Piece: The current player takes a tile that has one edge exposed to water and “sinks it” (removes it from the board and follows the instructions on it). Any tokens on the piece are now in the water.

(3) Roll The Die: The die will determine if you move a shark, whale or sea serpent. Sharks eat swimmers, whales sink boats and sea serpents eat everything.

A player should concentrate on getting their people tokens to one of the safe islands located in the four corners of the board. Once a token has reached a safe island, nothing can affect that token and it will be counted in final scoring.

Once a player has done all 3 of their actions, play passes to the player on their left.

The game is over when the tile with the exploding volcano symbol is revealed. When this tile is found, everything that is not on a safe island is destroyed and the game is over.

Players total up the numbers on their tokens on the safe island. The person with the highest total is declared the winner.

Wyll’s Playing With Young Player’s Rule – To make the game a bit more fair when playing with youngsters, the older players should not look at their point values on the bottom of their tokens. I have found this creates a pretty level playing field when playing with kids.

Strategy v.s. Luck Factor

The tiles add a bit of luck to this game as does the creature movement die, but there is some strategy involved.

The rules suggest that initial placement of your tokens is critical and those near the edge of the island will be able to leave it first. It also mentioned that since the beach pieces are sunk first, it may be a good idea to place some of your tokens on forest and mountain tiles.

Remembering where your high point tokens are is another important strategy. Focusing on saving you high value tokens as opposed to you low values is a good idea. I like to try and get my “6” or “5” token on an opponent’s boat and let them worry about getting it to safety while I focus on saving some of my other tokens.

Using the “stick your high man on your opponent’s boat” strategy is fun, but my friend has a twist on that idea. He’ll purposely stick a low value on my boat and try to convince me it is a high value. Either I wind up sending the whole boat down with a sea serpent (if I have low values on the boat) or I’ll figure out he is bluffing and save the entire boat anyways.

Closing Thoughts

This game has a lot of depth in its rules and I have a fun time playing it. It was even more fun to introduce it to Lady X and watch her have lots of fun playing it.

It’s not game that may see a lot of serious playing time, but it will be one that serves as a great warm up for a gaming club or something fun to play with people who are use to traditional games.

I recommend it, but picking it up will be somewhat difficult. It is out of print and commands a significant price on the secondary market. I do consider a thrift store treasure, but they are a rare find even in such places. If you get a chance to pick it up a reasonable price, go for it.

Recommendation Summary

Wyll's Recommendation: thumbsup

Fun Factor (5 Point Scale): 4

Rule Clarity (5 Point Scale): 4

Bang For Buck Factor (5 Point Scale): 4

One Line Summary: An game wih sharks that has mechanics that can be played by ages 8 and up.
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Steve R Bullock
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I bought this game in 1982 when it came out and still have it! I love it! I gave my brother and sister each a copy as well back then for X-Mas. A truly great game with lots of action and carnage.

Yer Gram is a sweetheart to have kept it for you, bless her heart. You are a lucky guy to have her... AND that great game!
 
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Aaron Gelb
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Thats the difference between parents and grandparents:

parents: throw away your old stuff

grandparents: Wouldn't dream of throwing your stuff away!

Grand indeed!

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A Maracle
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It was funny when I was trying to explain to Gram what the Internet was. She listened to me for a bit and then nodded.

"The Internet is where people find other people to run off with. It happened to the guy down the road." she explained.

I love her to pieces. At 86, she still loves a good game of crib. It was the first card game that she taught me.
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I like board games more than most people.
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When I die I want people to look at the condition of my games and say, "Man, he really played these alot."
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Wyll wrote:
Recommendation Summary

Wyll's Recommendation: thumbsup

Fun Factor (5 Point Scale): 4

Rule Clarity (5 Point Scale): 4

Bang For Buck Factor (5 Point Scale): 4

One Line Summary: An game wih sharks that has mechanics that can be played by ages 8 and up.


Having a cool Gram (5 point scale) 6
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