I already own a copy of the "older" edition of Escape from Atlantis - the one with the plainer pieces and the spinner instead of dice.
My daughter, age 5, seems to quite like it and I whilst I enjoy playing against her, I also find the game a bit too tame. Like many geeks I'm totally confused about the changes between the various editions of this game but I believe I'm right in saying that the spinner is "nicer" to the players than the dice because it has higher odds to select a friendly dolphin than each of the aggressive animals.
As far as I can tell all the other important differences can be implemented in the new printing. It's easy to allow pawns to move onto higher land tiles if you so desire and the other differences seems to be covered by various challenge rules. However I'm a bit concerned about the creatures. I don't think she'd understand the dolphin variant as it seems relatively complex compared to the base game, and I see from the forums that it actually makes the game nastier because dolphins become less powerful. However using the basic creature dice and the "move 3 spaces" dolphin tiles still seems nastier than using the spinner as you *always* move an aggressive creature.
For comparison, the dice means you've got a 1/3 chance of each creature and it has a fixed movement. The spinner has 9/24 chance of getting a dolphin and each aggressive creature has two "move to any empty tile" (which is obviously fairly tame) and a 1, 2 or 3 movement possible.
I could easily alter the dive rule in the reprint to any empty space but otherwise I can't see any way of making this version as "friendly" as my copy of Escape from Atlantis, which makes it less of a useful family game for me.
I'd like to get a copy so that I can play the basic version with my gamer friends, but storage issues mean I can't realistically keep two near-identical games. I thought from the writeup that you could mimic the salient points of all of its predecessor games. But I'm not sure that's actually the case - or can anyone think of a simple way of re-creating the spinner odds?
(There's also the point that daughter also likes the plastic pieces and the novelty of the spinner, but that one's for me to solve!)