Jay had a bit more time before having to leave, but requested something a bit lighter than the previous two games we'd played. Having just received a copy of Waddington's Escape from Atlantis from buddy Greg Aleknevicus, it was the perfect choice.
Escape from Atlantis was released in the United States in the early 1980's under the title Survive! Unfortunately, Parker Brothers cheapened the game by replacing the impressive plastic island and boat pieces with flat, cardboard pieces. Yuck. To their credit, though, they did make the game a bit more interesting by placing a point value on the people tokens and altering the monster movement dice to insure that they move more often. The result is a more vicious game.
The premise of the game is that Atlantis is sinking. Players attempt to get their clan of people off the doomed island via boats and ferry them to the mainland. Of course, they must navigate an ocean full of sharks, sea serpents and octopi (or is it octopuses?). Plus, the island tends to sink faster than one can get his people safely into the scarce boats, so many hapless islanders become swimmers, doomed to be shark food unless saved by the timely appearance of a friendly dolphin.
We incorporated the numbered tokens from Survive into the Escape from Atlantis game and began our desperate race to safety. Each turn, a player has three action points, which are used in moving the islanders into the boats and ferrying the boats across the waters. Following movement, a player sinks an island piece, usually accompanied by great hoots of laughter when it causes an opponent's islander to fall into the ocean. The island piece is replaced by a critter or boat, depending upon the symbol printed beneath it. Of course, it could also be a whirlpool, which causes any piece in that hex or an adjacent hex to be sucked under to its death. Finally, a player rolls the dice to see which monster can move and how far. Of course, the idea is to move the dangerous monsters into spaces occupied by an opponent, causing death or mayhem.
The game is fast, chaotic fun. Nothing real serious here, but a good time nonetheless. We took incredible glee in gobbling our opponents pieces or causing them to plunge into the ocean. In the end, I had managed to save my most valuable pieces and capture the victory:
Greg 18, Lenny 15, Jay 11
I will say that I enjoy Survive more, but the pieces of Escape from Atlantis are much nicer. I plan to merge the two, incorporating the numbered tokens and monster movement rules from Survive.
It was great to finally meet Stven, who I've corresponded with for quite some time. Hopefully, our paths will cross again soon.
Unfortunately, we had to say good-bye to Jay. I'll miss his good nature and humor, but I'm sure he'll fit right in with Ted Cheatham's Mid-Mississippi Madmen. Fare thee well, Jay ... I hope we'll get together again soon.