Posted Thursday, 26-Mar-2015
Many people love a good disaster story, whether it’s the sinking of the Titanic or the Towering Inferno. But does the most pleasure come from seeing your favorite characters survive or the others meet a grizzly end? Survive: Escape From Atlantis can help you decide.
Survive: Escape From Atlantis is about people trying to escape a sinking island. Each player controls a group of fleeing people, and is trying to get as many of theirs to safety as possible. Sounds positive, doesn’t it?
But not everyone can survive. There aren’t enough boats, and the sea is swarming with sharks and sea monsters. Your people’s survival will come at the expense of others.
Added to this is the variable value of the people. Some are worth more points at the end than others, but the values are hidden. Maybe you’ll lure your opponents into sending sharks after a lowly one point secretary while the five point Duke of Meeple escapes, or maybe you’ll watch in horror as the Duke is sunk by a whale.
At the end of the game, the player with the most points of saved people wins. Meanwhile, the sharks are circling, and the island just keeps on sinking, tiles being removed from beneath your people’s feet every round.
Survive: Escape From Atlantis plays on our fascination with disasters, but not in a positive, heroic rescue way. This is a game of grim laughter as you watch your opponents sinking into the deep, like the arrogant fop in a Titanic movie. And with multiple players you get to spend more time enjoying others’ difficulties than bemoaning your own.
There’s still the thrill of survival against the odds, the thing that makes disaster stories so satisfying. The sheer carnage of this fun, lively game makes each survival a moment of satisfaction. Your people really do live against the odds.
Survive is in many ways the bad cop to Forbidden Island’s good cop. Where Forbidden Island sees players cooperating to escape disaster, Survive is about competing to get out alive. It’s a vicious yet hilarious Darwinian race, the pleasure coming from uncertainty and grim humor.
Escape From Atlantis has been around long enough to earn a 30th anniversary edition. It’s a fun game with a dark theme, and one whose novelty has ensured that it endures.
Unlike the poor Duke of Meeple…
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