sURVIVE-eSCAPE FROM ATLANTIS

Game Overview: The object of the game is that each player has 10 people that they will place on an island that you set up in the middle of the game board. Each player movement, an island tile is removed.  Your goal is to get as many of your people to the corner of the board by escaping Atlantis as the island sinks.  Easy, right?  Not when your competitors are sending sharks, whales, or sea dragons towards your escaping game pieces to prevent you from getting there.  Each game piece that you are trying to get to the island has a number under it.  The person with the most points (not the most saved pieces) wins the game after the island sinks when the sole volcano tile is removed from the island. 

Box Contents: The game board and pieces are top of the line here. The board is colorful and very well made.  The pieces within the game are made of a high quality plastic.  The island pieces really stand out and are of different thickness and will take the wear and tear of the game for years to come.  Bags are included with the game to prevent the pieces from moving around in the box and the island pieces have a nice place to sit within the box insert.

Clarity of Rules: The rules are covered in an eight page rule book.  They are well written and we rarely have to refer back to them.  However, we do refer to the rules book at times to understand the tiles that are drawn that do not get played immediately.  In addition, the board has a legend on two sides that show what the monsters are capable of.

Game Play:  This is the 30th anniversary edition and never played the original game that was released in 1982.  However, the idea behind it is very unique. Each player takes turns setting up the island by placing tiles in a specific area on the board.  After that, each player takes turns placing their people around the island.  You next take turns placing a total of 8 boats next to the island.  As the game starts, each turn allows you three movements.  You can start swimming for the safe corner islands, place your people onto boats and start moving them, or move them into unoccupied island spaces.  After each turn, you turn over a tile that resides along the edge of the water. This represents the sinking of Atlantis.  These tiles may have you place a shark, a whale, or a boat in that spot.  There are certain items that you can put into your hand and play at a later time.  For example, you may be able to move a sea dragon to any unoccupied location.  Some allow you to move your swimmer or boat three spaces before your turn even begins.  After you turn is over, you roll a dice which will come up Shark, Whale, or Sea Dragon.  You then have the ability to move this monster and impact the other players by blocking them or having them removed from the game. Sharks remove swimmers from the game.  Whales remove boats from the game but leave behind the occupants of the boat.  The sea dragons remove all items from the game they encounter.  You start by removing sand tiles and then move onto removing jungle tiles.  The final set of tiles represent the mountain titles.  One of the mountain tiles is a volcano. The game continues until this tile is turned over and then it is game over for everyone.  At that point, you turn over all of the people that you got to safety to see what number is on the bottom of them.  They range from 1 to 6.  Whoever scores the most points win. The person that saved the most players doesn't necessarily win. A home rule that we implemented is that we do not look at the numbers when placing them on the board. Overall, a very easy game to learn and to remember for future games.

Replay Ability: Because of the randomness of the island tiles, no two games will be played the same way.  In addition, your strategy will have to evolve every time as the game progresses to ensure you get your players to the safety of the corners.

Appropriate Audience: The rules suggest 8+ years old. I think a younger child could easily catch on to this, perhaps someone as young as 6 years old.  No reading is needed for this game. The one thing to consider for the child is how they will handle it when the other players are out to prevent them from winning.

What We Liked/Didn't Like: There really isn't anything that we don't like.  We like that the Atlantis concept is interesting and it gets more difficult as the game goes along with the island tiles being removed.  We also like that you do not know when the game will end until you draw the game ending volcano title.  Not knowing who wins until you turn over the characters to see their number is a unique aspect.

Add-ons/Other Releases:  This game offers a few expansion kits.  You are able to add additional monsters (squids) and animals (dolphins) to the game or boost the players up to six.  In addition, Survive-Space Attack has a very similar theme but the actions of the game pieces are different which won't give you the same experience as Survive-Escape From Atlantis.