What is new?
FFG is releasing a new game which looks like Talisman but only takes 40 000 years to play. Relic stands to be a new game that will push the Talisman mechanic to new frontiers. Also I am loving this all new ‘busty figurines’ FFG is making ala Sky Traders.
Axis and Allies 1942 and Warhammer 40K 6th edition rulebook for all you war gamers out there.
Magic the Gathering M13 Event Decks which are slated to be released next week. Great to go with a Fat Pack and with the large amount of chase cards, are really good value.
Scene It? Comedy Movies edition has scenes from Airplane and 30 Rock, making it pretty much the best party game ever.
Lastly Descent 2nd edition conversion kits to transform your gigantic Descent plethora into a sexy new Descent 2nd Edition plethora. With more Ettins and Goblin Archers
Game Lovers : Survive Escape from Atlantis
Love boardgames? Meet the Game Lovers, a regular meet up that loves to throw down the iron meeple and play some games. This week we threw them Quarriors to see what they thought of it.
You can check them out here: http://www.meetup.com/Game-Lovers/ and don’t be afraid to get your game on.
“Nice to look at, but somehow unsatisfying”
I’m always on the lookout for games that children can play, while also being enjoyable for adults. This game seems to be good for children, but left me unsatisfied as an adult. It looks attractive and moves along at a decent pace, but in the end seems to rely a bit too much on luck.
On the positive side, it has some fun gameplay. When your explorers fall into the water and have to swim to safety, you genuinely feel panicked. When the shark follows and eats them, you feel authentically dejected. And when you manage to get some of them safely to shore, you feel justifiably elated.
Don’t be fooled, however, with the visual similarity to the popular co-operative game Forbidden Island. At its heart, Survive is a “dog eat dog” world where you toss your opponents in the water and send forth sea creatures to finish them off. You’ll spend at least as much time destroying their chances as improving your own. Competitive children may enjoy this aspect, but sensitive children may feel upset thinking that they are being personally targeted with attack moves.
From a strategy standpoint, it seems that starting position is all-important. You need to get your explorers to safety before too many sharks, whales and sea serpents appear. After that, it’s just a matter of hoping you’ll pick up useful tiles or rolling lucky attack moves. Strategy seems to disappear as fast as the island.
The multi-step nature of each turn was also difficult to remember. Play a tile, move pieces, flip a tile, roll the dice. It didn’t flow that easily — we had to keep reminding each other of the next action.
So, I’m in two minds about this game. One the one hand, it seems like a fun “get off the island adventure”. But in the end, I just didn’t feel I had enough control to make it a satisfying game. Mind you, Deb won twice and she quite likes the game!
Survive: Escape from Atlantis!
This is a beautifully produced competitive game for 2-4 players, which takes about 45 minutes to play. Each player has a team of explorers beginning the game on the sinking island of Atlantis, which is “built” out of hexagonal tiles at the start of the game. Each explorer token has a value from 1-6 on the underside, and the value represents the points gained from getting that explorer safely off the island.
Explorers can find and use boats to travel faster than if they were swimming. However, there are various dangers to avoid, such as sharks (that eat swimmers), whales (that destroy boats), and sea serpents (dangerous to boats and swimmers!). On each turn, players move their explorers towards safe zones, then get to move a threat towards other players’ explorers. Meanwhile, the island sinks tile by tile, causing special random events until the volcano tile is uncovered, ending the game. Then players reveal the value of the explorers they saved, and the player with the most points is the winner.
Strategy for the game mostly extends to the early stages, particularly where you place your team in relation to the starting position of boats. After about half the island has sunk, the situation becomes more chess-like, trying to save the stragglers.
As mentioned, the game’s presentation is beautiful, with wooden tokens representing explorers, boats, sharks, whales and sea serpents, and colourful hexagonal tiles for the island. The rules are concise and specific, although perhaps quick reference sheets identifying basic moves and event descriptions would be handy for new players. Survive: Escape from Atlantis! is a great family game.