Game of the Week: Survive! Escape from Atlantis

Yesterday in Tabletop games and Leadership, we played Survive! Escape from Atlantis. We had the complete expansion set, but opted out of using the Octopus expansion. This game was interesting. It was a game different than anything I played before. This game is in the combat game genre and the only other specifically combat game I played before was King of Tokyo, but it had extremely different game mechanics.

For Survivie! Escape from Atlantis, you were given several meeple with several different values from 1-6. They are placed on the mixed tiles in the middle of the board representing Atlantis and you must board a boat and sail safely to the corners of the board to land. There are sea monsters that can move and destroy your boat and kill your meeple. Other players have the opportunity to control these monsters and target you. The end of the game is decided by a volcano tile and you count the values of the meeple you saved.

The hard part about this game is the helplessness I felt while playing. There were so many opportunities for players to kill your people before it was your turn again and sometimes they weren’t even the cause. I lost both games while playing in class and I lost by a giant margin compared to everyone else. I was told this game doesn’t cause much anger when meeple are killed, but when I lost all my meeple except 1 in the second game, I couldn’t help but feel a bit upset. It was so hard to avoid death for me or even get my meeple off the island. At the end though, I feel like I have to narrow it down to the luck of the tiles I chose to put my meeple on and the tiles I chose to sink.

Leadership in the game I believe is in the cooperation you must do in this game despite it being a combat game where it is player versus player. When a player boards your boat you must make a pact to work together to get out alive. When a player has the opportunity to kill your meeple, you must convince them why they should not. Leadership cannot work without cooperation and teamwork even when you don’t want to work with the others on your team. I’ve learned from a different class about the difference between teams and groups. Groups split up the work and never discuss together and at the end, the project is a thrown together Frankenstein of several different approaches to the problem. Teams constantly meet and there is a leader who brings people together to work on the problem and create a seamless product. Teams are the better option and this game shows that you cannot win without a little bit of teamwork with others you are competing with.

Even though I already know he loves this game, I would have definitely recommended this game to my friend Jeremy. He was the one who showed me the game King of Tokyo and always wants to compete in games. He has expressed how much he hates cooperation in games and wants to do everything himself. I also saw this when playing Bohnanza with him. He barely traded at all and ended up losing. He did not want to help others even when it was hurting him. He would love to kill meeple in Survive and quickly escape by himself.

I would love to try this game again and hope for better luck.