First Impressions: Survive – Escape From Atlantis!

23 Mar

About three or four weeks ago I was introduced to the game Survive: Escape from Atlantis.  After playing the game, I decided this was going to be a purchase for me.  I had our local game store salesperson order a copy for me, and a few more copies so the store had some in stock.

Since that time I have played the game several more times and decided it’s time to post my first impressions of the game.

The game has a middle island which contains a volcano and just happens to be sinking.  Each player starts with 10 meeples and two boats and in turn places one meeple on the island hex of their choice.  Hexes are represented by Beach, Grass, and Mountain areas.  The order continues around until all the meeples have been placed for all players.  At the end of that round, every player places a boat (1 at a time) until all boats have been placed out.

The object is to get the meeples off the island and safely on to one of the other four islands in the corners of the game board.

Each player in turn will have three moves, take a tile from the board, and roll the dice.  On a move a player may move a boat up to three spaces, move a meeple three spaces if they are on a boat or land, or move a meeple one space if they are swimming (hence you will have other meeples or boats to move for the remaining three moves).

Once the moves have occurred, the player will then flip a tile (Beach tiles are flipped first, then Grass, then Mountain).  On the other side of the tile, the player will either see a DOWN ARROW which indicates to play that tile immediately or a HAND which means hold on until a later turn.

The objects that appear on the tiles are: Sharks, Whales, Dolphins, Sea Monsters, Boats, Whirlpools and one Mountain Tile contains the Volcano.

Along the way, players will encounter Sea Monsters, Whales, Sharks, and Dolphins.  Initially all the Sea Creatures are placed on areas marked for their starting position by the flip of the tile as mentioned above.

The last action a player has is to roll dice.  There are two sets of dice.  One is a single red dice that represents what creature will move.  When you play with that one dice you actually use the movement options that are written on the board.

I like to play with the other set of dice.  There are two of them.  One represents the number of spaces a creature/boat can move, the other one represents which creature or boat.  The second set of dice are also used only when you play with the dolphins variant (which is included in the rules).

Eventually the Volcano will appear, and anything that is not safely on one of the four islands will instantly vanish from the game, hence ending the game.

The winner can be based on either number of meeples that reaches the island safely or the number on the bottom of each meeple (1 through 6 – add them together to get a total number).


I do, however think this is a great game for any age.  We played it with a younger child this past weekend and he picked up quickly on it and had some great strategic moves during his plays.

I would highly recommend getting this game for your collection, although beware the price is about $50.00 retail.  Try to find a bargain on-line and go for it!



Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Uncategorized


5 responses to “First Impressions: Survive – Escape From Atlantis!

  1. Ian Noble

    March 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Looking forward to getting my copy next month. I have a feeling this will be a great game to start a get together with. Not too heavy and light enough for a warm-up.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. skirkham

    March 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Ian, exactly!

    It’s easy to teach, fun to play, and can also be used in my opinion as a gateway game into Modern Board-gaming, but still has that re-playability factor that one looks for in a board game.
    Also, it plays pretty quickly 30-45 minutes.

  3. Chris Norwood

    March 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    The only problem there is that Survive isn’t a modern boardgame. It’s a reprint of a mass-market game from the 80’s. Instead, it’s more just a solid, “take that” family game that also works pretty well as a filler for gamers as well.

  4. skirkham

    March 23, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for reminding me that it came out in the 80’s and is now a reprint of actually 2 games in one.

  5. Chris K.

    March 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I almost bought this last Friday, but decided to buy two cheaper games to get a little better deal. I would still like to try it out – and I’m hoping someone will have a copy at MACE this weekend. I can remember playing the original when I was but a little tike; alas, I no longer have that copy, although I’m lucky enough to own most of my other games from childhood, including Fireball Island.

    I like that Stronghold has produced a game of high quality, and included many variants. It seems as though they’ve improved greatly upon a nice classic title.


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