Saturday, March 13, 2010

Gaming with Grandma - 114

Another Saturday morning gaming session with my mother (AKA Grandma) and 8 year old daughter (AKA Maddie). This morning we chose to play Atlantis (AKA Survive, AKA Escape from Atlantis) a game kindly given to me by Friendless.

The version I have is the German one produced by Schmidt Spiele and made under licence from Waddingtons Games Ltd. I'm not sure what year it was made because I could find no date on the board, rules or box. I suspect it was made in 1986 (when the original English Waddingtons Games version was released) as this particular German version was made in the former West Germany. We used the 1996 Parker (Hasbro) rules obtainable from BGG. The plastic land tiles, sea creatures and ship components are very nice. The wooden people playing pieces are colourful and functional. I played green, Maddie played blue and Grandma played yellow.

I quite enjoy the theme of trying to escape from a threatening disaster (e.g. The Downfall of Pompeii) and also the mechanic of racing to be the first to get all your people to safety (e.g. Cartagena). This game pre-dates both of those games and is a nice mixture of both. Each turn involves moving your people, then removing a land tile and then moving a random sea creature to either help yourself or hinder your opponents. Under each tile there are symbols that refer to events that are either good (e.g. a ship or dolphin appearing) or bad (an octupode, shark, sea monster or whirlpool).

Limited movement points mean that it's always a tough decision trying to work out which of your people to help save that turn. There's also the fun element of occasionally being able to send a shark to attack an opponent's swimmers or a sea monster to gobble up a ship. I find that at her age Maddie doesn't appreciate this part of the game. Or should I say she has no problem with sending a sea monster to destroy a ship full of Dad and Grandma's people but doesn't take it well when Dad sends a shark to eat one of her swimmers (heh heh!).

I don't normally hold back in trying to win a game when playing with my kids and this game was no different. Despite that, Maddie went on to grab a well-deserved win with 4 points, I came second with 3 points and Grandma came third with 2 points.

I can see this game becoming a regular favourite.

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