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Survive: Escape from Atlantis! - Board Game Box Shot

Survive: Escape from Atlantis!

An underwater volcano has erupted and the island of Atlantis is sinking into the sea! Unless the people of Atlantis escape in time, all the inhabitants are doomed! Get to safety via boat if you can find one, but watch for the Sea Serpents, Sharks, and Whales!

Survive: Escape From Atlantis! is our best selling game, and in fact the #7 selling game overall in the hobby game market during Q1’2011, according to ICV2.COM, an industry watching website! Gamers and families have spoken! “Survive!” is a great light-strategy game for serious gamers, as well as a fun game to play with the family!

This is a true classic, originally released in 1982, and now brought back by Stronghold Games with completely upgraded components.

In Survive: Escape From Atlantis!, you try to lead your people from the sinking central island of Atlantis to the safety of one of four islands nearby. Your people can get there quickly by boat (if they find one) or more slowly by swimming.

But it will be a perilous journey as they must avoid Sea Serpents, Whales, and Sharks! When the volcano on Atlantis explodes, the game is over. The player with the most survivor points wins.

Survive: Escape From Atlantis! has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide in its previous versions, but has since been out of print for over 10 years. To illustrate the legacy of this great game, optional "Challenge Rules" and additional components (the cute little Dolphins, and the treacherous "Dive Dice") have been added.

All of the components have been upgraded to the highest-quality levels, including slotted wood boats to carry the wood People tokens, as well as Land Tiles of 3 different thicknesses to give Atlantis a 3-D look. The Beach tiles are 2mm thick, the Forest Tiles are 4mm thick, and the Mountain tiles are 6mm thick (first ever that thick in a board game)!

User Reviews (33)

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Jungle Elves - Summoner Wars Beta 2.0 Tester
Summoner Wars Fan
Unicorn Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
88 of 95 gamers found this helpful
“A Little Something For Everyone”

My first impression of Survive: Escape from Atlantis was, “wow, that’s some awesomely thick cardboard!” My second impression was that this is quite a fun little game for kids and adults alike. There is ample opportunity to play relatively nicely with the younger ones, coupled with many chances to play brutal, laugh-as-you-sink-your-opponent’s-boat-amidst-a-pool-of-circling-sharks, high stakes competition with older players. This game has a little something for the whole family.

Stronghold Games has done an excellent job with the components for this game. The wonderfully decorated gameboard and the thick, chunky cardboard combine with the great wooden pieces to produce a game that’s as fun to look at as it is to play. My 5 year-old daughter, although she doesn’t quite get all the nuances of play, still thoroughly enjoys moving the wooden people, boats, and monsters around the board.

The game is a blast to play. It is extremely easy to learn and to teach, and you can be playing within 15-20 minutes of opening the box. Turns move quickly and can affect any player on the board, so even the youngest players will stay engaged. There is a fun sense of tension throughout, as the island sinks piece by piece each turn, and you never know when your boat that’s on the way to safety may end up capsized by a whale, dumping your helpless passengers in the ocean to face circling sharks or sea monsters. There is also great opportunity to do unto others, as each turn you control one of the ocean denizens and can guide it to where it will do the most damage to your opponent. The chance to mess with the other players can really result in a good-natured game of sabotage and backstabbing, particularly if you play with the right group of people.

Overall, this is a great family game that can be a lot of fun for adults as well. The simple rules combined with the fast gameplay make it ideal for a quick game night or as an entertaining filler. The engaging mechanics and multiple opportunities to hose your opponent may make this a filler that gets repeated multiple times. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a light game that can be enjoyed by a variety of players.

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I play green
86 of 93 gamers found this helpful
“Escaping from this cut-throat natured game isn't easy, but buckets of fun!”

First of all, this is a terrific game! Survive: Escape from Atlantis is quite a self-explanatory title. It’s how you escape which can determine the life and death situation.

To start, each player clockwise places a terrain tile in any space they wish within the thick black band line to create the island. The great thing about this is the configuration of the island has so many different possibilities that you won’t have the same configuration twice. There are three different types of terrain tile. Sand, Forest and Mountain.
Once the island has been set up in it’s configuration, in turn order again, each player gets to place one of their people on to the island. Each player has 10 people to place on the island. All pieces have a different number on their bottoms, ranging from 1 to 6, which aren’t visible when placed upright. These are the points you accumulate if they successfully escape from the island. Placing people at the shore line has a greater advantage as they’ll likely be the first to escape, but not definite.
After everyone has place all 10 people tokens on the island, each player gets two boats to place on the shore of the island which are used to jump on and escape.

After set up, the players play through the turn order one after another, using tiles (if they have any to play and the exception on the first turn), moving their people all together, then taking away a terrain tile one at at time and finally rolling the creature dice. It’s quick and simple.

The idea is to escape from the island and get to the four shores at the edge of the board. However, there are creatures that are out to stop you (other than the other players). When a terrain tile gets removed, the player immediately looks at the tile. Depending on the tile, a whale, shark or boat could be placed on the space the tile was removed from and brings another dimension into the game. In two or three turns, you’ll have a sinking island with whales and sharks prowling the water, as well as the already present sea serpents.
When the creature dice is rolled, the outcome of the dice determines which creature can be moved for that player. Players can be knocked out of boats by whales, swimmers eaten by sharks or both boat and people completely annihilated by a sea serpent.
There’s a tense moment when the dice is rolled and you are hoping it’s not the creature you eagerly want to get away from. Though if you aren’t lucky enough, this is when the cut-throat nature of the game comes into the play. You could be affected by your people being exposed in some way to the sea creatures on the board, putting you at more risk of escape or the loss of points if someone dies in some form.

The game continues in this manner, removing the sand tiles first, then forest tiles and finally the mountain tiles. The game ends when the volcano tile under the mountain tile has been shown, and all players who still have people that haven’t escaped to the shores, get brutally killed.
The points get tallied up by counting the numbers on the bottoms of the players’ people who escaped. Highest wins!

Even if you don’t win at Survive: Escape from Atlantis, this is far from a bad thing as you have a thoroughly great time in the process of doing so. Highly recommended for all gamers!

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Gamer - Level 6
Asmodee fan
Count / Countess
82 of 89 gamers found this helpful
“Kids game? Then why do I love it so much then?”

First of all: the components are truly great. Sure, they’re not plastic figures with great detail, but they are sturdy and of good quality. Now to the game.

You build up a random island consisting of three types of tiles. Beach, forest and mountains. Since this is Atlantis, it’s gonna sink. And it starts with the beach tiles and goes upwards to the mountains. On the tiles are your people. You have to get them to safety to one of the four surrounding islands. But much peril awaits, as sharks, whales, squids (expansion) and sea monsters are there to eat you.

But during your turn you have the ability to move one of these monsters. Of course you will try to eat your opponents, or move them away from your people. There’s a lot of interaction and pleading going on. You have to convince the other players why you’re not a good target, but another one is. It’s a ton of fun, and the actions are mercyless.

When the volcano tile is revealed, the game is over, and eveyone still swimming or on Atlantis will die. Then you can take all your surviving people and look under them. There’s a scoring number below which everyone counts up, and the one with the highest score wins. Of course you can look at these numbers when you place the figure, but never again until the game is over.

Game for kids? Sure. But it’s also great fun for adults. Don’t underestimate this game. At least give it a shot.

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Marquis / Marchioness
Advanced Reviewer
Professional Advisor Beta 1.0 Tester
75 of 82 gamers found this helpful
“Great Family Game”

I finally had a chance to try this game out a couple weeks ago, and no wonder it’s been reprinted!

The game has a relatively fixed game length
The randomness is somewhat predictible depending on how well you know the game
There is a lot of player interaction, whether you’re helping each other or trying to have sea serpents eat your opponents

There’s a lot of randomness involved in what happens when tiles flipped, what the die roll comes up as, when the game ends, etc.
Very easy to die. But that’s part of the fun!
When the game ends early, it can favor players who went first, they get more turns
Some special case rules are unclear or confusing (we couldn’t confirm if we could move from one boat to another in the sea)

Survive! is a fun game where you everybody is populating a small island in the center of the board and you are trying to get as many of your people to safety on the edge of the board fighting the sinking island, sea monsters, sharks, and other horrors.

This game is a classic and is very popular. Each player can share boats, move in boats together (controlled by the player with the most guys in it or everyone in it if they’re tied), move monsters towards opponents, monsters away from your end goal. I’ll always remember my first game when we surrounded one corner with a shark, a whale, and three sea serpents. Not many people survived there.

The different people are also worth different amounts of points on them, so getting the most people to safety doesn’t mean you win. You have to be careful and strategic to rescue your high-valued people and be willing to sacrifice the low pointers. So don’t forget where your big people are!

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Amateur Reviewer
60 of 67 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“InD20 Group Reviews Survive Escape from Atlantis”

Overview and Components

Hello readers and welcome once again to an InD20 Group review. Its time to review yet another game from Stronghold Games line of classic reprints, for those that are unfamiliar with this game, Survive: Escape from Atlantis was published as family games almost 30 years ago and have recently been picked up by Stronghold Games. During the game, players will try to rescue all their islanders or Atlanteans from the sinking island while also controlling the way the island sinks and the dangerous sea creatures in order to stop the other players from escaping.

Lets jump right into the components of the game. Stronghold Games has released this game with the classic euro style pieces. The player pieces, boats, plus the various sea monsters are all represented by bright colored wood figurines.

At the very start of the game, you set up the island in the middle of the board with randomly selected land tiles. The tiles are all cardboard pieces of different thickness, each thickness representing a type of land such as beaches, forests, and mountains. The different thickness levels give a wonderful 3D feel to the game. The way this formation influences the game is amazing and very effective.

During the second setup phase, players take their turns to place their islanders on the island one at a time. Its actually a race to claim the pieces of the island that are most convenient for the purpose of being close to the water, easy to escape, and not susceptible to sinking into the sea immediately. After the final islander is placed, each player has an opportunity to place two boats next to the edge of the island. There will be enough boats around the island that the initial moves will most likely be mad dashes to grab any boat near you, regardless of who placed them.

Each turn is four phases or steps. Choose whether or not to play a tile from your hand, move your islanders and boats, sink one part of the island, and then roll the sea creature dice and move that monster around the board. Some of the land tiles, after being revealed are taken up in your hand and can be played on your turn. These tiles are boat or swimmer bonus tiles and creature teleports.

Each player has three moves to spend each turn. On land each piece can freely move. Boats can move in water, but can only be controlled by a player if they are empty or they have control of it (meaning they have majority of occupants). Hitching a ride in someone else’s boat is always helpful, and boats are shark proof unlike swimming. But be careful of the whales.

Pieces can also end up swimming in the water by having their boat destroyed, the island sinking under them, or by jumping off the island (notice I said jumping not voted…this isn’t survivor its survive). This doesn’t necessarily mean you are screwed, it does increase your chances of being a snack to the sea creatures, and you can only move 1 space per turn towards safety. It’s still possible to be overlooked and swim the long open waters to safety, perhaps that sea monster thought the boat with 3 people would be more appetizing then you….even though you did just eat a peanut butter snickers.

If you can make it to one of the four corner islands, then you can get out of the water or step off that boat to safety. These islanders or Atlanteans are safe until the end of the game and are the only way to score points.

After moving their pieces, players must choose one of the pieces of the island to remove. This can be occupied (in which case any pieces on it are dropped violently into the ocean). The lowest-lying beach tiles must be removed first, followed by forest then mountain, and a tile touching the ocean must be chosen if possible. From this, you can have a pretty good idea of which parts of the island will still be around the longest, and probably also start to develop a phobia of sandy beaches..

Each removed landscape tile has a picture on its back. These come in several forms, good for you, bad, or bad for someone else.

Some tiles are kept until later, some have immediate effect. They’re all quite clearly laid out with easy to read icons as you can see from the picture below.

There are good, bad, and comical moments to these event tiles, so the decision of which part of the island to sink is an interesting one. I absolutely loved it when I sunk a piece of island my wife was on to find out that sharks were waiting right there. (Insert Jaws theme music here)

At the end of each player turn, the creature dice is rolled. It has two faces for each of the sea-creatures. Once a creature is rolled, the player may choose to move one of the creatures of that type that is already on the board. Each creature moves a different amount, whales move 3 spaces and destroy occupied boats, sharks move 2 and eat swimmers, while the Great Purple Sea Monster is slow and only moves 1 space, but both destroys boats and the occupants on them. (yell “Unleash the Kraken” when this happens)
Remember as the game progresses the island gets smaller, causing more and more panic. The game ends immediately when the Volcano tile is drawn, with all people still in boats or the water lost.

I apologize but I gots squids in this picture which is a mini expansion not included

At the end of the game, the players reveal which of their pieces actually made it to safety on the islands. The numbers on the bases report how many points each of them is worth, and the player with the most points wins. During the game, players have to keep in mind where their most valuable tokens are because they remain secret until the end of the game.

In addition to the base rules, the Survive box contains extension pieces to play the variant Escape from Atlantis as well as several other scoring variants which mostly make the game more forgiving or easier.

My Opinion

Overall, this is a huge hit and a great choice of a game for Stronghold Games to re-release. And like I have said before on games that I have reviewed from this company, I believe that Stronghold Games will be a force to be reckoned with if they keep up what they are doing. This game is a great family game, and can be easily enjoyed by every one. When I say everyone, I mean everyone, whether your hardcore and love the competition or you just want something casually fun. Get this game and check it out

Larry Fettinger and InD20 Group approve this review and give it 7.5 out of 10.

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38 of 43 gamers found this helpful
“The most cut-throat game I've ever played”

The first thing I gotta say about Survive! Escape from Atlantis is that this is the most directly confrontational game ever. If you are playing with kids, I think that they will enjoy the heck out of it unless they can’t handle losing. But between adults, you’re going to make some enemies fast.

As a matter of fact, I think it should be warned in advance that this game is a very confrontational, cut throat game that involves a lot of direct confrontation and elimination. You can totally screw someone over with just a few moves.

And that is why I love this game so much. I can handle it and I love that it has that aspect about it. I also love that it is so thematic. The island is slowly submerging, the volcano is about to erupt and we are sailing away in shark infested waters. What could be worse?? How about your opposing players, trying to screw you over by playing monsters in your areas or trying to take over your boat or sending whales over to sink your boat. Now there’s some heavy handed confrontation going on right there. You will be lucky if you make it with one boat load.

I think this game is a lot of fun and if you can handle that “take that” aspect of the game and also the fact that you can plan something strategic only to have the plan thwarted with a single move, then you will enjoy this game. It is also a very quick moving game. It doesn’t require that much time in terms of planning a strategy. There is strategy but the strongest priority on your mind is getting your meeples off the island and surviving the sea monsters and everything else.

This game will see lots of replay in my group. And also since I have all the expansions, it will create for some variation in the game. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a fast paced competitive and adventurous game.

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Gamer - Level 2
44 of 50 gamers found this helpful
“Fantastic for a night of screwing your friends over and everyone being ok with it”

Survive: Escape from Atlantis is a cut-throat, take no prisoners board game full of boat smashing, island sinking, your friend just got eaten by a shark fun. Originally published in 1982 as Survive by Parker Brothers, it has recently been republished by Stronghold Games, and includes the pieces needed in order to play Escape from Atlantis (1986). This is a game that has people divided on either never having heard of it when it was originally published in 1982, or this being the coolest game they ever played growing up.

In a nutshell, you and your fellow players are residents of Atlantis and its starting to sink. You must do everything in your power to get your people off the main island to safety while avoiding sharks, whales, sea monsters, and your friends backstabbing scheming ways. Get more of your people to safety, you win.

In the box you will find a beautiful 4-part board covered in hexes, island tiles (beach, forest, and mountains), wooden Atlanteans, wooden boats for the wooden Atlanteans to ride, wooden whales to destroy your wooden boats, wooden sharks to eat your wooden Atlanteans, wooden sea serpents to destroy your wooden boats and eat your wooden Atlanteans, wooden dolphins to help your wooden Atlanteans swim, and some dice (these are not wood).

To begin, players will randomly draw island tiles and place them on the board to form the island of Atlantis, followed by populating the island one person at a time, alternating players as they go. The placement of a players Atlantians can be strategic, as each one has a value ranging from 1-6, which will score the player points if they can get them safely off the island. Some boats are placed out on the board, and the sea serpents take their places. Then, Atlantis falls.

The board, right before it starts to sink

During a players turn, they will get up to three actions that can be used to either move their pieces across the island, onto boats, move boats (empty ones or ones they control), or swim. In a perfect world, a player will move their pieces with the end goal of getting them to one of the four surrounding islands. Unfortunately, evacuating a sinking island is not as easy as you would think.

After they have moved their people, the island will start to sink, and the player will remove one of the island tiles from the board. In order, beach tiles are removed first, followed by forest tiles, then mountains. On the flip side of these tiles, players will trigger events that will either immediately take place or may be saved for them to use later in the game. Some of these immediate effects may be adding sharks or whales to the game board (thats bad), or maybe some extra boats to get people to safety (thats good), or maybe a whirlpool that will suck any Atlanteans, boats, or sea creatures to the bottom of the ocean (thats bad too).

Once a player has sunk a part of the island, they then roll the sea creature dice and will move them accordingly. By rolling the dice, the player will have to move either a whale, a shark, or a sea serpent on the board, most likely into the same hex where another player has a piece, eating their Atlantean or destroying the boat they were on or even both.

Oh Noes, He’s swimming!

When the sea creatures actions are resolved, play moves on to the next player, and the cycle repeats. The game will go on until the volcano is revealed once the players get down to removing the mountain tiles from play. Players will add up the points scored from their surviving Atlanteans who made it to safety, the one with the highest score wins.

The game is fast paced and fun, and is best played with friends who don’t mind screwing you over, and vice versa. Having never played the game when if originally came out, I was hesitant to play it now 30 years later since games of the era of being a kid don’t always hold up/in no way hold your interest. But this game is just fun. Very easy to pick up and learn, and within a turn all of us had a solid grasp on how to play, and were strategizing and plotting each others demise (3 of the 4 had never played).

Everything adjacent to the whirlpool will be removed from the game

Out of the box, it plays up to 4 players, but there are plans to release an expansion that will allow for up to 6 to play all at once. While dolphins are not used in the basic game, they are in the advanced game, which adds some additional rules allowing for a different gameplay. An expansion ot the game is available now, adding giant squids to the mix (ie, more ways to kill your friends).

The game allows for some strategy, as well as making alliances (if you like) but those do not last forever because in the end, its all about you surviving more than anyone else.


More Pictures

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Intermediate Reviewer
Mask of Agamemnon
Novice Advisor
37 of 42 gamers found this helpful
“Beware of Sharks!”

…actually, beware of giant squid. Don’t even buy them. (That’s a little sneak peek at the Giant Squid Expansion Pack, which you shouldn’t purchase — or at least don’t buy it and combine it with the Dolphins & Dive Dice expansion).

Am I getting ahead of myself? Let’s backtrack a bit.

Thirty Years Ago

…or close to thirty. I guess, for me, it was closer to 25.

This game was released in 1982. I remember playing it on a regular basis with my mom and my dad at age 8 and having a blast. We probably didn’t play by the exact rules, to be honest — we likely looked at our meeples’ point values mid-game, or at least my Old Man allowed me to do so.

Anyway, I have no idea how popular this Parker Brothers game was in the 80’s, but I remember that I loved it. When that volcano tile flipped and we all made an eruption noise, then counted our survivors’ point values, it gave us incredible amounts of enjoyment.

Thirty Years Later

Back in December, on this very website, Survive: Escape from Atlantis became an explorable favorite. The name rang a few bells and, upon reading the reviews, I suddenly remembered the hours of entertainment I’d experienced as a young’un! I leapt to the internet and placed an online order; the box (and two expansions that didn’t exist in my youth) arrived in less than a week and I sat the lady down to play!

The Summary

Let’s not beat around the bush: This game is tons of fun. There have been reviewers that don’t like how cut-throat it can be for a family game. A valid concern, but not the game’s fault. If you’ve got little ones that aren’t ready for you to eat their meeples with a shark or big, purple sea serpent, don’t play this game with them.

Sure, the label says “8+”. I definitely believe that an 8-year-old can play this game, as I played it at that age as well! But in today’s world where we protect our youths against competition and rivalry, softer parents might be advised to break out a cooperative board game or Candy Land, where strategy isn’t a real factor.

For those of us looking for the kind of game where you literally throw another player to the sharks, you are in for a treat! Herein lies about 45 minutes to an hour of tossing your opponents into the ocean, feeding them to flesh-hungry sea-dwellers, abandoning them on the shore of an exploding desert island, and obliterating their ships that are on the way to a safe haven!

It’s good, clean fun, y’all. And it’s competitive. Involving a little bit of memory, a little bit of luck, and a lot of drive to survive, this is a fast-paced race to save your meeples that will always end in laughs and excitement for the next time it hits the table.

Setting Up the Island

The game board is comprised of hexagons and the central area has an outline. Build your “island” with hexagonal tiles that represent mountains, forests, and beaches — you can take turns placing tiles, work in tandem to create a masterpiece, drop the hexes randomly into place, or anything in between. Leave one space in the middle for a sea serpent. Place four more sea serpents (scaly, purple buggers that smash ships and devour swimmers) in designated locations near the four corners of the board.

Players take turns placing meeples, one per tile. In a 3- or 4-player game you get ten meeples or “survivors” with different point values — most are worth 1 or 2 points (they “carry treasures” if you’re into story) and a few are worth 4, 5, or 6 points. Get a good look at these point values before you place your pieces! Once they’re on the island, there’s no peeking until the game ends.

Now take turns placing two boats each in hexes around the island. You’ll probably want to put them near your highest value meeples, but beware! If you’re too obvious about your highest-value survivors, your opponents will use whales and sharks and sea serpents to sink your ship and eat your precious pawns, costing you lots of points in the process!

A nutshell? Let’s squeeze the game mechanics in there!

Move your meeples or boats or pawns or survivors three hexagons per turn. That can be three pawns moving one hex each, or one pawn moving three hexagons. You decide! You can move individual meeples or, if you’ve got control of a boat by filling the majority of its THREE seats, you can move seafaring vessels with these three movement “points”.

If a survivor is swimming, he can only move ONE hexagon per turn. He’s pretty slow. It’s a big ocean.

Move those survivors and their escape boats toward and onto one of four “safe” islands at the four corners of the game board. The more pawns you move to these islands, the higher your potential for end-game points.

Now flip over one of the many hexagonal tiles that makes up your island, and remove it from play. If there’s any beaches, you have to toss those first. Then forest, and FINALLY mountains. There’s a volcano under one of the mountain tiles. When your friend flips that — or when you flip it, you unlucky duck — the game is over. The other tiles all have other special effects, such as dolphins moving swimmers greater distances and whirlpools annihilating any pieces on the board around them. Survive: Escape From Atlantis is a rough world!

Roll a custom die covered in fins and flippers and monsters and move the corresponding sea creature its allotted number of hexagons. You can use this to get the beasties AWAY from your own escaping meeples, or to bring them closer to devouring your opponents.

Whoever escapes the sinking, exploding island with the most points worth of meeples when the volcano is uncovered, wins the game!

Brad Pitt Wants to Know ‘What’s In the Box?’
…or “Game Components.”

Other than the board, you get some really nicely-crafted pieces in this box. The 1982 version of Survive! that still sits on my shelf after holiday retrieval from the parents’ house contains plastic shark fins, whale tails, and bright green sea serpents with tiny, plastic survivors and slips of printed cardboard to represent boats. The production values were great, for 32 years ago!

Survive: Escape From Atlantis is Stronghold Games’ way of saying “Sure, your components were sexy, early 80’s — but we’re going to make them better!”

Survivors, boats, shark fins, whale tails, and sea serpents are made of what I assume to be laser-cut wood. They are polished and beautiful, though I’d prefer the sea serpents to still be green and not a dark purple. The terrain tiles are thick, sturdy cardboard; even better than that, though, the three “levels” of tiles — beach, forest, mountains — are of varying thickness and stand at the lowest, middle, and higher heights on the game board, respectively. When you begin the game, it definitely gives the impression of a deserted island with a topography all its own!

Should You Buy It?

Okay, honestly: Yes.

Buy this game to play with your significant other on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Buy this game and grab the 5- to 6-player expansion to play with your buddies on game night. Buy this game to play with your kids and, for goodness sakes, teach them sportsmanship and strategy.

This box contains an hour’s worth of fun at a time. No matter who you’re playing with, you’ll laugh, you’ll groan, and you’ll get caught up in the Escape From Atlantis.

See what I did there? With the bold?

Epilogues and Expansions

The lady and I added in two expansions after several fun-filled plays of this game: Dolphins & Dive Dice and Giant Squid.

The base game involves some strategy in maneuvering your boats and swimmers. It’s okay to end your turn two spaces from a sea serpent, because he can only move one space if your opponents roll for control of him.

Dive dice add a level of chaos and unpredictability to the game that, for us, was unwelcome. Dolphins took away the “Move a swimmer 3 spaces” effect for a dolphin pawn that protects a swimmer from other sea creatures. Frankly, I’d rather have the movement.

Giant squid pop up at the same time as whales and eat your survivors that are still on land. As soon as a whale is added to the board, essentially, so is a giant squid that instantly kills one of the escaping meeples. Combined with dive dice, this means giant squid are bouncing around the board, chowing down on your brightly-colored wooden pawns all willy-nilly, and you just can’t plan for it.

If you’re looking for Euro-style strategy and a fun, competitive game, just enjoy the base set for a while. If you want chaos and for the tides to shift uncontrollably from turn to turn, it won’t hurt to add these two expansions in.

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37 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“Quick to teach, great replay”

The game is easy to teach. Every body has a set of villagers with the same range of values. The object is to get your villagers off the sinking island in the middle of the board and to one of the beaches on the edge of the board by the time the island sinks. The winner is the person who got the highest total value of villagers to safety. Every piece of island that sinks can unleash a new threat(whirlpools,sharks, whales, etc…), or occasionally a new boat. Each boat can hold 3 villagers, and there are more villagers in the lower values(more value 1s than 4s, etc…) Boats can only be moved by players who have pieces in that boat, and some pieces start on the interior of the island so you must decidewhether to wait on the island partially sinking or scramble madly for boats erly on.

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I play yellow
Gamer - Level 4
36 of 43 gamers found this helpful
“All Ages Favorite”

This is the game I bought to help my kids learn that it’s okay to be competitve while playing board games. For the first few plays the stinkers were all about feeding my meeples to the sharks while protecting their mom’s people. Eventually they learned that the sharks need to eat more than just my meeples.

Play is very easy to understand and is intuitive. Take a few extra moments to make sure you’re playing the tiles correctly.

The components are very nice and I recommend getting at least the 5-6 Player expansion. We just got the Giant Squid expansion too. The squids aren’t really necessary but will allow you to kill off the meeples a lot faster.

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Critic - Level 2 Beta 1.0 Tester
68 of 83 gamers found this helpful
“Great Take That Game for Gamers and Non-Gamers”

I heard everyone talking about how great this game was, and they were not lying. The Game plays great for gamers and non-gamers. It is easy to learn and quick to play (under an hour). The concept is simple get your ten meeples to the four corners of the board before the island of Atlantis sinks. But be careful. The sea is filled with monsters, sharks, whales, and other fighting to survive.

The game is light, so if you are looking for a deep game experience you won’t find it here. However, this game is very enjoyable. Especially if no one at the table takes the game too seriously.

The components are top notch. All the pieces are made of wood. And the game board and box are made of solid cardboard. The box also has plenty of room and has space for the coming expansions. The only issue I had with them is that the meeples have numbers written on the bottom of them and the blue pieces can be difficult to read.

I can see our family and friends playing this one for years to come. Great fun for kids of all ages.

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Novice Reviewer
Gamer - Level 4
Advanced Grader
37 of 47 gamers found this helpful
“A good gateway and a great next-step”

Stronghold has produced a wonderful reprint. The components are great, and the rules are well written. Despite having a copy of the original, I am pleased to have a copy of this version on my shelf. The attractive pieces are an immediate pull for casual and avid gamers.

One feature that a good gateway should contain is the ability to play as nice or as naughty as the crowd demands. While not as a clear of a distinction as Ticket to Ride or Carcassonne, Survive still offers the ability to interact as little or as much as you want and still have fun.

A recent game had my regular gaming buddy, myself, and two non gamers playing the game. While the two non-gamers largely concentrated on themselves and made small antagonistic gestures. My buddy and I waged a full scare war upon each other’s meeples. By the end of the game, the non gamers were fully into the mischief making. They demanded another game once we were done– always a great sign.

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Plaid Hat Games fan
Asmodee fan
I play blue
37 of 47 gamers found this helpful
“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

In the beginning was Klaus Teuber. And Klaus Teuber did look down and see that gaming was stagnant, and that Free Parking Jackpot was killing Monopoly, and he said, “Let there be Catan!” And it was so. And Klaus did rejoice, seeing that what he had made was good. And he said, “Let Catan be broken into pieces, and let those pieces be as hexagons, with which others can also create Catan anew.” And it was so – Catan was broken into pieces, and those pieces were as hexagons, and there was much rejoicing around gaming tables everywhere. Except for a few curmudgeons who hate dice, and they were cast outside into the darkness, where there is perfect information and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
And the children of Klaus-Jürgen Wrede looked out upon Catan, and they saw that it was very good, and they said unto themselves, “We should go out to Catan, and take it for our own. It’s way nicer than Carcassonne.” And as they landed upon Catan and began to build roads and settlements, the first Klaus said unto them, “From whence have you come to disturb my island?” And the children of the second Klaus said, “We have seen this land, and it is a good land, fit for the building of roads and settlements. Plus, we have wood for sheep.” And the first Klaus burned with anger at their insolence, and said unto them, “Canst thou not make an original Catan joke? I shall smite thee with a mighty smiting. Hey, that rhymes.” And the first Klaus caused the sea to rise up against the children of the second Klaus, so that the island was consumed, and they were forced to take to boats or to swim for it. And the first Klaus caused the sea to be filled with all manner of vicious critters with nasty, big, pointy teeth. And the boats were wrecked, and the swimmers were made into tasty meals, and amongst the whales and the sharks and the sea serpents, there was much rejoicing.
Thus was born Survive! Escape from Atlantis – and it was very good.
Ok, so maybe the game doesn’t really have anything at all to do with Catan or Carcassonne, besides a superficial resemblance. The original actually predates them both by a significant margin, coming from Parker Brothers of all places in 1982. Now, in 2011, the game has been reprinted by Stronghold Games with great new bits that are somewhat evocative of those more recent classics. The game is played on a board on which an island of hexagonal tiles is constructed. Each player also places ten people figures (seaples perhaps?) on the island, with values varying from one to six. The numbers are printed on the bottom of the piece and are hidden until the end of the game. The object of the game, at least in the base scenario, is to get people with the highest total value off the main island and onto one of the four smaller islands in the corners of the board before the main island sinks. Moving is very simple – each turn, a player moves his or her pieces a total of three spaces. Boats can hold three people and move as one action. People may move off the island into either a boat or a sea space, but once they’ve left the island, there’s no turning back – they have to make a break for the smaller islands.
Unfortunately, while the players are in the process of evacuating the island, it’s sinking beneath the waves. Each player must, during his or her turn, remove one of the island’s tiles, revealing the sea space below. Any people on the tile are dumped into the ocean. Each tile also contains an action on the bottom. These actions come in two flavors: resolve now (generally bad and nasty) or hold for play at the beginning of a future turn (generally helpful). Actions that go into the player’s hand might include move a boat or swimmer up to three extra spaces or cancel an attack by a critter. Resolve now actions include things like placing sharks or whales into the space from which the tile came or revealing a whirlpool that sucks everything nearby into a watery grave. The game ends when one of two conditions is met: either the Volcano tile is drawn, or all figures have either made it to safety or met their demise thanks to some of the friendly neighborhood wildlife.
Creatures come in three flavors (four with variant) and are generally of the nasty variety. Whales smash any boats in the same space, sending the occupants into the water. Sharks devour swimmers already in the water but ignore boats; sea serpents are the nastiest, eating all boats and swimmers in the same space. Creatures move by roll of the die at the end of a player’s turn. In the base game, one die is rolled that determines what type of creature moves, with each creature moving a set number of hexes. In the variant game, two dice are rolled; one determines the creature type, while the other determines distance. This variant also introduces dolphins, which can aid swimmers in the same space by protecting against hostile creatures.
The gameplay is quite simple and can be learned in ten minutes. What’s not apparent from a cursory review of the rules is how unbelievably nasty this game is. This game is a forty-five minute exercise in schadenfreude. There’s very little randomness in the game – most of the player misfortune happens as a result of a deliberate choice of another player. Even simple decisions like which tile to pull are influenced by which of your opponent’s pieces you can place in mortal danger. Although what creatures move is determined by the die, where they move (and who they eat) is determined by the current player. It doesn’t take long before each player is actively at the throat of each of the other players, doing his or her best to send their dudes down into a watery grave. One turn might see a figure sprint across several hexes to steal a boat that another player was in position to occupy, leaving the remaining dudes to swim for it. On the next turn, that same boat might meet its demise under the fins of an ill-tempered whale. It’s a vicious, nasty little game full of backstabbery and screwage that really brings out the worst in people (in the best possible way).
The game is high in chaos, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no strategy. Most of the strategic choices happen at the beginning of the game – because the value of each figure is hidden information, the game opens up a lot of possibilities for bluffing and feinting. Placement of figures becomes an interesting shell game. A player might position his or her high value figures near a boat so that they can claim it on the first turn and make a run for safety – but the classic eggs-in-one-basket tactic can lead to disastrous consequences if the boat happens to meet up with a nearby sea serpent. On the other hand, placing a high value figure in the middle of a bunch of opponent’s dudes opens up the choice to jump into an occupied boat, giving at least one opponent an incentive to send hostiles elsewhere. Once the figures are down on the table, though, the game becomes highly tactical, with priorities changing each turn as the map loses tiles, monsters shift positions, and figures meet their doom.
I don’t want to overstate the depth of this game – Twilight Imperium it’s not. But it’s a ton of fun, well-produced with great bits, easy-to-follow rules, and a lot of replayability. It’s a game that plays well above the table with meaningful interaction and good metagame decisions. There will be yelling, there will be threats, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth – but in the end, it’s a great game that brings out the vengeful deity in all of us.

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I play purple
38 of 49 gamers found this helpful
“It's Fun to be Nasty”

Survive: Escape from Atlantis! is a pleasure to own. From the moment you open the box and view the fantastic, euro-style components you’re in for a treat. The rules are easy to read and understand, so the game can be played right out of the box.

The most difficult part of this game is keeping your friends from hating you after you feed a boat load of their men to a sea monster. Seriously, the game is nasty, but it’s oh so fun to be the bad guy and try to convince the table you’re harmless at the same time. It’s a game of politicking and fast talking.

If sharks, sea monsters and whales aren’t enough for you, the expansion giant squids are even meaner to unleash on your opponents. And thanks to the somewhat collaborative game play you can get away with it too.

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66 of 88 gamers found this helpful
“My #2 Game of 2011”

Survive! has been around for years and years, but the new Stronghold Games version brings the intense family sea monster battles right back into our homes… and in a solid new way.

In Survive! you must move as many of your people off of a sinking island, as quickly as possible. Eventually a volcano will bust it’s top and the game is over. But escaping isn’t that easy. The sea is filled with vicious creatures that your vicious opponents will send right into you. The game can be brutal, but it’s all presented in a fun bright, family friendly way.

The components are similar to the original, but even better. There are the same Sea Serpents, Whales and Sharks, but now it comes with much-improved boats, and meeples! The game is also a mix of the Euro version of the original and the old USA version, including the rules for hidden point values at the bottom of the meeples.

This was my favorite game as a child, and I’m so glad to see it again. The recognizable parts were improved, while staying very true to the original. Stronghold went all out with this release and it shows.

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36 of 48 gamers found this helpful
“Great family game. Can' t you feel the love or is that a shark”

Love playing this game. Great cut throat game. Nothing like being thrown into the water by you kids. That way the sharks can eat you. thanks kids! Dad still loves you! The component of the game are great. It’s fun going around and setting up the tiles the way you want the island to look. We got a kick about the boats and women and children first. Kids laugh when the tipped over my boat or when I got left behind at the shore with no more boats on site.

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62 of 84 gamers found this helpful
“Great game!”

I had wanted to try this game out for a long time and I was so glad I did.

The replay value is extremely high for several reasons. One, the terrain tiles can be placed in all sorts of configurations, so the island is never the same. Two, each game is different because of the tiles being picked up and the creatures being rolled. You could have shark infested waters right away in one game with highly aggressive sharks (you keep rolling sharks), or you could have a fast moving serpent (you keep rolling serpents), or you could have dangerous whales AND fast moving serpents. The possibilities, and dangers, are endless.

The game pieces are excellent quality and will last a very long time.

The game is somewhat easy to learn. The first game I played was very stop and go, with constantly reading the rule book to make sure we were playing correctly. However, once we played a second time, it was much smoother.

Overall, this is a fun game with so many different things going on in it. I would say it’s 60% strategy and 40% luck. This is a must-play game!

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36 of 49 gamers found this helpful
“old game, new incarnation”

This game has been around for a couple of decades and this is a new incarnation by a new company. The fact that the game hs been around for so long and has not undergone any real changes should tell you all you need to know. It is a good, solid, fun game for kids and adults and I really recommend it. You are villagers trying to escape a sinking island and get to safety. You will have to overcome lots of hazards in a limited time as you paddle a canoe or swim to safety. Good luck.

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Reviewed My First Game
53 of 75 gamers found this helpful
“It doesn't matter if you win or lose, this game is a blast!”

This is my favorite game on the market today. For four players it plays quickly. It is entertaining. The revenge factor makes this game a true winner. The best payed plans can be sunk by a shark or sea serpent very quickly.

Number of players: 2 is meh, 3 hmmm, 4 now your talking!

Time: 30 min. for four players. The game ends in 31-40 turns

Strategy: When playing, others were saying there is no strategy, so just go for it. That is completely wrong. If you are smart, you can maximize your 8-10 turns to make others help you, and not want to sink you. 😉

Replay value: There are no two games alike. I can see myself playing this for a long time to come.

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Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph Beta 1.0 Tester
46 of 71 gamers found this helpful
“Not for Everyone! A Good way to Lose Friends”

I love games where you get to interact with the otehr players. I love Euros too, but sinking someone else’s boat or causing them to get eaten by sharks is just too much fun. However, like Junta, Lifeboat/s and other direct conflict games, there are people who just can’t take the heat. Make sure you know who your playmates are before pulling this game out. My only gripe is the game plays only 4… but, there is an 5-6 player expansion coming out soon. I can’t wait to get it.

If you do get this game, and like it, I highly recommend Lifeboat and Lifeboats (two different games). They are evil fun. 😉


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