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Board Game of the Month: Survive!

A shark in water.

Welcome back to the Kinsley Forest Blog! Today, we’re celebrating one of our all-time favorite board games. If you’re planning to host a game night in your Kansas City, MO apartment this month, no board game will fit the end-of-summer theme better than Survive: Escape from Atlantis!

Survive is an exciting game where players strive to escape from a sinking island without being devoured by creatures in the deep dark sea. It’s not as easy as you think, but it’s a whole lot of fun.

How to Play:

40 Terrain tiles (beach, forest, and mountain) make up an island in the middle of the board. Players then take turns placing their Explorer tokens on the island — you’ll want to strategize where you’re placing your pieces on the board. Each Explorer token has a number on the bottom; these numbers are equal to the number of points that explorer is worth should they successfully escape. These points will be tallied at the end of the game. (Take note: once you place an explorer token on the board, you are not allowed to look at the bottom of them until the game has ended. Thus, you’ll need to remember where you place your high-value Explorer tokens.)

Play is then as follows:

  1. A player may play a Terrain token from their hand (how they obtain these will be made clear during gameplay).

  2. The player then moves their Explorer or Ship tokens. The board is covered with little boats that the explorers can move onto for safer passage away from the island. Your goal is to move them safely on up to 4 neighboring islands.

  3. Players carefully remove one of the Terrain tiles from the middle of the board, even if another player has an Explorer on it. Begin by removing the beach tiles. When those have been removed, go for the forest and then mountain tiles. The player who removed the tile will then flip it over to reveal a condition (maybe a Shark or Whale appears in the water to replace the tile).

  4. After a player has removed a tile and fulfilled the conditions, they move the creatures on the board by rolling the dice. If a Shark token moves onto a space with a swimmer (an Explorer in the water and not in a boat), that swimmer is removed from play. Whales destroy boats, turning the Explorer tokens into swimmers. Sea Creatures destroy both boats and swimmers.

The game ends when a mountain tile is flipped over to reveal a picture of a volcano, which erupts and destroys the island’s remaining inhabitants and everything in the water. Score points based on the Explorers you were able to rescue safely by bringing them to the neighboring islands, by boat or by swimming.

Survive: Escape from Atlantis! is a really fun and easy-to-learn game that has a lot of replayability. Perfect for a game night in your apartment, Survive is a game that we recommend everyone owns. Enjoy!