Monday, March 23, 2009


This time up in my walk through my game collection I played a couple solitaire games of a little game called Survival, which is part of a double-pack of games I picked up at some point in the past, probably when I was in college. It got it used, but the pieces for Survival were never punched out, so obviously I had never played this before.

The base game in Survival tells the story of a member of the stellar scout corps who crashes on a distant planet, and has to journey across the wilderness to get to the old scout station, where he can send a distress signal. You have six days to get across the map to the station before your food runs out and you die. Unfortunately, there are many nasty animals on this planet who are interested in eating you. Every new space that you enter, you roll a six-sided die. If you roll a 1 or a 2, nothing happens. On a 3 through 6 you encounter an animal who tries to eat you. You can fight animals with your fists (not recommended), or you can use weapons to do so.

The use of weapons is the primary element of strategy in this game. At the beginning of the game you can select 8 weight points worth of weapons. The heavier a weapon is, the more deadly it is. The pistol is wimpy, so it weighs little. The flame thrower is deadly, so it weighs a lot. To make things more interesting, the heaver a weapon is, the less ammunition it has. Every time you use a weapon, it loses a point of ammunition. If you only pick big weapons, you can quickly run out of ammunition, and then you are dead if one of the nastier animals shows up. You need to husband your ammunition so that you can use your big weapons when you need them, but if you never use your weapons you will get your face eaten by an alien spider-thing, so you have to find the right balance.

One interesting feature about this game is that it comes with a lot of different scenarios. The basic game is solitaire only, and is very simple, and pretty easy to beat. The rules admit this, and encourage you to quickly move on to the advanced game. The advanced game has tougher animals, and more chances for encounters with them. It also lets you run away, which is a nice option, though you have to drop weapons to do so. There are also advanced scenarios that let you play the game with multiple players. You can have everyone crash land in different areas and try to get to the base first, you can have everyone crash land in different areas and try to kill each other, and you can have everyone be hunters on an alien safari who just wander around trying to kill the most animals.

Overall, this game is decent, but not great, and is pretty dead average. It has some decent attributes, but if I want a survival game against alien monsters/animals, I have better options.

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