(The Board) Games People Play: #13, Escape From Atlantis

The long term effects of global warming explained in board game form

Thursday 06 January 1983

For once, school started off pretty well. The 343 ran bang on time and I didn’t have to wait too long in the dinner time queue. It seemed that all was right in the world.

Then came Science with Mr Lambert. Today’s lesson was pretty gloomy for the first lesson after Christmas. We looked at something called the Greenhouse Effect and its ramifications for future generations. Some classmates pictured a Mossley with French style cafés. Tricia imagined a future where one of Mossley’s millponds had water slides and became a leisure pool.

Slightly more seriously, though explained in a way that was accessible for seven-year-olds.

Escape From Atlantis

The genius behind Waddingtons’ Escape From Atlantis is Julian Courtland-Smith. The creator of Waddingtons’ board game also created the similar yet more complex Survive! published by Parker Brothers in 1982.

Released in 1986, it is like Ludo in reverse. Your aim is to retreat from a sinking island to one of four islands on the corner of the board. The sinking island is made up of hexagonal panels in yellow (sand), green (grass), and grey (rocks). Each player has twelve coloured counters (Tribespeople). They can escape by boat or swim win a dolphin. The squares they need to avoid are those with octopuses, sea monsters or sharks.

Every so often, parts of the island disappear. Therefore it pays to decide which move gets you closer to the dolphins or the boats. Just to make things easier, each boat can hold up to three tribespeople. The first player to get all twelve tribespeople to their island is the winner.

In 2010, the game was relaunched as Survive! Escape From Atlantis by Stronghold Games. This combines both the Parker Brothers and Waddingtons games. You can either play to the Survive! rules or the Escape From Atlantis rules.

S.V., 13 December 2017.

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