Friday, November 11, 2011

More Meeples for those Sea Monsters

I really like Survive as do most of the game groups I bring it to. The problem, it only plays with up to 4 players. So when a 5-6 player expansion hit the shelves it was a must buy, especially when its only a few quid.

The expansion comes in a little box and opening it up you get a whole host of little plastic meeples and some tiles. The meeples are nice, but they are not as good as the wooden ones in the base game. You also have to put numbered stickers on the base of all of them which takes a while. When playing with 5-6 players you use different combinations so as to even things out. Reading the numbers on these new meeples is much easier than the base games which is good. I just wish they had kept up with the wooden ones.

The tiles were a bit of a mystery, but reading the rules that came with it there was apparently a printing problem with the first run. One of the mountain tiles was left with white border so players could quickly figure out what tile it was. These replacements are used to resolve this. Not sure about this, were they free or am I actually paying to fix someone else problem?

Happily the game plays quite well with 6 players. It's always going to be a bit of a bun fight but with more players it does become a little more hectic. Meeples are very quickly dispatched by an assortment of monsters swimming the shores of a shrinking island. It's a fun game and one that you can't really take too seriously. In my last game I lost every single meeple under my control. I was doing well at the start, head down and happily being ignored by all the other players. Then things turned nasty when they all realized I had not lost a meeple. One by one they were eaten, drowned or sucked under by a whirlpool.

To spice things up we had also decided to play with the Giant Squid expansion. This adds a number of large white squid to the game. These can be particularly nasty as they can pluck poor meeples off of beaches and out of boats. Nowhere is safe! As an expansion goes its pretty small and cheap and a great accompaniment to the 5-6 player expansion. It just adds to the fun and chaos.

So Survive continues to be a popular game and its nice to see that the mini expansions that have been so far released have added just enough to the game. It's not changed drastically or made things more complicated. It's just given you the opportunity to kill off more players meeples in different ways.

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