Looting Atlantis designed by Nick Sauer
Published by Shoot Again Games on Kickstarter
Imagine you are a citizen of Atlantis and the continent is sinking due to a violent eruption. Knowing that the your home is lost other citizens begin to flee. You and the other players around you however, realize that the other civilizations are primitive in comparison so you begin Looting Atlantis to secure your family’s future.
Looting Atlantis is a race to gather as much Atlantean equipment as possible. The only problems are that the lava is destroying everything, and other citizens are trying to thwart you. Looting Atlantis combines a race against the clock, with card counting, critical thinking and a drafting mechanic.
Before getting too far along we should talk about the components and how they have changed since I received my prototype. The game I received included a game board, 4 pawns, 48 lava markers, and 80 equipment cards.
The box art has changed and it looks like this.
The new art is so much more fun than the original art.
The game board remains unchanged, but the pawns have become standees. Here is what the cars will look like.
Why is this a good thing? The cars make the game much more fun.
The last change that has been made to the game is the cards. Originally they were dark, and hard to read but the new images, found below, are much crisper – they pop – and are easier to read.
Set up is about as simple as it can get. Layout the board, randomize the equipment cards and deal 4 of them out to each city space. THATS IT! I can teach a monkey to that!
Select one player to be first. The first player places a lava marker on one of the starting circles. Then the player may take two actions, an action may be moving, or claiming an equipment card. The same action may be performed twice in the same turn.
Moving is simple, you have a flying car so you can fly to any other location on the board that isn’t occupied by a lava marker.
To claim an equipment card you take the top card from the city you car occupies.
Once per turn you may also use an equipment card, this is in addition to your regular actions.
Once the lava reaches the city spaces you have reached the stage of the game I call “meltdown” and some special rules go into effect.
Players may now take three actions.
When a lava marker is placed on a city space with card the cards are removed from the board. Any space with a lava marker on it is destroyed and can’t be looted. plus if a lava marker is placed on a city space with a car the car is removed from the board and returned at the start of that players turn – this uses two actions.
Any player can skip all of their actions and flee Atlantis and claim one of the primitive kingdoms as their new home (theirs alone). This will give them bonus points when you score at the end of the game. Since a player skips all their actions they have to be on the board at the start of their turn. The game ends when all city spaces are covered with lava or there are no equipment cards left to claim.
The most dynamic part of the game is the cards, that are color coded. You count them and you effectively draft them to create the best out come you can. Each equipment card has a special ability. Some allow you to steal cards from other players, take extra actions, change lava marker placement.
The cards are worth points. Some are simple just worth a numerical value. While others have a value based off the quantity that you have in your possession. In one case, The Mass Energy Converter, the cards have two different symbols, donuts and circles. The donuts are a multiplier for each one you have. The Unified Field Generator also scores higher if you have a set blue red green and yellow. You have to have one of each to get the bonus.
You can watch my videos or read my thoughts at the end.
Overview with final thoughts.
Final thoughts video
Let’s start with wow! Looting Atlantis has a lot going on. Between counting cards to manipulate your score and then drafting the the cards to do the same you can easily create a cut throat environment, a co-operative one. I have had a lot of fun playing Looting Atlantis. For me it has the right amount of elements to create chaotic blend of tension that exercises critical thinking (drafting) and awareness (counting). Their combination creates a super fast pace, that isn’t only fun to play but fun to watch as well. It’s a great casual and family game, I’m in.