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The undersea city of Atlanteon is under attack! Take command of an army of aquatic warriors, powerful wizards, and fantastic water beasts as you battle to control the capital of the deep. Send your forces to capture the Emperor's palace, Neptune's palace, and the Sea Hag's tower -- but beware! If your king is captured, you'll lose the game.
- 1 game board
- 22 tiles
- 22 control markers
- 3 towers
- 3 tower tiles
Average Rating: 3.8 in 5 reviews
When you open the box you find a two piece 'jig saw game board, a multi language rule book, a sheet of 'punch out' tiles and a bag of wooden markers, 11 blue, 11 white and three castles, 2 white and one black.
The set-up is very straightforward; players alternate setting-up the castles first then play begins. The aim is to exert influence over other 'tiles' by surrounding them (yours and your opponents) orthogonally. The player with the highest numbered 'tiles' wins and places one of his markers on it. Sounds all too simple...but as with most games by Doctor K that's how the fun starts. There are Castles and Kings to be captured and always more options than actions and of course when it comes down to the final scoring you get points from the markers that you opponent was unable to play.
The game-play is more challenging than it first appears and after several games I still want to play again. Give it a try.
Atlanteon was a pleasant surprise after playing FFG's other two lame summer releases, Quicksand and Magdar. Though Atlanteon is made up of FFG's usual flimsy cardboard counters and board, the art is decent and the game itself is fun enough to make up for a mediocre presentation.
First and foremost, Atlanteon is an abstract game, probably more so than any of Knizia's other board games. Adapting it to combat in Atlantis is such a far stretch that I can only imagine FFG must have been looking for a different setting than their usual castles and dragons backdrop. That aside, the game is a brain cramper for lover's of Chess, Go, Othello, etc.. It takes about 3-4 games before you appreciate the depth of the game, but you realize after one play that careless placement of even one tile can cost you the game. I thought I had one game plotted out perfectly. Then I placed my last tile, the King, and realized my opponent was able to capture it because of my oversight regarding the other two optional ways to win. There are three ways to win but players generally focus on winning with control markers. However, the fact that players can sneak in a quick win by capturing three castles or a king keeps you on your toes so you don't dare get careless. As there is no luck involved Atlanteon does require two players of equal experience to have a real challenging game. (By the way, the variant is highly recommended after you have played a few games. It's actually an advanced version. We also use their suggestion that players play both sides before tallying the score as there are different advantages to castle placement and being the first player.)
Yes this game would probably 'feel' much nicer if it was made of wood, felt, and porcelain like other classy abstract games, but it is still one of Knizia's best two-player games to date, second only to his highly esteemed LOTR: the Confrontation. If the components were of higher quality Atlanteon would easily be a 5-star.
The list of Reiner Knizia games for exactly 2 players may not be long, but it must, since it includes Lost Cities, be considered distinguished! In Revolution, an easily learned game of taking turns placing a very few tiles, we have a worthy and highly playable addition to the list.
This game, in which a 5x5 board represents the city of Paris, has an intriguing bit of tangency with Liberte, Martin Wallace's excellent though far more complex game which is also allegedly themed around the France of 1789. In Revolution as in Liberte, besides the main ending condition, there are two other possible ways the game can end, and you have to keep a sharp eye on those to make sure you don't give away an easy win while wending your way toward the ordinary 'victory point' conclusion of the game.
In Revolution each player has tiles numbered from 0 to 9 to play plus a flag in his own color. When you play a number in a square, the number counts for you in that square as well as in the four squares abutting it horizontally or vertically. (Fewer, of course, if it's on an edge of the board.) When it's impossible for your opponent to play a number high enough to take a particular square away from you, you put one of your 12 claiming markers onto it. Victory is achieved by the first player to claim 12 squares.
Meanwhile, don't forget about those pesky 'other' victory conditions! First, if your opponent claims the square your flag is on, you lose immediately. The other way the game can end involves the three 'buildings' that occupy squares on the board. You take turns placing these buildings at the beginning of the game, so they're not on the same spots in every game. If one player controls all three buildings, he wins the game. Interestingly, ONE of the three buildings (Notre Dame) is controlled, unlike every other square on the board, by the player with the LOWER total of his number tiles in the surrounding squares.
The game works slick as a whistle. The one spot where you have to lowball creates just enough counterflow in the placement game, and the different ending conditions require just enough tactical vigilance, to imbue the 20-minute march to claiming 12 spots with a gratifying number of interesting choices and opportunities for clever play. In a two-player game with no hidden information and no dice to roll or cards to draw, this is quite a nifty accomplishment.
I bought Atlanteon (2003) for the same reason I buy all small-boxed Fantasy Flight Games, because the majority of them are excellent games. The fact that it was a two- player game was of interest, as well as the designer Reiner Knizia. The game is a reprint of Revolution, but since Ive never had the pleasure of playing that game, this was my first experience.
And how was that experience? I found that the game was devoid of theme, and basically a two-player abstract game. Much as Im not a huge fan of two player abstracts; however, I did enjoy the game and found it a pleasant, short diversion. I shall explain why, starting with a summary of game play.
Two puzzle pieces are attached in the middle of the table to form the board, a 5 x 5 grid of squares, with a faint picture of Atlantis in the background. Each player is given eleven square tiles in their color white and blue. Each tile has a picture of a sea warrior on it, along with a number (0-9, and one marked with a castle symbol standing for the king). Each player also receives 11 control markers (rounded wooden tokens) in their color. The blue player then places one of the three tower tiles on the board in any space, and puts a little wooden tower on top of that tower. The white player places another, and the blue player places one more for a total of two white towers and one black tower. Towers may be adjacent diagonally but not orthogonally. The white player now takes the first turn, with each player alternating moves until the game is over.
On their turn, a player must place one of their tiles anywhere on the board. After placing, they must then check to see if any tile is surrounded. A surrounded tile is one that has no empty tiles orthogonally adjacent. When a players tile is surrounded, each player calculates the sum of all their tiles orthogonally adjacent, including the tile being surrounded. Whichever player has the higher total (ties go to the player whose tile is being surrounded) places one of their control markers on that tile. In future surroundings, that tile still counts as its original color, however. When a white tower is surrounded, the player who has the higher total of orthogonally adjacent tiles is the winner (ties go to the player who did not place the last tile to surround the tower), and removes the castle, placing it in front of them. A black tower is similar, but goes to the player with the lower total. Also, when the black tower is captured, the winning player can place a control marker on it (unlike the white towers).
The game is over when one of three things happens:
- a player has captured the opponents king
- a player has captured all three towers
- a player has 11 control markers and their king on the board
After the game, the winner receives one point for each of the control markers their opponent did not get onto the board. Several games can be played in a row this way, with the player who receives the higher score becoming the winner!
Some comments on the game:
1.) Components: The tiles are of a good thickness, and have nice (though unnecessary) artwork on them, depicting mermen-type warriors on them. The numbers are quite easy to read. Its a bit strange that the white team has light blue tiles, however. This isnt a big deal, but when the rules refer to the white tiles, its a little disorientating. The castle tiles have excellent artwork, and are easily distinguished from the other tiles. All the wooden pieces are excellent, and fun to handle, as wooden pieces always are. The board is only a 25 square grid but is enhanced by Fantasy Flights usual fantastic artwork (with yet another beautiful picture on the other side of the board). Everything fits inside the beautifully illustrated box with plastic insert.
2.) Rules: The rules are printed in seven languages, each with two pages. Since the rules are fairly short; however, much of one page was used for a very detailed diagram and example of scoring in a sample game. This was very useful in clarifying the rules. The game was easy to learn and teach, although the exact nuances of the game would take a bit to learn. A variant was included in the rules, allowing players to control tiles before they are surrounded, as long as the opponent has no available tiles left to surround that tile with.
3.) Solvable: Ive recently been reading threads on the web about games that are solvable meaning that if one player plays their pieces in an exact way, they cannot lose. Atlanteon certainly feels like it is solvable. This is by no means a problem to me, as I will never put in the effort to do so, and very likely neither will any of my opponents.
4.) Theme: Lets face it, folks, the theme is definitely tacked onto this game. At no time did I feel like I was leading an army of Atlanteons to control the Sunken Kingdoms. Its a nice theme, and certainly an uncommon one, but it has no effect on game play at all.
5.) Time: I must mention that the game plays fairly quickly. A set of three games in a row could easily be played in less than an hour, and both players would have plenty of time to deliberate over their moves. When you are only placing 11 pieces on the board, and never moving them, a game cant last too long.
6.) Fun Factor: The game is fun, in an abstract sort of way. The theme doesnt really contribute to the fun, however. This isnt usually a big detraction for me, as Lost Cities and Balloon Cup are favorites of mine, and they are devoid of thematic play also. Atlanteon does not aspire to their fun, however, because of the lack of luck and deeper thoughts required to play. My wife is not a big fan of the game, but I enjoyed it quite a bit and will gladly play it anytime with more strategic players.
So I will recommend Atlanteon, as long as youre not looking to fight the great war undersea. The theme really isnt there, but the strategic game play is. Its not as good as a spouse game as some of the Kosmos two-player line, but is an excellent way to pass the time and fits well as a two-player filler. If you have a chance to play the game, try it out, and see what you think
This game isn't a new game by Knizia, but a reprint of his game 'Revolution'. Revolution struck me as an ok game of his, but not THAT special (typical Knizia). Anyhow, it is important people know this when they get it. I had assumed when I got Atlanteon, it would be wargamish, but it is not.
Randomly place two White Towers and one Black Tower on the 5x5 board. Your 11 tiles feature your King (value 0) and warriors (values 0 to 9). Place any tile on a vacant space each turn. Score any surrounded tile by adding the values of each player's surrounding tiles. The person with the higher total places a marker in his color on the surrounded tile. A surrounded White Tower is removed by the player with the higher value, but when the Black Tower is surrounded, it's removed by the player with the lower value.
Win by placing 11 markers with your King in play, by surrounding the enemy King with tiles of greater value than the opponent has on those spaces, or by capturing all the Towers. Knizia's wide range of victory conditions adds wonderfully to our vexation!