My first gaming group
My childhood consist of 6 years spent in private elementary school in west Los Angeles area. While attending the school I was always sent to an after school program on my campus. This after school program added some bonus options for designated fun activities. I was just so blessed to have an option of a board gaming club. This board gaming club was ran by an elderly gentleman name Mr. E. We met in the school's library two times a week. It was quite the fun time. It just so happened that my love for board games might have been established thanks to this man. He easily had 60 years on the 3 other students that played games with him. Now being that he was a retired 6th grade teacher he loved teaching us new and old games. The games started with Uno, and Yahtzee. About a month into our weekly meetings he brought a game that would leave a lasting impression on me. This game was called Survive!
This game captured my simplistic heart but also brought out the best and worst in a group of 10 year olds. The game is simple concept, move your colored characters (now meeples) off the sinking island, then take a land tile; normally not your own and perform the action on the back. Those actions could be good for you swimming, moving boats, or monster repellent. The final thing you do on your turn is roll the dice, that lets you mess with your friends. Moving whales that destroy boats and make you swim. Move sharks that kills swimmers. Or move the sea serpent that destroys both boats and people in the boat. I remember the numerous times that I lost but had the most fun because I made sure Mr. E did not win. I remember the times that I lost due to my friends ability to eat my characters. I do not recall that times I legitimately won. That speaks volumes of the game ability to draw you into this sinking island. If you can have as much fun losing a game as you do while winning is a large draw to any game. Parker Brother had a hit and probably did not even know it. The play-ability of this game made it's return in the form of 30 year anniversary edition produced by Stronghold Games. When I heard the news of this remake I had to pre-order it and when it showed up I reluctant to play it. To the point that I gave it as a gift to my brother. I was not sure how it would hold up. I was not sure if my memory had tainted the game play. Much to my torture my brother's birthday came. He opened his gift and forced us to play. We all loved it. It brought back all of those memories being in the library in West L.A. It put a fire in my heart to own the game myself. What did I do? I didn't even wait to get home to order it. I did so right from my phone as we finished the last turn. After 3 years of owning my own personal copy of this remake I am still in awe of the game, the memories and the potential this game possesses to be a great entry level game to my gaming group of young people. The story of survive does not end on my purchase of the 30th anniversary. Every so often I stop in my local thrift store to riffle through the stacks of trivial pursuit and scene it and what did I discover? Survive! the Parker Brothers classic in mint condition. The box had been banged up, but all of the pieces where accounted for. The price $1. I love looking into my gaming closet and seeing both games stacked on top of one another. Some days we play the old, most days the new due to the better meeples it contains. Either way I love telling myself that copy belonged to my Old gaming group started by Mr. E. Mr E. has longed passed on but his passion and love of gaming I know resounds in myself. For the love of Survive! I just want to say thanks Mr. E. When I see you again someday, I'll bring the games this time, as long as you cut the deck.