Every kid loves getting out of the classroom and going on school trip right? But what happens when that trip takes a turn for the worse. In 1 Survives a High School boar trip goes does just that, the engine dies and boat drifts aimlessly before crashing on to a rocky shoreline of a seemingly deserted island. The boat is damaged and you must find a means to repair it or look for alternative ways off the island.
However, this seemingly deserted island has one lone inhabitant who is not the nicest of characters. They have segregated themselves from society and forced a life of isolation to remove the temptation of taking further innocent lives. Now the island has some new visitors their blood is pumping with the prospect of new victims.
1 Survives is a fast paced card game for two to six players that plays in around 30 minutes or less. You play as a stereotypical High School character, the cheerleader, the nerd or the jock. On your turn you draw card and play a card. Cards come in various forms such as weapons, locations, items or special action cards.
Location cards let you move to another location or send the killer to a location. Sometimes the best way to survive is to sacrifice your fellow players. If the killer comes for you must either flee by playing a location card or fight back by playing a weapon card. Items can be gathered to craft repairs for the boat, or a radio to call for help and allow you to escape. Special action cards allow you to draw additional cards in to your hand or send the killer or a rampage.
There are three ways to win the game.
1) Escape the island by collecting items to allow you to escape
2) Kill the killer by crafting a Molotov cocktail
3) Be the last one standing and have the realisation that you are the killer, but hey, at least you have won the game.
You can also be eliminated from the game if the killer comes for you and you cant escape or defend yourself and face a horrifying death.
1 Survives is a horrifically great card game. It has a quick playing time and is perfect for larger groups during a lunch hour or beginning/end of a game night. Sending the killer to a location where two of your “friends” are is a mean move but you have to do what you need to do when in survival mode. To then see one of them play the sacrifice card and metaphorically throw their class mate under the bus is good fun and all within the spirit of the game. Maybe not so great for the one being sacrificed but because it is a quick game you can go again and get your revenge.
The hand management is big part of the game. You typically only draw one card each round and if you have to dispose of locations or weapons on another player’s turn to escape the killer you can quickly run out of cards and options. The feeling of “just surviving” is present throughout and fits the theme very well.
I like how there are different paths to victory, you can try to escape by repairing the boat or crafting a radio or you can go in to fight mode and take on the killer, if only you can find a rag and some fuel for your Molotov. Not an easy task on a so-called deserted island. You can also embrace the blood lust and take on the role of the killer and be the last one standing.
I have had some good fun with 1 Survives and it always generates laughs, groans and “how could you?” and “I cant believe you just did that” moments when playing. 1 Survives is due to hit Kickstarter this month and if you are after a quick playing game for up to six people that is a bit different to your usually big group games I recommend you checking out 1 Survives.