Looting Atlantis is a game I first saw at the CT FIG Mid-Year Event. After the event, Shoot Again Games was kind enough to send over a copy for me to take a better look at the game. I’ve had several chances to sit down with the kids and play, and the game has held up pretty well from what I remembered at CT FIG.
Before playing all the cards need to be shuffled and placed in stacks of four at each space on the board. Call four cards in each stack must be visible. Players then take turns placing their air cars on any unoccupied space on the board.
Each turn players need to do two things:
- Place a lava token on the board
- Take two actions
Lava tokens must start at the volcano at one of the spaces marked with an arrow. From there they can be placed down their respective tracks towards the board.
After placing lava players take two actions from the following. Either action can be used multiple times.
- Claim an equipment card
Movement is easy. A player takes their air car and moves it to any space, occupied or unoccupied, on the board. Claiming a card is just as easy. Take the top card of the stack of the space you’re currently at and place it in front of you.
Now, when I said there two things a player needed to do during their turn I kind of lied. There is an optional thing players can do once per turn that doesn’t count as an action. That’s playing an equipment card. To play a card you drop it on the space you’re residing on, placing it at the bottom of the card stack, and resolve its action. Equipment cards can be played once per player per turn. That means you can play one on your own turn, or one during another player’s turn.
Play continues until the first lava token reaches the city spaces on the board. Once this happens players start taking three actions during their turn. Also, any space touched by lava has all the cards currently stacked there destroyed. If another player’s air car is there it’s placed off the board can be placed back on during that player’s turn for the cost of one action.
The game ends when all the spaces on the board are covered in lava, or all the players have made their getaway. On the edge of the board, there are three primitive kingdoms. At any point in the game, a player may escape to a kingdom, claiming it as their own, taking all their equipment cards with them to score.
Once the game ends each player scores based on their equipment cards. This is the real meat of the game. Different color cards score differently based on how many of each you have, how many accompanying cards you have, and more. It’s important to snag equipment cards that will earn you the most points, and it’s not always easy to do! For more info on scoring, check the game’s rules.
The pieces are where Looting Atlantis falls a bit flat. The artwork, while not bad, isn’t very memorable. The cards feel a bit cheap, and there’s a lot wasted space on the board. Also, having the cards laid in stack around the board is a bit cumbersome. It feels like with a little more though things could have been laid out a bit better.
The only real, solid components are the wooden lava tokens which are just orange discs.
Here comes the lava!
Looting Atlantis is really easy to learn, fairly quick to play, and a lot of fun once you get the hang of scoring. It takes a few games to really get a feel for all the different equipment cards and the best ways to rack up a good score. While my kids enjoyed the game, my 6-year-old and 9-year-old were getting a bit frustrated with the set collection and scoring mechanism. My 11-year-old got the hang of things fairly early and has already found several good paths to victory when we play.
I’d still recommend this one, just for slightly older players. The price is solid, and you’ll certain get a lot of value out of this one.
A copy Looting Atlantis was provided free for review by Shoot Again Games.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.