Dr. Jason L. Garner
I am usually a fan of games of a short duration that come in a small compact box. I am also a sucker for components and good artwork. Atlanteon is a simple game which can usually be played in 15-20 minutes and is designed for two players. It is not too complex in its design, but gameplay can provide some opportunities for tactics and risk.
The game consists of a field, some tiles with numbers on them, wooden markers, and three wooden castle pieces. During the game, players take turns placing tiles in an effort to surround other tiles. The player with the highest sum, including the piece surrounded, gets to place a marker on the surrounded piece. Similar play is applied to the castle pieces, with the exception of one castle in which the lowest sum wins. There are three ways to win: gain all three castles, place all of your markers, or capture the opponents king.
These three ways to win is the strength of this little game. Play is similar to checkers in that your moves are permanent. Though you are placing tiles, once you place a tile you can’t get it back. So you have to attempt to predict what tiles your opponent will place in response to your moves. Additionally, you have to weigh the risk of using your high number tiles early vs. later when you might need them.
This game makes no attempt to be Caylus or Tigris and Euphrates. It is unabashedly simple, with a theme that works okay. I have no problem with the theme, but the game design could have any theme pasted on in its stead (something that Knizia is sometimes criticized for). This game is suitable for anyone ages 8 and above, in my opinion. It is a light game, with some strategic elements. The game components are good, but not excellent. The cardboard won’t last as long as your Carcassonne tiles, but you probably won’t play this as much. I knew what I was getting when I purchased this game.
As far as being a light simple “gateway” game for nongamers, I give this a solid 8/10. I have a little bias for games light on random elements, and this is one of the traits of AtlanteoN.
That's Karl on the left. Eternity on the right.
I love Melissa, but don't tell her. It's a secret if she can find this. Shhhhh....
Play is similar to checkers in that your moves are permanent.
How are moves in checkers permanent? You mean like once played you can't take it back three turns later?
Checkers = pieces keep moving.
Atlanteon = pieces never move once played.
I think you have the wrong game or else I need drugs badly.
Atlaneon is pure abstract, and quite simplistic at that. Glad you enjoy it.