Theme and What is it?
The world as we know it is gone. Pottable water is at a premium. The rest of the worlds water is irradiated. Bottlecaps are currency. (Oops, that is the other irradiated wasteland IP).
The only safe to live is under the ocean. That colony is controlled by megalomaniacs hell-bent on choosing what clans shall live, and what clans shall die.
Enter, a race to show that your clan is the most adept at survival, and therefore the best asset to the underwater Eden.
Outlive is a worker placement on a clock type board (meaning circle), and movement is limited to two spaces in any direction, and a meeple must move.
On any given turn, you will move, collect resources, and possibly put pressure on your neighbor clans (steal something valuable).
Your meeple has the choice of 6 spaces on the board, of which are taken by 3 more of your adventurers. A space cannot be occupied by two meeples of the same clan. Therefore, your choice is limited to which meeple you will move, and to the two remaining spaces without a meeple.
You can collect resources up to the level of power your meeple has, 3 (x2), 4 or 5.
Now, you will build your engine of both construction, and of tools. Each giving you abilities in future turns. Like most games, you CANNOT focus on all engines, and must pick yours effectively.
Whoever has been most effective at meeple placement, using pressure to steal, and engine building, will get the most survival points, and thus, be picked to join the underwater paradise.
I like post-apocalyptic as a theme. It brings out the prepper (google it) in me. How much water can we save, and how much food can we have for when the end of the world comes…?
We all know it is coming, but when?
Therefore my inner geek was quite pleased at the idea of the preppers with the best use of their time and resources would be chosen to live.
Game Build Quality
The build of the game is where this title stumbles a bit.
The insert is rather useless. The plastic bags require using them for multiple resources. The bags are not big enough for the cards. The bags could never hold the rooms, or the tools, so they are therefore just dropped in the box. The player mats are either light plastic, or UV coated thick paper, but just don’t feel substantial.
I understand why the choices were made as they were, for production purposes, but, I did not enjoy that part of the game.
I love the art, plain and simple.
The world at the end of it, is messy, and rusty, and not at all warm and chipper.
Miguel Coimbra hit the nail on the head with the box art, and the overall direction. This is a world, that feels just as it should. For me, the art and theme were a winning combination.
Outlive has a bit of “take that” to it. Anyone that wants some direct interaction in their board game, that also enjoy worker placement, should enjoy this title.
Our own, Valeria Carcaiso is playtesting it this weekend in Milan at Cartoomics, seeming to enjoy it as much as I did.
Age Range & Weight
The recommended age is 14+.
I would say due to the theme, and required strategic logic, this is a pretty accurate assessment.
I am putting Outlive on my shelf. I have yet to determine what shelf, probably somewhere near the middle. It is not addictive enough to warrant top shelf space, but it has edged out a few games that just are not being played.
I like the theme, the art, the idea that your engine is pre-built at the beginning of the game, and that your movement is so very limited. The ideas are not brand new, but they are well executed, and made into a fun format that will get some additional playtime.