There are four Games in Wave 3: 3862 Harry Potter Hogwarts, 3849 Orient Bazaar, 3850 Meteor Strike, and this. I can't find Meteor Strike anywhere so it's probably an Exclusive. That being the case, I figured I'd fill out the available Wave 3 reviews while they're still new.
Navigate your submarine through the murky depths to find sunken treasure in the new LEGO Atlantis Treasure. Fire at obstacles and block other explorers in a deep sea quest where only one sly sailor will triumph! A family adventure game for 2 - 4 players.
Set Name: Atlantis Treasure
Set Number: 3851
Theme: Lego Games
Year Released: 2010
Number of Pieces: 278
Price: €24.99 on release
The box features are very nice little illustration, done in deep shades that make it very eye-catching on the shelf. You too could be that cruel diver, laughing and flipping your die at the impotently raging Atlantean king as you plunder his kingdom and legacy! Despite the name, it's fairly obvious that this game has nothing to do with the current Atlantis line of sets, though I have thought about modding it to fit that theme. Replace the crystals with rings, redo the submarine colour schemes, maybe use Atlanteans instead of seaweed... It would likely look awesome.
The back gives a good close look at the board and the various game elements. Notice how the microfig in the centre of the board is suddenly facing a different direction. I've noticed tiny differences between the game boards on the fronts and backs on a fair few boxes, I wonder what's up with that.
The box side, in a revolutionary new photo format. Now with 90% less table!
The box contains five bags and the die. Most bags are mixed, but all of the dark blue elements are in a bag by themselves. It was a bit strange that a game this size and shape didn't have a baseplate, but it makes sense, once I get into it, why the board is brick-built.
The instructions on the left, and the rules on the right. That tentacle is something those two guys should probably be paying attention to.
The instructions are well laid out and very clear. They also don't beat around the bush and will lay as many elements per step as needed to keep things moving.
The rules are also clear and concise. Just remember, you may not move diagonally. I can't stress this enough. I think they send someone around to your house to beat you up if you do. I'm too terrified to try.
Both booklets have a couple of ads at the back. I hadn't seen the two on the top before. Those two kids finally have something to look at. It works better if you turn it to face you, idiots! The other ad features the Harry Potter board game, with one kid pleading with his family to move the board closer so he can actually reach it. The mother has to physically restrain him. Danes, eh? Strange people.
Here's one half of the Parts Square. It's a big square. This half contains all the regular tiles, and there's a good few in some useful colours. These guys are obviously going to form the bulk of the board.
These are the more specific bits. Man, I haven't owned any of those blue rods since Ice Planet! And there's plenty of those 2x2 jumper plates in the set.
And some of the cooler bits. Eight crystal formations is neat. Some people are attracted by shiney things; in my case, I'd step over my own mother for some trans neon yellow, so keep it coming! The printed compass tiles may have potential as masonry details on some buildings, and other architectural things like that. The torpedo one could serve as a naval logo of some sort. The set has two of those spiffy hollow round studs, eight non-trans seaweed elements, an Atlantis trident, and the single microfig.
Here he is with the four submarines. His printing is entirely red, and he freaks me right out. It ain't right! He represents a statue and doesn't actually do anything in the game. The four minisubs are quite cute. Awfully good of LEGO to make each one unique.
A couple of steps in and the basic board is constructed. That thing over to the right is the red corner; the corners are built early on but not attached until the very end.
Here, the central structure has been built and the various markers placed around the board. I don't know what the trans-blue tiles are for. They don't affect the game. Maybe it's just to make placing the other tiles easier.
And now it's finished. It looks quite cool, all dark and creepy. It'd make quite an acceptable display piece.
The spares. Ten! JACKPOT!
Alright! Let's get started! If there was two of me, I'd have to get three crystals to win, but any more players than that, then I'd have to get... three crystals. Hmm. Okay, so either the rulebook writers are being paid by the word, or there's a mistake there somewhere. Note also that "compass" is misspelt up in the diagram.
Fortunately, Ich spreche ein wenig deutsch! With two players, you need four crystals to win. Makes sense. Fewer players, fewer torpedoes. Okay, so playing with all four subs, let's get going! Most rulebooks say to begin with the youngest player, but this one says to start with the eldest. Take that, brats! We'll start with Yellow, in the bottom-left, and go counter-clockwise.
Yellow begins by rolling an East, knocking Red off the board in the process. Hmm, something similar happened in my playthrough of Orient Bazaar. Maybe the die is naturally attracted to the colour red? Either way, there's clearly not going to be any love lost between Red and Yellow in this game. Rolling an East allows Yellow to put an East compass in any free space on the board. A submarine that hits one automatically changes direction to follow the compass.
Yellow cannily places it right next to the crystal nearest Red. Yellow then moves - your sub can move once per turn, either before or after you do what the die rolls. Subs move py picking a direction and moving as far as possible in it, stopping only if they meet an obstacle or crystal. It's a bit odd, designing a sub with no brakes or steering, but budgets are obviously tight. Yellow decides to head along the bottom of the board, where he hits the East tile and nabs the crystal, burning Red even more. This is gonna be a dirty game. Because it's been hit, the East tile will now be removed from the board.
A wee note, it feels weird having "south" where "east" should be and "east" pointing up. That's how the instructions told me to do it, but I've since changed it. You guys'll have to think crooked for the time being, though.
Red went next and rolled a West, placing that tile you see there. He decided not to move, preferring to wait and maybe set himself up a bit better. White rolled the green tile, allowing him to move one of the seaweeds (technically "coral reefs").
He moves one up to the top edge of the board and rams himself into it, setting himself up nicely to collect that crystal Red had been looking at. Looks like two subs are out to get Red. Then it's Orange's turn, and he rolled a Torpedo! Torpedos can be used to destroy seaweed and compasses, and to attack the other subs. Right now, there's nothing much he can do with it, so he zips down to the bottom of the board...
Direct hit! Torpedoing an enemy submarine lets you steal one of their collected crystals. Of course, Red doesn't have any yet. Orange only did this because he didn't want to feel left out of all the Red-bullying fun.
Orange's spent torpedo returns, pigeon-like, to his base. He can collect it next time he's around that way. That means each submarine can only fire two torpedoes while they're out on the hunt.
Skipping on several turns, and it's finally time for some payback! On his previous turn, yellow had nipped into that space to nab his second crystal. On Red's turn, he rolled a Green, and sealed Yellow away behind a wall of seaweed! Yellow won't be going anywhere unless he rolls a Green or a Torpedo.
Many turns later, and it's Orange who has emerged as the greatest threat. He's relatively safe behind a wall of seaweed, so the other subs have resorted to filling his little lair with compasses to keep him away from that last crystal. However, on his turn he rolls a pigeon-class Torpedo and blasts that East out of the way. He scoops his third crystal and wins! Unfortunately for Yellow, he never did break out of that snare Red set him.
And now, the photo you've all been dying to see... will it fit back into the box??? The diagram suggests so! Everything point to yes! LET'S DO THIS!!!
CRAP!!! TLG, help!
This turned out to be a lot more fun than I'd been expecting. I got Orient Bazaar because it had some excellent pieces but Atlantis Treasure is just a fantastic game in itself. In fact, at the risk of exposing how pathetically sad I am, I've played quite a few games of this by myself now and had fun every time. Despite the complexity, it can be quite quick to play, because most turns you'll roll a compass piece that'll let you reach a crystal piece somewhere (as I saw on the very first turn here). That's actually fine, it means the game has an enormous one-more-go factor.
Design: 8/10 I do still kinda wonder why this needed a brickbuilt base when a baseplate would have worked fine; I can picture a number of factors, but I imagine the main one was to keep the piece count at an acceptably high level for the price. It's a very solid board (though the corner bases are held on by a single stud each and can fall off easily - but they must be removed in order to fit the box anyway) and looks very pretty. Gameplaywise, the design is very good, with a chesslike feel in the piece movement and forward thinking.
Parts: 9/10 Certainly no complaints. They leans towards the eternally useful rather than the exotic and the colour scheme is very nice. I really like the compass tiles and I'm itching to find some good alternate applications for them. And eight crystals of trans neon yellow goodness is always gonna score points with me. The single microfig creeps me out but he probably has his uses too.
Build: 8/10 Speedy, efficient, and more fun than you'd imagine from looking at the finished board. It never got repetitive because the instructions usually got you to do the similar tasks in a single step. The minisubs are quite cool, too, though removing and reattaching torpedos can be a pain.
Playability: 10/10 I'm going to play it again as soon as I finish typing this. I imagine it's even more fun with more than one person....
Price: 9/10 About right for the contents.
Total: 90% A really, really solid entry in the Games line and one that impressed me way more than I'd been expecting.
Thanks for reading!
Hello? Guys? Can Somebody Let Me Out?
Edited by Dunjohn, 05 August 2010 - 06:08 PM.