The Survival Game

Creating the Game

  1. Choose a specific environment for your game board. Include a clear beginning and an obvious ending. In between, along the path on which the players move their pieces, create a number of spaces called danger zones. The danger zones should be characteristic of that environment. For example, a rain forest might have a crocodile-infested river and a mountainous region an icy peak. An underwater environment might be inhabited by sharks. The game should also include safety zones. Any player landing on a safety zone is free to rest until his or her next turn.

  2. Survival is the object of the game, and chances are, players will need some help surviving the danger zones. This help comes in the form of three decks of cards that you'll create. One set will be labeled Outside Help, another Personal Characteristics, and the third Equipment. Here are some examples:

How the Game Is Played

  1. When a player's marker lands on a danger zone, the player draws one card from each deck. The player studies the cards and the situation and then applies his or her ingenuity to devise an escape that uses any or all of the things listed on the cards.

  2. The other players consider the plan and decide if it's plausible. If they accept it, the player survives and can move on. If not, the player will be asked to modify the plan during his or her next turn. At this time that player has the option to return any card to the bottom of the deck and draw a different one.

Sample Game Play

Elisha is playing a game set in a rain forest. She lands on a danger zone that says she must cross a river. The floating "logs" in the river are actually crocodiles. Elisha draws one card from each deck. Here are the cards she drew:

sample game cards

Elisha announces her plan: "I climb a tree, tie the rope to an overhanging branch, and begin a pendulum swing over the river, gradually going wider until I'm over the opposite bank. As the crocodiles watch openmouthed, I release the rope and flip over so that I land on my feet."

One player questions whether her backpack would throw off her balance. Elisha convinces the player that with her experience, she would take that into account. The players agree: Elisha has the equipment and the athletic ability to succeed. Her ingenious plan is accepted. Elisha survives and moves on.

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