First Impressions of Atlantis Rising 2nd Edition

 I had heard so many good things about Atlantis Rising when I got into the hobby back in 2020. The game seemed absolutely packed with elements that I liked. First of all, it was a cooperative game. Working together to fight against the game itself instead of battling it out with those I love was an intriguing concept. Atlantis Rising was also a worker placement game, which was a game mechanism I had really yet to try, but knew how popular it was among the gaming community. It had push-your-luck die rolling, which brought familiarity. Blended together it was a game I was seriously interested in. 

It also had one more thing- a Kickstarter campaign that coincided with my discovery of the platform. The people at Elf Creek Games were releasing an expansion for Atlantis Rising and were making the base game with all its deluxe bells and whistles available. I was excited. It did make my most anticipated games of 2022 list after all. Unfortunately, due to *something*, it ended up delivering nearly two years late. But I'm not here to complain or point fingers. No, my purpose is to simply talk about the game after I finally got it played.

After almost three years of waiting (Atlantis Rising funded in November of 2020), what did I think about it? Well, I liked it.

This is not a review. My focus here is simply to share the thoughts I had while playing.

#1- It's a beautiful game. It might be the best looking game I own. The art is highly detailed, the colors are striking, and the components are extremely nice. 

#2- The puzzle-like board is fun to put together. I know the original edition had a similar if not identical set up over a decade ago, but it's a first for me. 

#3- Because of that pieced-together board, it gave flipping tiles as that area of the island became submerged under water a thematic sense.

#4- It seemed very punishing, even at its most beginner level. I missed a few things here and there with the rules which might have helped me. But my guess is that any benefits I forfeited by ignorance were more than balanced out by the detrimental things I missed. For instance, I know that I completely forgot to flood tiles during the Wrath of the Gods phase at least once- maybe twice.

When the game was over, the island completely submerged by the waters, I still had about a third of the objectives to complete. Perhaps if I had a smarter person playing with me it would have been better.

#5- The play of the game is easy. Place your workers on spots with clear iconography. Flip over Misfortune cards and do what they say. Take actions of your workers that weren't sent back by the waves flooding a tile. Flip over additional island tiles and tick up the Wrath of the Gods.

#6- Some of the Atlantean's powers seemed underwhelming in a solo game. This might be remedied in a multi-player game.

#7- The character boards gave clear reminders of the pacing of the game and what actions players could take by spending mystic energy.

#8- What was less clear was what each branch of the island was. The libraries, forges, and cities were easily identifiable. The "wild peninsulas" were not. I continuously had to return to the rule book to remember which arms of the isle were forests, mountains, and hills.

#9- While the rulebook was helpful as a whole, I still don't know how long a mystic barrier remains. Is it until the first time the peninsula it is protecting is set to sink, or is it until the end of the round? While it wasn't clear, I played it the way that seemed most thematic- the barrier stayed until it was used.

#10- Overall, I thought it was fun. I'd like to try this with four players soon.


  1. Missed your posts! :) Atlantis Rising is a fantastic board game that scales up pretty well. The solo version is ok, but I think it really shines at larger player counts, particularly 3 - 4. Keep it up Bro!


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