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Game Review of:
Survivor
Interactive Strategy Game
from the Hit Television Show

 

Larry Grosskopf is a Clinical Psychologist at the San Antonio State Hospital, with a strong interest in computers. He and Marta, his wife, are the parents of two children, Zoë, age 8 and Jackson, age 6. 

From the January, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

When I first saw this game, my initial reaction was now how can they make this game similar to the ‘Survivor’ CBS television show? Well, what they have done is made a game that you can play as a single player or in a multiplayer format. You can even host a game if you are so inclined. I must say I have only had the game briefly and I cannot comment on multiplayer format. There are options built into the single player mode since you can create your own character or you can choose to be any of the original characters. 

The game is rated E for everyone and is available on a number of formats, not only PC and Mac systems but also Nintendo 64, Playstation and Playstation II, Dreamcast, Gameboy and even Xbox. System requirements include the following: Windows 95, 98 or ME, a Pentium II 333 Mhz or AMD Athlon 333 Mhz or better processor and at least 64 MB of RAM. There should also be a 12 MB 3D Video card, Direct X 8.0 and a Direct X compatible sound card, with a 56 KB modem or high-speed (Cable Modem, DSL or better) Internet connection. I did have difficulty installing this game on my computer running the Microsoft Windows XP operating system. 

One of the features and attractions of the original television show was the natural human characteristic of liking certain individuals and disliking others on the show. In this game, you can play as any of the original 32 Pulau Tiga or Australian Outback tribe members or you can insert your own character into the mix and see if you would fare better and survive. If you choose your own character, there are ten essential elements of survival skill which you may opt to possess. The game will also demand that you develop relationships with other tribe members and your character can form alliances with others. This game lets you compete for immunity and reward challenges and vote off cast members, just like on the TV show. However, with the game, you won’t really be digesting edible bugs or living in the wilderness, unless you choose to pitch a tent in your back yard for more realism. If you choose to do that, I guess you’d better be playing on a laptop with satellite Internet connectivity.

The graphics were nice and the movies appeared to be excerpts that were cut from the actual TV show. In the game itself, like the show, the survival period was made up of camp chores, developing relationships and alliances and so forth. Reward challenges tested each tribes ability to work as a team. Following each challenge, was another survival period. Coercion, lying, and manipulating are often assets in this game as they were on the television show. However, you may lose ground and find yourself voted off. The biggest test of your tribe was each individual against other tribe members and each tribe against the other. These bouts occurred in the immunity challenges and they were probably the most important aspect of the game. Whichever tribe or individual won immunity was safe for another episode. Finally, the tribal council is the ultimate challenge you have to face in the game and the one where the loser exits the game. 

You can begin a new game, load a saved game, and utilize easy medium or hard difficulty settings in your game. The length of the game is determined by your choice of full, half, or short game. Your choice results in game-length of thirteen, seven, or three episodes respectively. What is the most fun, in my view, is to create your own character. If you do this, you will have to choose your characters’ skills such as assertiveness, building, communication, cooking, cunning, empathy, running, strength, swimming and craftiness in the field. In order to add realism to the game, they included an emotional energy interface which gauges your positive relationships with your tribe members. This changes throughout the game based on your physical and mental ratings. Spending positive emotional energy toward another survivor makes the formation of alliance more likely. In order to win the game, you must manage these relationships effectively and use good judgment. 

If you loved the Survivor television show series, this game is right up your alley. If you would prefer to not think when you’re playing the game then look elsewhere. Technical support is available online at the Infogrames Website. You can buy the game locally at CompUSA, Best Buy, and other stores that sell popular software games. The list price of the game on the Internet was $19.99 on both the Best Buy and CompUSA Websites.


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