Review by Golden Road

Reviewed: 11/30/01 | Updated: 12/04/01

If You're a Huge Fan of the Show, You May Like It

Now, don't get me wrong. I love Survivor! I LOVE Survivor! I'm still hoping Elisabeth will fall madly in love with me! This game, though, could have, and should have, been done better than it was.

Survivor, the game show, is played as such: 16 contestants are put together in some wild, uninhabited location, such as an island in Malaysia, or out in the Australian Outback, for 39 or 42 days. The 16 contestants are divided into two teams of eight, each denoted by a certain color (Pagong, yellow; Tagi, orange; Ogakor, green; and Kucha, blue). The contestants on a team work together for the first 18 days. They work together to make their campsite somewhat liveable, creating shelter, keeping a fire, and carefully rationing available food and water (which most the water has to be collected by the contestants, and boiled before drinking). There are reward challenges, usually some sort of physical challenge, which rewards the winning team with water, food, or something else that will make their life in the outback much easier. Also, every third day, there is an immunity challenge. The winning team does not have to vote a member of their tribe off that night. The losing team must go to tribal council, where each team members votes for the person they want voted off. The votes are read by host Jeff Probst, and the person with the most votes is voted off. In the event of a tie, the person with more votes from previous tribal councils is voted off. In the event neither contestant has previous votes, a ''survival quiz'' takes place--the first contestant to get a question wrong while the other gets a question right is voted off.

At day 19, the two tribes merge into one larger tribe, with ten members. The challenges becomes individual challenges, where each contestant tries to win for him-/herself. The reward challenges are usually played for better things at this point in the game, such as an entire feast, a night on a cruise ship, or even a Pontiac Aztec! The immunity challenges, still every third day, become individual, and only one person will win immunity. The immunity challenge winner still goes to tribal council, and they still vote for someone to be voted out, but no one can vote for them.

The eighth through fourteenth contestants voted out become members of the jury, who, at the end of the game, vote in a final tribal council for which of the two remaining contestants they feel deserve to win the $1 million and become the ultimate Survivor.

Survivor, the PC game, is set in the Australian Outback setting. The game consists of 4 parts, essentially. Survival Periods, where you talk to people, hoping to form alliances, Reward Challenges, where you compete in some sort of task to get a reward to help increase your mental and physical meter, which helps you in challenges, Immunity Challenges, which prevents you or your team from being voted out at Tribal Council, and Tribal Council, where someone gets voted off--it could be you, and if it is you, the game ends. Even if you make it to the point where you would be on the jury--sorry. You can't play jury member in this game.

Now, the show may be great, but the game is substandard. When forming alliances, it's almost impossible to get anyone to agree to vote off any specific person, and as such, the voting is often very sporadic, unlike the actual show, where several people will get votes, instead of just two. About the best you can hope for is a 2-person alliance--forget about anything more than that!

The challenges can be quite fun--some at least. One challenge puts you in a night maze that you make your way through, then guide your teammates through. Another good one has you navigating a trusted teammate to light torches blindfolded. Also fun are the challenges where you have to aim and shoot at numbers, for that many points. However, with the good, come the bad. One challenge is an overly simplistic sliding puzzle that requires only two moves to complete, and you just have to get lucky that your person moves the pieces into place before the other team. But that's not the worst--the worst are definitely the challenges that take forever to complete! One challenge has you and two teammates rolling boulders up a hill. It is EXCRUCIATINGLY boring, as it takes over a half hour to complete this challenge, and all you do is manage your fatigue, which is overly easy actually. But even worse, is a challenge where you have to carry a boulder through a short maze. Why the #*(& does your person walk about a foot per minute carrying a small rock?! He goes faster rolling a huge boulder up a hill, for crying out loud! Controlling your fatigue for 45 minutes straight is NO fun AT ALL!

Last is the tribal council. You vote for who you want out of the game. Like I said earlier, though, the votes will be spread out between several people. Also a disappointment: they could have animated Jeff Probst, the host, pull out each name and read it. Instead, they just put the names of all the people who have votes and mark off each time a name is read. So you know whether you have a vote or not before Jeff even reads the votes! Dumb.

Graphics: 7/10--The graphics for things like trees, and ground, and water, are pretty ugly to look at. They could have made the game look beautiful like the actual Australian Outback, but this isn't even close. What raises the graphics, though, are the characters in the game. They are all very well done, and look much like their respective contestants on the show. Also, the video before each new segment is trés cool, which is actual footage from Survivor II! It's mostly footage of Kucha, so it might disappoint the three Ogakor fans out there ;o)

Music/Sound: 7/10--The Survivor theme is there! Also, Jeff Probst's voice sounds great, just as on the show, when he's reading off votes and announcing challenges. The rest of the music isn't bad, but pretty generic. Same goes for the sound effects... nothing sticks out in a positive or negative way.

Overall: 4/10--I'm sorry... I really wanted to like the game more... but I can't, as nice as it is to befriend Elisabeth. The computer AI seems to have trouble understanding the concept of Survivor alliances, and the challenges are often VERY long and even more boring. So before you buy the game, ask yourself this very important question: Are you a complete Survivor freak, as opposed to a casual fan? If you can answer yes to that question, you may enjoy this game. Otherwise, you'd be better elsewhere.

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

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