Survivor: The Interactive Game
A group of contestants are stranded in the Australian Outback with only a few supplies, a daily dose of rice and their survival skills to get them through the next 30-odd days. Along the way they will compete in challenges to win "luxury" items or immunity from the tribal councils. Over a span of thirteen episodes, the survivors will vote each other off the show until at the end only one of them is still standing and will take home the million-dollar prize.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
You get to play as one of 32 cast members from either the first or second seasons of Survivor, or create your own survivor. Each survivor is assigned various points for skills such as strength, swimming, running, cunning, communication, etc. These skills factor into how well your character performs in the various reward and immunity challenges as well as how easily he or she is able to form and maintain alliances.
You can choose an easy, medium or hard game and also decide whether to play a short, medium or full (13-episode) season. The game is broken into chunks and in each episode you will have to go through a "survival" stage where you pick a role, such as water carrier, hunter or fire tender, for your character and your standing with the group improves or declines based on how well you fulfill this role. During this period you also have a chance to talk to the other Survivors and attempt to form or strengthen your alliances with them. Between episodes you get to distribute a certain amount of points toward the Survivors with whom you want to be most strongly allied.
After the Survival mode you go into a reward challenge, in which you are competing for some kind of prize that will help you and/or your team have a more pleasant time in the Outback. After that challenge is another survival period and then the Immunity Challenge, in which you compete for immunity for your team in the first part of the season and for yourself in the last part, from the tribal council vote. Then you go to the tribal council, pick who you want to vote off the show and head into the next episode.
While you are in survival mode you don't really get to do much of anything. You can click on other characters and talk to them, but the actual role you are trying to fulfill is not under your control at all. Your character will wander around for three minutes or so doing whatever he or she is doing, and then time will be called and you move to the next phase.
In the challenges you can control your character and sometimes your teammates a bit more. Some of the challenges are pretty interesting and require typical game skills, like being able to aim a bow or throw a rock, but many just have you making simple selections like "go faster" or "go left" and aren't really all that interactive or interesting. In a few of the challenges, by the time I could figure out what I was actually supposed to do, my opponents had already won; in others I won very easily. Overall the challenges are very uneven in level of difficulty and interest.
You can play against your friends via LAN or Internet by having one of you host the game and the others connect to that IP address. In multiplayer you can get a bit more of the politics and such that are a big part of the show, than you could experience playing against computer opponents. The challenges are also often more interesting when you play against real people.
The graphics are functional, but not particularly impressive. There are some nice shots of scenes from the television show at various points, but the in-game graphics are pretty bland. In some of the challenges you are forced to watch your character run or push objects through environments that just look like a big mass of brown; this adds to the boredom factor of some of the challenges.
You get a true-to-television version of the Survivor theme song and voice acting from the show's host, but there isn't much other audio to speak of. In the few areas that use sound effects, the effects are fairly realistic.
Windows 95/98/ME, Pentium II-333 or AMD Athlon 333MHz or better, 64 MB RAM, 12 MB 3D video card, DirectX 8, DirectX-compatible sound card, 56K modem or high-speed internet connection
If you've always wanted to see how the Survivors from season one would stack up against the season two Survivors, you get that chance here.
I'm not a huge fan of the show, but the idea of being able to compete in the immunity challenges and maybe get someone other than Richard from the first season to win did appeal to me somewhat. The overall structure of the game is pretty true to the show, which should please Survivor fans. However, the survival portions of the game are just plain boring and some of the challenges aren't much better.
If you play a full season, it's a pretty long game and I found it difficult to keep my interest level up through the whole thing. Being able to actually do something that affects whether you get that fire started, how much food you find or how many fish you catch, would have done wonders for the interest level of the survival phase in particular and the game as a whole. Survivor fans will probably enjoy this game, but you may want to wait for it to hit the bargain bin before you buy.