A Review of Atlantis: New Origins
NOTE: This is a re-post of my review that was originally on the PlayByMail.net Forums back in August 2020.
Atlantis: New Origins
A free, fantasy-based 4x game
This is not going to be a full-length game review, but I wanted to post this as I just stopped playing this game today. My first position in this game was eliminated by a player in the early game, and I came back with another position, which was mostly eliminated today. I will not be starting a third position.
Now, before you give up on this game before even giving it a fair shot, know that my reason is likely not going to be your reason: I stopped playing this game because, well, I am playing in more than a dozen positions across six different game systems. I just don’t have time for it anymore. It didn’t survive, the way that DungeonWorld didn’t survive for me. I gave it a go, but other games are more rewarding to me personally and I only have so much time to devote to gaming. For some people, Atlantis: New Origins (or DungeonWorld, for that matter), will be an ideal turn-based game.
If you are looking for a game that is…
* Flexible enough to allow you to focus on character development, civilization building, or military expansion – whatever you like most
* Constantly being updated by the GM, who himself is a software developer
* Has an active online community that is easy to get help from on Discord (online chat system)
* One that allows you to progressively learn the rules as your position grows and expands
* Almost more like learning a incredibly-simplified computer programming language or foreign language for orders syntax
* Run multiple times per week (initially turns on M/W/F, then moving to T/F as the game progresses and takes more time to prepare orders)
* Reset every 80-120 turns when a player or group of players achieves victory
…then Atlantis: New Origins may be for you. It was for me, for five months, but I’m done with it now, because I just can’t make room for it in my life. It needs a time investment, and that time investment is not all up-front like it is with some games. This game has a small upfront learning curve, and then a continuous learning curve as your position expands and you need to learn more rules as you grow. You can’t join it casually and play it casually. Think of this game like learning a new skill.
Free is also a big motivator for a lot of people. This may explain why there is such a large international player base for this game. At one point in the game, there was over 100 active players. As we approach the end of this game before it resets and a new one begins, there are just over 60 players in the game. You can be eliminated, but if you are, you can jump right back in and start a new position in the same world. You may be too far behind at that point to win the game solo, but that won’t stop you perhaps joining a winning coalition or making a mark in the world.
Think of Atlantis: New Origins not as a player, but as a student. If that’s your appetite, then it will reward you in the end.