Board Game First Impressions: Perseverance: Castaway Chronicles (Episode 1)

When this was originally on crowdfunding, I wasn’t particularly excited by what I saw in episode 1. The theme is cool, but parts of the game are more abstracted than others, and I’ve not been really drawn to Mindlcash before. Their games always seem slightly over-designed and in need of more streamlining. But my friend really wanted to get this to the table, in part because it’s very expensive. He went for the deluxe upgrade with minis (including the wash, but I don’t know if that was a free upgrade or not, I didn’t follow the crowdfunding campaign). But after not looking at the game since the campaign, I was a bit more interested after watching a more recent video on episode 1.

First Play

My original plan during our game was to go heavy into patrols because they seemed fun, but try not to neglect the assembly scoring. I ended up going heavy into the assembly/politics and nearly neglected patrols entirely! My first action each round was to swap a neutral die for one of mine (those add up for the majority presence). But the big payout for votes comes from the population (the buildings). So I sprinkled a bunch of my buildings around which also helped for presence.

Our friend spent most of his time building walls, and traps, and sending soldiers out to guard the settlement. He even managed to score a big haul of dinosaurs one round and spent 6 valor to score them twice for the rewards (and got 14 points). My brother, however, tried too many things and backed off whenever someone started competing with him. In the end, he didn’t really have a particular strategy, though he did win the final assembly. However, he came in third in the end. I won with 111 and our friend scored 91.


I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Though, originally, I didn’t think I would even enjoy it much. One thing that I think we were all concerned over was how the dice placement would work once more and more dice were being converted from neutral dice. For one, it’s pretty easy doing the action you want as long as it’s still open on the board (and worst-case scenario, you just use your leader). Secondly, you score enough points that sometimes paying 2 points to do the action you need is more than worth it if you have to use someone else’s die. And it only happened a couple of times during the game.

The abstract puzzle of the dinosaur attack still didn’t really excite me, but I’m more middle-of-the-road on it rather than turned off by it. I do wish I had done more patrols, especially once we realized that the cards you keep are optional; you don’t have to keep and resolve the amount shown, you can keep up to that many. And in general, it wasn’t that hard replacing dead soldiers, so losing them on patrol or during attacks wasn’t really a setback. If they lived, it felt like a bonus.

But we all agreed that we could have managed our valor and safeguard more. There were times when dinosaurs attacked and we could collect multiple rewards but could only afford one or two cheap rewards. The officers and influence cubes were definitely neglected (and they can reward valor and safeguard). We mostly only used a couple of officers for their scoring bonus. At least we never had a breach.

We still expect to enjoy episode 2 more (we really enjoy exploration), but episode 1 was enjoyable enough that we might still play it too rather than just picking one episode to play.

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