I have always been interested in the gamesmanship behind playing survivor. I always felt that people were not playing optimal strategies, especially in some of the challenges. I can only assume that viewers were not privy to all the edge case rules.
It popped into my head – Can you distil the whole experience of Survivor into a 60-90minute party game. This is what I came up with:
Theme: Outwit, Outlast, Outplay
Story: None – Party Game
Mechanisms: Social interaction, bluffing, mini-games
Win Condition: Be voted the sole Survivor
Game Play: Split into two equal teams. Teams then compete in mini games. The team that loses a mini game then must vote one of their players off the team. If one team has 2 more players than the other, they must immediately vote one person to go from their team to the other team. Teams are allowed 3-5 mins to discuss who they will vote out and then will then write down their vote and put them in a bag to be drawn out and read.
Players voted off will become the jury and run the mini games. They will vote for the sole survivor at the end.
Once the numbers are down to 4 players, players play as individuals with the winner getting immunity from being voted off. Once two players are left, everyone that has been eliminated votes for who should win. The last two people get a chance to plead their case and the jury can ask questions before the vote.
Possible Mini games (Need 24 total):
Jenga – who can build the highest tower/ first to build tower 30 bricks high
Articulate – One round for each team – who can get the most right
Dungeon Fighter – Roll dice to land in certain area
Pictionary – Guess what is being drawn
House of Cards – Build 3 story house of cards
Flippy Cup – Race to flip all cups over
Exile island – jury members get the chance to get back in the games
Winners of each challenge get a bonus of some
I’m not familiar with Survivor, I am however very familiar with Mario Party and this sounds right in that wheelhouse of gameplay (with the added player elimination).
I’m a little cautious around player elimination since someone knocked out early might not enjoy themselves as much. This could be especially frustrating if it’s a specific minigame or two that you’re simply no good at and they keep showing up early game.
Another thought would be the size of the game box, with the currently discussed minigames you have included jenga, dice, cards, cups, stuff for pictionary and articulate. Of course players could use their own belongings for such resources, and even if that restricts some minigames from play that might still be okay.
I certainly like the concept of condensing a family game night into quickfire rounds!
In terms of always losing a specific game, you only are out if you are voted out. So being a weaker player may play to your advantage because you may be seen as no threat so you are being kept around.
In terms of elimination, I was hoping watching the social dynamic of people vote for each other and breaking alliances would be interesting to watch (much like in Werewolves/Mafia). Also the fact someone who has been eliminated can win their way back on too may help.
And you are right in terms of a game in a box. It might just end up a rule set people can adapt for what they have at home.