In Season 3, Episode 4 of REPOD, we were joined by Gabby Pascuzzi, a Survivor contestant who competed on season 37, Survivor David vs. Goliath. Gabby is half of one of Survivor’s most iconic Nerd Alliance, alongside Christian Hubiki, a robotics professor.
Gabby has a lifelong passion for puzzles and games, and she joined us to help explain why Survivor is so beloved by many game and puzzle enthusiasts. We break down some interesting game mechanics introduced on Survivor’s more recent seasons and discuss the various challenges and puzzles on Survivor.
On REPOD, we love chatting about Survivor and all the different strategies and gameplay possibilities. If you’re a fan of puzzles and gaming, you’ll probably also be a fan of Survivor. We hope you’re inspired to start watching after listening to this episode (if you aren’t already).
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Thank You to Our Sponsors
We are immensely grateful to our sponsors this season, Morty App and Virtual Escape Games. We truly appreciate your support of our mission to promote and improve the immersive gaming community.
Virtual Escape Games specializes in virtual team-building adventures for teams anywhere around the globe, 24/7. And now introducing brand-new non-hosted games for 1-6 players.
Discount Code for REPOD listeners:
- REA20 for 20% off a non-hosted game for 1-6 players
- TB20 for 20% off a team-building adventure for any size team!
Topics Discussed in this Episode
- Peih-Gee notes that since Gabby’s season of Survivor: David vs. Goliath is on Netflix now, Survivor is being exposed to a much wider audience. [00:45]
- Peih-Gee reminisces about playing on a season of Survivor that aired at a time when Survivor strategy and mechanics were still pretty basic compared to modern Survivor. [1:33]
- Gabby talks about Freddi Fish, a children’s point-and-click adventure game that started her love for gaming and puzzles from a young age. [2:51]
- Peih-Gee talks about her favorite point-and-click game Sanitarium, a psychological horror adventure game released in 1998. [4:41]
- Gabby talks about a recent favorite game Gorogoa, an innovative graphic narrative puzzle game. [5:08]
- Gabby, David and Peih-Gee talk about some favorite board games including Terraforming Mars, Carcassonne, Kingdomino, Secret Hitler, and Poetry for Neanderthals. [6:59]
- Peih-Gee talks about doing puzzle hunts with Gabby on her Twitch stream, playing the Cryptex Hunt and Colby’s Curious Cookoff from Boxaroo. [10:26]
- Gabby talks about her past as a technical writer, writing manuals and instructions. [12:15]
- Gabby discusses best practices for writing rules and instructions for board games, including quick reference to the order in which things happen, conceptual information, rules clarification, and objectives. [14:12]
- Gabby talks about what drew her to watching Survivor as a child, and how it went from being a survival show to a show about strategic gameplay. [19:39]
- Gabby talks about how the game of Survivor has evolved over the years, from the social strategy to the dynamics surrounding the gender or race or societal roles that people were being thrust into. [21:48]
- David talks about the different aspects of Survivor, including social strategy, survival elements, challenges and puzzles, and various game mechanics. [22:57]
- Gabby talks about the use of puzzles in Survivor in challenges and for the hidden immunity idol. [23:43]
- Peih-Gee recalls an escape room-style puzzle in Survivor and how one of the contestants ensured that her competitors couldn’t solve it. [26:13]
- David, Gabby, and Peih-Gee talk about the role of puzzles and puzzlers on the first episode of Gabby’s season. [28:25]
- Gabby tells us about Christian, a robotics engineer who solved a slide puzzle in record time because he had previously written algorithms for solving slide puzzles. [30:10]
- Gabby talks about a puzzle she hated from Survivor. [34:43]
- Peih-Gee talks about some of the hidden rules in challenges and puzzles the players must follow that makes them more difficult to solve. [37:04]
- Gabby and Peih-Gee talk about a choice the players had in the most recent season of Survivor, season 41, to either solve a difficult puzzle or perform a painstaking, labor-intensive task. [38:27]
- David mentions that this season “added in a mechanic that feels straight out of a party game in the form of immunity, idol activation keywords.” [43:46]
- Peih-Gee talks about the “knowledge is power” advantage. [45:51]
- Gabby and Peih-Gee discuss the “fairness” of having hidden mechanics in a game like Survivor. [47:29]
- Gabby and Peih-Gee talk about how the rules are given to the players in Survivor. [49:53]
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
- REA review of Colby’s Curious Cookoff
- Sketch Comedy “Explaining a Board Game (below)
About Gabby Pascuzzi
Gabby Pascuzzi is a lover of puzzling, gaming, and exploring. As a former contestant on Survivor: David vs. Goliath, Gabby has always been a fan of immersive and challenging games, whether they take place via an island in Fiji, an escape room, a computer screen, or a tabletop adventure. When she’s not playing games on Twitch, puzzling with a puzzle hunt team, or watching too much reality television, Gabby is busy pursuing her PhD in Social Psychology, researching relationships and the self.
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Escape This Podcast is a show that’s a mix between tabletop roleplaying and escape room puzzles.
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