In Atlantis Rising you are one of the citizens of the stricken island Atlantis. However, hope is not lost, a mystical portal of 10 components can be built and save the island and all its inhabitants, but fail to build it in time and the island will sink forever under the waves, lost to legend.
Atlantis Rising is a fully co-operative game in which the players must race to create a cosmic gate before all of the island tiles have been destroyed. The gate's components are variable and determine the difficulty level of the game - Easy, Normal, Hard, or Cosmic. The players must also contend with the continually escalating threat of their Athenian enemies, who may destroy one or more island tiles each turn if insufficient Atlanteans are allocated to the island's protection.
Each turn players can choose to place their Atlanteans in any of eight different areas - with placements closer to the sea being more rewarding, but subject to a higher risk of flooding (and the subsequent loss of the associated action).
After placement of meeple but before gaining resources 'misfortune' cards are drawn per player indicating which areas of the island sink, any meeple stood there have a long swim back to shore and do nothing for their turn.
Players have limited 'mystical energy' which they can use to predict or prevent certain misfortunes and cards are available from the libraries that offer powerful one time use effects.