The game is very simple so power gamers will not find real challenges here. – Give cards to players. By the time you find yourself tiring of it, you’ll be ready to take on some of the more strategic relatives, and learn for yourself why people refer to this as Pandemic Light! -Quick turn play with simple mechanics. With teenagers, there are better options (Pandemic, of course) but Forbidden Island is still fun even with four adults. Game-play When this happens, the game is over. There are two decks to shuffle up: The Treasure Deck and the Flood Deck. There are also official board layout variants on the web that can further increase replay value. The island is sinking so you must work together quickly. ( Log Out /  Other titles he;s designed include: Forbidden Desert, Thunderbirds, Knitwits, Roll through the Ages, and many various Pandemic expansions. The custom tin insert makes it very easy to put away and helps keep the pieces in good condition. Below is a review of Forbidden Island for those that are new to cooperative games and have never played Pandemic. New players who are learning don’t really get emersed and will easily go on auto pilot because they will see that the options being told to them are usually optimal anyway, so they often follow their guidance. When this pale version is face up, it indicates that the location is flooded and is in danger of sinking. 6. -Forbidden Island offers fast-paced turns and constant strategizing that will demand the attention of even the most distracted player out there. Sometimes I’ll fall into the trap of trying to explain a game by comparing it to another game. The game is won when every treasure is collected and the players are evacuated from the island. The tiles, which are printed on both sides, represent 24 different locations of the island. Well, that first game taught me the most important strategic lesson… protect Fools’ Landing (the helicopter pad)! -Randomized game tile placement. A player can take as many of the allotted Actions during his turn. A marker is clipped onto the Water Meter, and this marker will rise up the Meter and through the numbers until it hits the skull and crossbones at the top. On the “Legendary” level you can play an absolutely perfect strategic game and still lose because of an unlucky shuffle… but you have no shot at all if you don’t play a great strategic game. While I’ve only read its description, the “sequel” to Forbidden Island, aptly titled Forbidden Desert, sounds a lot like a reworking of the Island mechanics with a little added depth. Forbidden Island Quick Reference V1.0 SETUP 1 – Shuffle the 24 Island Tiles and place them, blue and white side down, as shown on page 2 of the rules. There are some obstacles to avoid but not that many. In fact, it actually serves as a fantastic introduction to the concept of the co-operative play. How to create Forbidden Island? Forbidden Island’s random tile placement during setup ensures that the island layout will rarely be the same twice. Players win if between them, they collect all four treasure pieces, they all make it to the Fool’s Landing tile, and they have at least one Helicopter Lift card left so they can get off the island. Due to its easy rules, exciting theme, cooperative gameplay and light duration – the game is great for younger players, being a solid way to introduce kids as young as 5 to the world of board games. VALUE!! – Final Thoughts Whoever most recently visited an island will take the first turn; play will then move clockwise. Each player then progresses through 3 phases in their turn; Action phase, Treasure phase, and Flood phase. What I like is that it is fast to setup, fast to teach, and fast to play. – The Components in the Box -Speed of water rising mechanic can foil an otherwise sound strategy. Fun theme Period.”, Setup is very simple and will take less than 5 minutes for even inexperienced players, as the instructions are clear and concise. But even though Forbidden Island is published by Gamewright, predominantly known for its children’s games (albeit fantastic children’s games,) don’t assume that its appeal is limited to the lil’ guys. The goal of the game is to collect the four treasures of Forbidden Island and escape without anyone dying. Each costs 1 action... a) MOVE: Move 1 space orthogonally. Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss! “Soggy Island or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Flood”, “"Dad, can we play Forbidden Island again?" SUMMARY: Forbidden Island is a cooperative game. The game encourages discussions to assist other players with their strategies to ultimately provide overall success for your group. Plays really well as 1 player, where you can control 2 roles. Complexity: 2 / 5. Figure 1. cards, and various special cards. Canga. To be fair though, Forbidden Island is not Pandemic and is not meant to be a replacement or a variant, instead being a family game that can enjoyed by younger players and serious gamers alike. Shore Up; 4.1.3. Forbidden Island Adventure If You Dare Board Game Replacement Pieces Tiles Cards. There is also a Water level meter keeping track of the overall danger to the island (another game losing trigger) that can be set at variable difficulties. you can walk them through the decisions a bit more b. The treasure cards are shuffled and 2 dealt to each player. The forces a lot of trading between players to get the right combinations so that you can pick up the treasure you are targetting. However, I would not recommend this game for a group with power gamers. Pros: -Easy to setup and quick to play. Forbidden Island is a great game. This game had some very good things going for it. One of the best games available from Gamewright, in my opinion. Sponsored Listings. But ultimately you have to let some tiles sink. Want to play Forbidden Island with your friends at home? One word of warning to those new to cooperative games, this game can suffer from a dominant player taking over the game and telling everyone what to do. not Internet multiplayer – it is instead a pass and play set-up so you have to be near the people you are playing. Since my playgroups tend to be into deeper and more complex games, I would generally go to Pandemic, Defenders of the Realm or Ghost Stories for cooperative play, but Forbidden Island will still always have a respected place in my collection. The tiles are made of thick durable material and the treasures/meeple are made of durable plastic. However, the risk they are encountering is great, for the empire known as Archeans, foreseeing this kind of event to come about, designed the island to submerge to the depths of the sea, along with the daring treasure hunting team! For example, in one game all of the treasure tiles ended up around the evacuation point allowing us to ignore the peripheral tiles and only focus on shoring up a select few. My Learning Curve and Teach Time Knowing which one it is is important to knowing how to improve. These are kept face up so that everyone know what everyone else has in their hand. Please take a trip to the Forbidden Island. At that headcount, we’re usually looking for something a little meatier and longer. The variable difficulty level makes it appreciable to players of various experience and/or skill. A Review for Parents with Young Kids!”, “It's Sinking! Those Actions are to move one space orthogonally, shore up a tile (flip it from its flooded to normal side), pass a Treasure card to another player on the same tile, or turn in 4 matching Treasure cards on 1 of the 2 matching Treasure tiles to gain that Treasure. Below is an excerpt, but if you want to see the full article, which has pretty pictures, you can follow: Forbidden Island is another co-operative board game, another desperate race against time rather than your fellow players, and another tense, taut playing experience. This actually defines the starting water level, with higher difficulty moving it up closer to the defeat condition, meaning that the adventurers have less time at their disposal to complete their mission. There are several roles in the game (diver, pilot etc.) The construction and pieces of the game are nice. 3 actions are available to a player per phase and each of the above counts as an action. Especially when considering the very low price point, the components are excellent and contained in an attractive tin. – Each player has a different role with different powers. Place Adventurers on island; 3.6. However, the water level indicator reaching the final mark is only one of the 4 possible occasions where the team may face failure. As the island floods, areas of the island are threatened. Using the game’s default rules, everything in this game is randomized, so luck is a significant contributor. Your teammates are allowed (and encouraged!) But we quickly challenged ourselves and just yesterday they were so excited to beat it on Legendary with only 4 tiles left and one notch away from the island being sunk! Forbidden Island has a team of players maneuvering around an “island” made up of various location tiles. This deck of cards matches each tile of the island. It gives them a slight feel like you are really on a sinking island, looking for treasure. This simplicity focuses the game though, and makes the actions more intuitive and less contrived. The player who last visited an island is the one to start. Players put their piece on the corresponding start tile indicated by a icon. Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise. The cardboard pieces that make up the “island” are sturdy and well-made, with great thematic artwork. The tiles are thick, the miniatures are solid and the box is made of metal. The Treasure Cards are key to winning the game, and there are 4 treasures that the players must capture. After a player takes 3 actions they will then draw 2 Treasure Cards and a number of Flood Cards that is equal to the current water level on the Water Meter. Also, my wife runs a private school and she wants me to bring FI, as well as Fluxx and a few other new ones I just ordered, to introduce her students to during her summer camp program. This can be enjoyed by families, non-gamers, casual gamers and even board game hobbyists, though it is targeted primarily to families, non-gamers and casual gamers due to its approachable rules and light theme. Small World, Fluxx and Forbidden Island were our first choices of games to purchase (after playing digital versions of Catan and Ticket to Ride on Xbox) You can see from my score that we loved Forbidden Island! There is brilliance in the water level meter, where you simply start the game at a higher flood level once you become more advanced. Dare to discover Forbidden Island! The random layout each game will make each play slightly differently, and there are 10 official variant layouts that can be found online (check my entry in the Tips section on this site for details and a link!). One of the game’s best features is the adjustable difficulty level; players can choose among 4 different settings. In this way, Forbidden Island can appeal to families with a variety of age ranges, can serve as an introduction to co-op play, and can act as a quick filler for more experienced gamers. Since gameplay is fully cooperative and there is no player elimination, either all players succeed or all fail, which means that no one will ever need to sit idle while others finish the game. For the first 2 difficulty levels, mistakes are quite forgivable, but beyond that (on settings 3 and 4), prudent planning and caution will usually be required for attaining victory. Tremendous replay with the variable board and roles. You don’t have to juggle as much worrying about the slightly more involved “outbreak” conditions in the first game. Each island tile represents a place on one side and the same place flooded on the other side. The board is smaller and movement is much more simple to grasp for new players. As in many cooperative games, players perform some number of “good” actions (moving closer to winning the game), and then have to perform a “bad” action, in this case, drawing cards from the flood deck. Oh, What a Great Co-Op World!”, “It’s a light version of Pandemic… But I’ve never played Pandemic!”, “Another win for the family game collection”, “That sinking feeling is back again... now with co-op!”, “The Best Gateway Co-operative Game. It’s a good introductory boardgame for people not familiar with full cooperation play. This is probably simpler than ideal, as the interaction between players is confined to the exchange of cards and a few other elements on special occasions (like a privilege that is granted from certain adventurer cards). Everyone wins or loses together. The map is randomized each play so the locations are transient, and in fact it is the inconsistency of these locations that forms the main conflict of the game. I have taught this game to 4 or 5 friends or family members, and it never takes longer than 10 minutes. There are many ways to lose in Forbidden Island. (The Pilot, Explorer, Navigator, and Diver have additional movement skills). These actions can either be moving to a contested tile, shoring up flooded tiles, trading treasure cards among other players, or exchanging treasure cards for a treasure piece. At 15 dollars, this is a lot of game for the money. Another might be able to fly to any tile on the board for one action, making them useful for not only quick treasure collecting, but also emergency shoring. Objectionable Material Forbidden Island is for 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, and takes roughly 30 minutes to play. I paid $15 and I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten a better new game under $20. – Capture a treasure if you have four cards of it and if you are at the correct location. The navigator's action is moving another player 2 tiles for 1 action - it does not specify once per turn. The most noticeable aspect of luck and randomness are how the initial ‘board’ setup will turn out and in which order cards, particularly flood cards will be drawn. Luck is more of a factor in this game than in Pandemic, as the flood cards are shuffled in with the treasure cards at the very beginning and after every reshuffle, whereas Pandemic spaces out the epidemic cards in a more managed fashion by dividing them amongst equally split piles of the starting player deck. Your pawns will move on each of the tiles like a game board. At the end of each players turn though, Flood Cards are drawn, and more parts of the island can flood or sink. The main antagonist is the “Waters Rise!” mechanic. For example, as the Messenger a player can give a Treasure Card to another player anywhere on the island, while the Engineer can shore up two adjacent flooded Island Tiles instead of one as an action. I only wish there was more variety to it. Understanding which tiles need to be saved, and which can be allowed to sink, is a big part of the game. When I introduced it to my girls, they of course wanted to start on novice, which is almost a guaranteed win. Select a combination of any of the following 4 actions: 1. This setting creates a good yet also weird atmosphere for the game. The game is easy to explain to newcomers and remains fun for us even after one dozen plays in the last 3 … You and your team take on roles as explorers who stumble upon an island that is sinking every second. Draw cards and place them face-up onto the Flood discard pile. These new maps have varying levels of difficulty, the “Island of Shadows” being relatively benign, while the “Atoll of Decisions” will likely be the most difficult Forbidden Island venture you ever face. It is yet another exception to the sweeping generalization I made about Gamewright games in my review of Horse Show. The number of cards drawn are between 2-5 depending on the current water level. A google search will find you even more fan produced variants for island set up and roles Forbidden Island is a cooperative game for 2-4 adventurers attempting to capture four treasures. Losses are rare and the losses often feel unearned when you simply hit the skull on the waters rise meter or draw water rise cards quickly. From everything I read on this site it seemed like Forbidden Island was quite easy to pick up but provided some level of increasing challenge as you develop your skill at the game, so this became an easy decision. Primarily, he will be rushing around Forbidden Island to shore up Island Tile after Island Tile, the danger being that if too many Island Tiles are lost to the watery abyss it restricts everyone’s movement and reduces the number of Island Tiles where the Treasures can be found. What Next? -players spend actions to move, “shore up” the tiles of the island to prevent them from sinking, trade cards with other players, or turn in cards to claim a treasure. You may give another card of the same treasure so they can capture the treasure. Each turn players have a limited number of actions they can perform, which includes moving their pawns, sharing a treasure card with another player on the same space, or “shoring up” adjacent spaces that have flooded. It is therefore up to the players to escape from the forbidden-sinking island via helicopter, after having brought all 4 valuable treasures to their possession in time, before the island is lost beneath the waves. Once collected, your team must escape the island before it is too late! Once both are shuffled, each player gets 2 treasure cards. It’s us against the machines, people, and if you thought computer chess was bad, just remember that it can’t drown you. Don’t be surprised if your pulse starts pounding faster soon after you start playing – it’s a game that instantly generates an electrifying atmosphere of tension and excitement! Dare to discover Forbidden Island! I hesitated to rate this as high as Castle Panic and Shadows over Camelot, because of my wife not getting into the game QUITE as much as my daughter and I did. Forbidden Island is a cooperative game – all players are on the same team – winning and losing as a group. Treasure Deck: An orange deck of 28 cards, containing: 6 Role Cards: Explorer, Diver, Engineer, Messenger, Navigator, Pilot, 4 Treasure Statues: Earth Stone, Chalice of Oceans, Statue of the Wind, and Crystal Flame, Flood Meter: Used to determine the level of flooding, 6 Wooden tokens, each one colored to represent their respective role. -Difficulty scaling, if desired. You must move to shore up tiles that are flooded, to capture treasures and to be in a better position to give or receive cards from other players. So if it feels too easy or boring, ratchet the difficulty to ‘legendary’ and see how you do. If the tile is already flooded it is lost forever. Between that and the small player numbers, it probably can’t have a program revolving around it. During the treasure phase, the player draws 2 treasure cards. is drawn at the end of a player’s turn. This can drastically affect the game, as the various treasures that must be collected are only available on specific island tiles. As stated above, if the card for a tile that is already flooded comes up, that tile is removed from the game. As this is a cooperative game, you also want to keep cards that could help the other players get to a set of 4 quickly. The unique strategy elements mixed with the co-op game play makes for a great time. Forbidden Island is a great gateway into cooperative games. It is a fairly short game (perhaps 30 minutes). However, I can’t fault the game for that, and my wife has said she would like to try it again. The players are attempting to collect all four treasures and evacuate the island before it sinks. Memorization affects this game only slightly. SETUP What Is It About? You and your co-players explore an island (made out of tiles), trying to find four pieces of ancient treasure and escape with them in hand. Draw 2 Treasure deck cards. Forbidden Island is a bit more forgiving than Pandemic though. Your package will be shipped via United States Postal Service First Class Air and should arrive at most locations in the US within about 3 business days. CONS: The time between a game starts and when it ends – either with a win or a loss, a player will be very busy. The game comes well packaged in a tin with good fitting lid and the peices inside, whether it be the plastic goal pieces, wooden characters or … Visit your friendly local game shop to purchase it! This is a game designed for two to four players, aged ten and up that can be completed in under thirty minutes. The “board” is a random placement of tiles that represent different locations. Fools’ Landing (Flooded side) Figure 3. Each of the cards in the Flood Deck corresponds to one of the twenty-four Island Tiles. The cards are split in to 3 groups; treasures, floods, and characters. The game is coop afterall right? But then one considers that other players are restricted to shoring up adjacent tiles. I’ve found it a better value than some 40-50 dollar purchases, honestly. Once all treasure is taken, everyone needs to make it to the helicopter pad and you need a helicopter card to fly off and win the game. After a few initial plays, games tend to last 20-30 minutes. One person might be able to shore up 2 adjacent tiles for 1 action, and might want to concentrate on keeping the island from sinking. All of this comes together to provide great quality of components. 9 of them are of particular significance: The temples from where the treasures can be obtained and the heliport, the only means of connection with the rest of the world (only way of escaping from the island). Play progresses in a clockwise fashion. Big plus my kids. Yet despite the tense nature of the game play, Forbidden Island is not as doom laden. As such, a game can technically end after the very first player’s turn with the wrong mixture of cards, tiles and starting locations. It also feels like a scaled down Pandemic, with a player having three actions per turn rather than four and having to collect four Treasure Cards per Treasure rather than five City Cards per disease as in Pandemic. Besides the tiles, the rest of the game’s components are cards, 4 rather detailed plastic treasures’ figurines, 6 players’ pawn in different colors made from wood and a water level scaleboard that along with a separate indicator keeps track of how much flooded the island is at any given time. The water level marker also moves up one notch. These tiles start to flood, and can sink completely as the game progresses. Check the tips for additional rules and various tile placements to shake up the game a little bit. It was designed by Matt Leacock and published by Gamewright in 2010. ( Log Out /  The goal of the game is to collect the four treasures of Forbidden Island and escape without anyone dying. There are a few special cards in this deck along with the “Waters Rise!” card (explained below). I look forward to trying it. A group of skin divers, led by Dave Courtney, are hired by Edward Godfrey to locate a priceless emerald buried in a sunken ship in the South Pacific. LOL). If an area floods twice without being saved, it falls away forever and is removed from the game. The instructions are very clear about set up and game play. The designer for Forbidden Island, Matt Leacock, is the same designer as Pandemic. Working together with your friends to achieve an obtainable but difficult goal is exciting. Change ). And children will probably love it. 3) What are the decisions that you make? For all its scaling down and simpler rules, Forbidden Island is not necessarily easy to win, and the dedicated games player should consider adjusting the starting difficulty upwards to Elite or Legendary. -One player’s decisions can make or break the group’s chance of winning. Take up to 3 actions. Draw Flood cards equal to the water level. "You may, for one or more actions, shore up any adjacent tile (up, down, left, right) or the Island tile your pawn is on", and one might think this restriction is suppose to apply to the Engineer as well. 2. I will say that this is a CO-OPERATIVE GAME, which is great when you are working with young kids because they enjoy the help and working together. Not all players are up to this task or find it enjoyable, but if this does sound fun to you, the game will not disappoint. Figure 2a. The box is well sectioned so every piece has a place. 2) How do you play? Draw a number of cards from the top of the Flood draw pile equal to the current Water Meter level. Of course we coached the girls on their turn and each game they got more and more proficient at making decisions. The game ends when all 4 Treasures have been collected and all players managed to fly off the island. When I play Forbidden Island with my fiancé though, our plans tend to be more “you take the four on the left, I’ll take the four on the right.” It’s fast, it’s punchy, and the sense of personal danger intensifies the gravity of each move. 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