Latest Plays

Forbidden Island

Posted by admin On August - 18 - 2011

“Dare to discover Forbidden Island! Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise. Your team will have to work together and make some pulse-pound maneuvers, as the island will sink beneath every step! Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss!”

Length: 30 mins
Actual Length: 30 mins
Age: 10+
Actual Age: 8+
Players: 2-4

BGG is sort of like the room of requirement, you never know what you’re going to find, but you’ll always find the things you need. And not that I necessarily need smile worthy dedicated board gamers tributes to board games through creativness… but I definitively l-o-v-e and appreciate it! Before reading about Matt Leacock’s ‘Forbidden Island’,  shall we?

In case you get a lil’ bored with the generic wooden pawns and pieces that seem to be a constant in board games… spice it up with do-it-yourselfs!

And a tiny tribute to some Board Games Users that made me oo-ah, and smile:

Object & Playing of the Game:
Okay, lets get on with it then.  The object is you need to work together to get all the treasure and get off the island. Easy enough right? Oh, right, and the island is rapidly flooding.

After setting up the board, separate out the cards. You begin the game with 6 randomly flooded tiles. Randomly deal out the adventurer cads to whoever is playing (each adventurer has a special power so check it out).Place you pawn on it’s corresponding tiles whether it’s flooded or not is fine. Pick a Water Level to start at on the Water Meter, which changes the games difficulty. Hand out 2 treasure cards to each player from the treasure deck and begin! (Note: if you get a “waters rise” card handed to you as one of your 2 treasure cards at the beginning of the game, shuffle the “waters rise” back into the deck and take a replacement)

Player Turn is simple enough.
1.) Take up to 3 actions. Actions include Moving your pawn, shoring up a tile that has been flipped over due to flooding, giving a treasure card to another player, or capturing a treasure by turning in 4 matching treasure cards by being on the corresponding treasure tile. Note that player powers can affect actions.

2.) Draw two treasure cards from the treasure deck and if you happened to draw a “waters rise” card, then immediate move the water level marker up one notch on the water meter, and reshuffle all the previously drawn flood cards back into the flood deck (i’ll get the the flood deck in just a sec). Discard the waters rise card to the treasure discard pile and then draw the appropriate amount of flood cards corresponding to the water level.

3.) Draw flood cards equal to the water level. And start flipping the corresponding tiles over… if they are already flooded (flipped to the grayscale side) then they are REMOVED and do not return. If there is a pawn on the removed tile he swims to the nearest adjacent tile unless he has a special power that allows him to fly (pilot) or explorer (diagonal tiles)


There are a few little things you may run into during the game that might arise questions, the manual is presented excellently and can answer any further questions.

You loose if: A pawn dies (no tiles to swim to when a tile sinks), helicopter pad sinks, water level reaches death, or if you don’t collect the treasure before the treasure tiles sink.

Final Thoughts:
I’m not huge on cooperative games, but this one I like. It is GREAT as a two player game allowing for lots of play time. I really enjoy the challenge levels increasing the difficulty. I also like the randomness of the characters you get, they have unique powers that you really need to be successful, and none feel “lame” or “less powerful” than the next. It’s really a creative game and if you get the treasures and make it off the island in the end, you feel surprisingly accomplished! And it’s only like 12 bucks on coolstuff ta-boot! Although I think I drive my husband a tad crazy because I always insist on playing LEGENDARY!

Final Final Thoughts:
Quality: 4/5 (especially for $12)
Fun: 4/5 (best as 2 player)
Substance: 3.5/5 (not super meaty, kinda light)
Re-playability: 4/5 (once a month is a good amount)

** special shout out to Mike Hulsebus on BGG for making the cool background that I used as part of my featured image.