Forbidden Island – A Flood of Fun!

Forbidden Island!

Do you have kids? Good, that is the point of this blog.  Do your kids have friends?  Good again.  Do your kid’s friends like to play board games?  No?  They’ve never really played anything other than video games?  Well this could be tricky, or you could whip out Forbidden Island.  This simple to explain cooperative game is the perfect gateway game for the kid that gives you that funny look when you mention playing boring board games.  First they don’t need a 30 minute explanation of the rules.  If you have read the rules a few times or even played the game yourself (all co-ops can be played solo) you can often give the details and rundown while setting up the game.  With a little practice this can even help build the tension as you explain how the island is sinking, you are a bunch of greedy explorers trying to gather the treasures before the island is so far sunk that you are trapped forever in a watery grave.  The game also helps the video gamer feel the tension they are used to in their usual fare.  You visually watch the island tiles sink and disappear as you are running around trying to coordinate your movements to escape alive.



Forbidden Island:  As mentioned above this is a cooperative game for 2-4 players.  Players move around the board trying to “shore” up tiles as they flood attempting to prevent them from sinking completely and disappearing from the board.  The sinking is driven by a deck of cards that tells you which tiles are to be flipped or sunk.  This happens after every player’s turn and over the course of the game the number of cards drawn increases to the dismay of all players involved.  Players are also drawing from a treasure deck trying to collect four cards of one of the four treasures.   When four cards are in the possession of one player, either by drawing or trading with other players on the same tile, they need to move to one of the two tiles that has that treasure shown and trade them in for the treasure.  Once all four treasures are collected all the players must return to the tile labeled Fool’s Landing and play a special card labeled Helicopter Lift and they win.  But how do you lose?  Well, if Fool’s Landing sinks, you lose.  If both tiles for one treasure sinks before you collect that treasure, you lose.  If the path back to Fool’s Landing is blocked due to sunken tiles, you lose.  If the water level meter reaches the skull because one too many Water Rise cards were drawn from the treasure deck, you guessed it, you lose.  Like most good Cooperative games there are many ways to lose and only one way to win.  This game in the end is great for the family that wants to have game night but also wants to ease into the complexity while still having a blast!

Suggested Movie: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (Yes it has Dwayne Johnson, but it is about getting trapped, on a sinking island ans some of the people are attempting to take some treasure with them.  Plus it’s a fun movie for kids)

What Movie do you suggest?  Let me know in the comments below.


Game Type: Co-op Board Game (Card Driven)

Ages: 8 and up

Size: Medium tin


Me – 10 (I will play this game any day that anyone wants to play it)

My Wife – 10 (My wife loves this game she is always excited to play)

Daughter – 10 (My daughter laughs and giggles and stresses and has a blast the whole time we play this game)

Friend: – 10 (Went home and told her parents all about it ad they actually asked me what she was talking about.  Will probably get it for her birthday from us!)

AVERAGE SCORE – 10 BUY THIS GAME (the only exception to this would be if you and your family already play plenty of games you may want to consider buying Forbidden Desert as the difficulty and complexity are a little higher)





2 thoughts on “Forbidden Island – A Flood of Fun!

  1. I couldn’t agree more, great game to introduce your kids to gaming. As you stated Forbidden Desert is similar but much harder and my game of choice between the two.


    • We really enjoy the Co-op games. Especially when bringing in new players. It eliminates the intimidation factor because we are all working together. They know the other experienced players are there to help not crush them. Even when we lose we have a good “tense” time.


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