Continuing my game reviews, we’re going to kick off the week with a game my whole family has enjoyed – Forbidden Island. Made by Gamewright, this game is advertised as being for ages 10+, but my two 8 year olds have been able to play it with only a little bit of help and my 5 year old plays it on a team with one of the adults or his brother and sister. The game is mainly teamwork anyway, so kids of all ages will enjoy this one.
Forbidden Island engages you in cooperative play right away. Each player chooses from the 6 adventurer cards at random and becomes one position on the team. Play is limited to 4 players to make it less likely to repeat a game the same way twice. The adventurer cards available are:
Each position allows you special abilities to help out yourself and your teammates. After randomly selecting an adventurer card you get the corresponding playing piece to represent you on the board and then you’ll set up your island. There are various grid examples given for how to set it up and then how to place each of the four treasures around the board. You will be trying to collect these treasures throughout the game and then get off the island safely with your team. We leave no man behind in Forbidden Island!
There are four treasures to collect.
To collect a treasure you need to have ONE player have all FOUR of those treasure cards. You can collect them by drawing them or handing them off to other players. Only the messenger adventurer card is allowed to pass treasures along without being directly next to the other player’s piece on the board.
Along with treasure cards you’ll also draw “waters rise” cards, “sandbags”, and “helicopter lifts”, two of which can be invaluable when you were about to lose a piece of the island or when you need to move your team to another section of the island if one is about to sink.
When the waters rise you start to get into some trouble, as more and more parts of the island sink that you aren’t able to shore up. If too much of the island sinks, you lose the game and can’t possibly collect all the treasures from around the board.
This game is great as a quiet night in, a party game when you don’t want to focus *too* much, or a family game with kiddos. I would highly recommend it and especially at the price since you can find it for around $20.
So play this game with family or friends, in search of treasure and adventure!