Forbidden Island is a cooperative game for 1-4 players age 10+ by Gamewright Games. In the game you and your team must work to explore the island, finding all 4 of its treasures and escaping. Sounds easy right? Not so much, each turn the players flip over ‘flood’ cards which cause the island to start flooding and eventually sink beneath the waves.
The game is very straightforward, each turn the player takes up to 3 actions (including their own special action which will vary depending on the character they are playing, but we’ll get to that later), draws two treasure cards, and then draws the appropriate amount of flood cards depending on the current water level. Flood cards identify tiles that need to be flipped over to their ‘flooded’ side, players must spend their actions to shore up these parts of the island and flip them back over or risk losing them. If a card is drawn that is already flooded the tile is removed from the game and that part of the island is lost forever. To help the players with this each one draws a character from the stack of character cards giving them a special ability such as shoring up two tiles or being able to swim across sunken tiles.
To win the game players must collect 4 mystical treasures by collecting 4 cards for the corresponding treasure and turning them in on select tiles (each treasure has two tiles where you can turn in the cards and claim it) then gather everyone at one tile where they can be picked up by a helicopter and flown to safety. Unfortunately as the game progresses and the water level rises the island starts sinking faster and faster which makes this task increasingly difficult. Overall this was a fun game that we will come back to again I’m sure due to its simplicity making it easy to teach to new players.
I liked how the players had special abilities that made things easier and that the board was different every time we played. I didn’t like losing tiles to sinking as the island flooded because I couldn’t save them all. I liked using the special action cards to save tiles from flooding or using the helicopter to move people around the board. I liked this game a lot!
I liked that the players had special abilities based on what character/color they selected (randomly). I also liked how the game play area changes every time you play it making it a new challenge every time. I don’t like that the game gets more difficult as we get near the end making it hard to win. This game was hard to win even on the easiest mode.