This week on Geek Game Night I will take a look at Forbidden Island, a cooperative game where up to 4 players have to race to find treasures on an island. The catch is that the island is sinking. Can you grab the treasures and get off of the island before it goes under?
I found it to be a bit on the easy side. There’s nothing too deep here, but it is fun and can be challenging depending on what happens. This is one that you will have fun playing with your young kids. The premise is simple enough. Like Indiana Jones you better grab your loot and get out while you can. The game comes with twenty-four tiles which form locations on the island: Starting spots, treasure areas, a landing site for the helicopter and more. The tiles have two sides. One for dry and one for flooded. If a tile floods you turn it over to to the flooded side, but if it is already flooded and gets flooded again, it falls into the sea. You can’t land there and you can’t cross. At times, you can return flooded tiles to their dry side, just make sure you choose the right ones strategically. In this way the board can be different with every game.
You also have two decks for treasure seeking and flooding. The treasure deck contains cards showing the four treasure symbols, cards that let you un-flood tiles and cards that let you airlift to other spaces. You need four of the same symbol to claim that treasure if you are on the treasure tile.
The “Waters Rise” cards increase the number of tiles that flood. The flood deck is comprised of one card for each island tile. On your turn you draw cards from this deck, and each one makes a tile flood. If this forces you to remove a tile, that card is removed from the deck making it that much harder to draw cards safely. Once setup, your play area will look like this.
You get three actions per turn. You can move, give a card to someone on the same tile, unflood a tile, or claim a treasure. Your character has some special abilities as well. If you are an engineer you can shore up two tiles per action, while the messenger can share a card with anyone on the island. These help you to get the job done.
Basically, once you get the treasures, it’s a race to the helicopter landing site. Hopefully you can work together and make it out alive. This is a game that is easy enough to learn so that the whole family can enjoy it. Young kids and adults can both enjoy this one.
I found it to be too easy overall for my own taste, but it can be challenging at times. Even so, this is a solid family game. You can find it at Amazon for just $13.49.