Forbidden Island Review

 Forbidden Island Review

A while back, the Goblin Gazette trio played and recorded Forbidden Island. This is such a fun game and is really easy to learn. We had a lot of fun this weekend playing it, relaxing, enjoying good company, and the beginning of the weekend. It was supposed to be a test run for recording our very first board game, with limited equipment. It turned out very well and we had a blast setting it up and playing this game! We definitely plan on playing and recording more board games in the future. So with that being said, here is my review of Forbidden Island!

About the Game

Forbidden Island - Gather the treasure before the island sinks!
Gather the treasure before the island sinks!

This game is a strategy, teamwork game. You and your teammates are basically playing against the game itself. Your team is a group of adventurers exploring the forbidden island. Your goal is to try to collect the four pieces of treasure scattered throughout the island before it sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Once you have all four pieces, you and your teammates must make it to the helipad (aka Fool’s Landing) and escape the island.

The Characters

Forbidden Island - Chose wisely!
Chose wisely!

This game allows for four people to play, but you can chose or select at random from six different characters. This allows for a different strategy every game, mixing and matching each character’s special abilities.

The Diver: can move through one or more flooded and/or sunken tiles for one action.

The Engineer: can shore up two tiles for one action.

The Messenger: can give one other player anywhere on the board a treasure card for one action.

The Explorer: can move and/or shore up diagonally.

The Pilot: can move anywhere on the board for one action, once per turn.

The Navigator: can move anyone two additional spaces for one action.

The Island

Forbidden Island - Gotta make it to Fool's Landing to win!
Gotta make it to Fool’s Landing to win!

Over time the island and it’s wonderfully named areas will start to flood and sink to the bottom of the sea. Your job throughout the game is to try to “shore up” the island by keeping the island tiles from sinking. The strategy here is to focus on important tiles, like the ones that will get you to the helipad, the helipad itself, and the tiles where you can get the treasure pieces. At the end of your turn, you must draw from the flood deck and treasure deck.

Treasure Deck

Forbidden Island - Whatever you do, don't draw a waters rise card!
Whatever you do, don’t draw a waters rise card!

You will always draw two cards from the treasure deck at the end of your turn. This deck allows you to collect cards that match the four pieces of treasure. Once you collect four cards of the same treasure, you can than go to a land tile that has the treasure piece on it. When you reach that tile, you can turn in those four cards and get that treasure. You can also find other valuable items, like a card that helps you shore up a sinking land tile anywhere on the board, or an airlift card that allows you to move someone anywhere on the board. In order to win the game, the airlift card must be used. Once all team members reach Fool’s Landing, the card is used to airlift everyone off the island.

Flood Deck

When you draw from the flood deck at the end of your turn, the cards you draw indicate which land tile is sinking. If you draw a card, that corresponding tile must flip over, showing that it is sinking. If the card is drawn again before the tile is shored up, the land tile is permanently removed from the board. There is a flood meter that indicates how many cards you draw from the flood deck. The meter goes up every time you draw a water rises card from the treasure deck. You use the flood meter at the start the game, the higher the meter starts, the more difficult the game will be. If the water rises past a certain point, you must draw more flood cards at the end of your turn. If the flood meter reaches the top, the adventurers lose.    

The Treasure

Forbidden Island - The booty!
The booty!

There are four pieces of treasure: the Ocean’s Chalice, The Statue of the Wind, The Earth Stone, and the Crystal of Fire. Each treasure is associated with two land tiles on the board. You must go to one of the two tiles in order to pick up the treasure (once you have four treasure cards for that treasure).   

Getting off the Island

Once you and the other adventurers have collected all four treasure pieces, everyone must reach Fool’s Landing and use an “AIRLIFT” card to finish the game. That is the only way to win. However, there are several ways to lose a game, stated below:

-Teammate sinks with a land tile and there are no adjacent land tiles to “swim” too.

-Both land tiles for a treasure sink.

-The flood meter rises to the top (or skull and crossbones).

-Fool’s Landing (the helipad) sinks.

Overall Experience

This game is a lot of fun and pretty simple. The great thing about this game is that there is quite a bit of strategy to it and there is a lot of flexibility. There are six characters to chose from, but only four can play at a time. This allows for replay-ability because you can mix and match different characters and have different strategies every game. The game’s difficulty can also be adjusted, allowing for fun, casual play or intense, nail-biting, strategic game play. Either way you play it, it’s still super fun and I highly recommend this game to anyone who loves board games!  

If you are interested in purchasing the game, here is a link to Amazon! Or if you are interested in other board games that we like and have reviewed, check out our page link here!

Let us know in the comments your thoughts about any fun board games you’ve played recently!

Until later dudes and dudettes,

Matt “Donoran” Fuhrmann

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