#27 – Forbidden Island


At a Glance: Forbidden Island is one of the best cooperative games…always exciting, and always seems like it comes down to the very end.

Forbidden Island is a cooperative game for 2-4 players where you are working together trying to escape an island that is sinking into the ocean abyss. The island is made up of randomly placed tiles at the start of the game, and players must move around the island, shoring tiles to keep them from sinking, and finding the 4 treasures that are scattered around the island before they all meet at the helicopter and escape before they are lost forever to the depths. Each explorer has a different special ability and as players move around the island, they will be collecting cards that represent the 4 treasures. Once a player has a matching set of 4, they may turn it in at one of the 2 locations that match that treasure and they claim it! However, after each person’s turn, the island sinks just a little bit deeper. Each island tile has a dry side and a flooded side. If an already flooded tile is drawn during the flood phase, that tile is lost from the game. In this way, the island will be sinking and disappearing more and more as you go on. The water level is kept track of on the Water Meter, which also determines how many cards you draw in the flood phase. Once all treasures have been found, all players win by meeting at the Helicopter and flying away. The players lose if: (1) both tiles with the same symbol sink before they can claim that treasure, (2) the water level reaches 5 on the meter, or (3) if someone gets stranded in the ocean after a tile sinks with nowhere adjacent to swim, or (4) if the Fools Landing tile where the helicopter sits is lost.

This is an excellent cooperative game where you can feel the high stakes of the theme. The difficulty is highly customizable which is something I wish more games included in their design. If you have played Pandemic, this has a similar vibe. This makes sense as the designer, Matt Leacock, is actually the same person who designed Pandemic. Everything, it seems, is against you, there is more than one way to lose, but only one way to win. The constant threats pressure you into quickly and efficiently completing your objectives, which is the key to a really good cooperative game. The excitement, range of options, and accessibility to new players make it one of the best cooperative games out there.

This components are amazingly good quality and it is just stunning, visually. The 4 treasures are especially cool. For what you get inside, the price point is incredible. Forbidden Island is legendary!

Check it out: https://amzn.to/2QF2Uws

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