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Subject: UMCR Forbidden Island Review: Fun and Simple rss

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Nick Van Dam
United States
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I picked up Forbidden Island as my first cooperative game. It was relatively inexpensive and appeared to be quite fun.

Forbidden Island is a quality game well made and quite artistically beautiful.

- the "board" of the game consist of tiles that are dry ground on one side and partially flooded on the other side.
- there are three sets of cards, one deck of Island tiles one for each tile. There is a resource deck that also includes waters rising cards.
- a set of cards with the player roles/special powers
- there are also player pawns one for each role color
- Finally artifacts, well molded models for each item that is being searched for.

Game Play
The plot of the game is that you and the other players have landed on the long lost "forbidden Island" in search of its treasures. The only problem is that the Island is sinking, and you need to find the treasures and escape on your helicopter.

The treasures are found by collecting "clues" or cards with the symbol of the treasure on them. When four are collected the player can then go to one of the tiles with that treasure mark on it to collect the treasure.

When this is done for all four treasures the players return to the landing site and escape from the Island, sound simple?

The problem is that during all of this the island is sinking.
On the players turn they have 3 actions, to move, to turn in cards to find a treasure, or to shore up the tile they are on or an adjacent tile.

at the end of the turn the player draws 2 resource cards and the appropriate number of flood cards (based on the water level)
If a resource card is the "waters rise card" this causes the deck of drawn flood cards to be reshuffled and put atop the flood deck and potentially additional cards to be draw. This ramps the game up over time.

The flood cards will first cause a tile to be flooded, then if drawn again will cause the tile to sink completely below the ocean, which means it cannot be shored up or saved and it is removed from the game.

If the Landing site is lost, the game is lost. If any of the items cannot be redeemed, the game is lost.

There are also special player roles that add additional powers to each player to help in the task.

Our Experience

This game was our first cooperative game, and it was a welcome one. It had a couple of areas we did wrong the first time, but we figured it out relatively quickly. It is fun, and can be challenging at a high level. It has gone over well with most of the groups we've shared it with.
It was particularly fun watching a highly competitive player have to work with the group.

- Beautiful components
- affordable and easy to find
- Easy to teach and learn
- plays well 1-4, and 5 if you want to go crazy.

- Once the game is solved it becomes more of following the same pattern every game. Many of the choices and best moves are obvious, and then it becomes a matter of chance in the deck.
- It comes in a tin

Responses to Cons.
- This will cause some to lose interest and want to move onto more complex games, but even so, sometimes solitaire or with new groups this is a really good game to have on hand.
- While the tin is problematic when storing, it is a nice looking Tin.

Final Thoughts

Forbidden Island is a fantastic first cooperative game. The flipping of the tiles is always fun, and the game is stunning to look at. For new gamers, or first time cooperative people it is a good choice. If you haven't played it and you see it for even cheaper than normal, you can't go wrong.

I rate this game an 8/10

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