Forbidden Island is the forerunner to another game, Forbidden Desert, and shares a lot of similarities: the players are trapped in a distant land and must work together in order to survive – and win.
The players represent adventurers searching for treasure. But the clock is ticking because the Island is sinking, due to an ancient curse. So the game is a race; can the players grab all the treasure in time, or will they be sucked into the sea?
The play area is made up of several tiles that represent different parts of the island. Everyone plays an adventurer: they have a pawn to represent their location on the island, and a special ability they can use. On your turn you have three action points to use; you can move around the island, shore up sinking parts of the island, give treasure cards to other players (assuming you’re both in the same place) or pick up located treasure.
At the end of each turn you pick up treasure cards, and your aim is to gather four of the same type of treasure card. Once you have a set you can make your way to specific locations in order to collect the treasure itself. But collectively you need to make sure these places haven’t sunk into the sea, for at the end of each turn Flood cards are revealed. One flood card of a specific tile flips it over to its flooded side, if a second comes up that tile is removed from the game, forever lost to the sea! And as the game progresses more and more Flood tiles are revealed.So the challenge is to make sure you don’t lose the tiles you need to pick up treasure from and keep enough tiles connected so you can move around the island. Once the four treasures have been collected players have to make their way to a specific tile (Fool’s Landing) in order to fly to safety…
A fun and co-operative family game.
This is a nice game to play with children where the focus is on working together and there’s elements of puzzle and elements of risk. I think it’s successor Forbidden Desert probably pips it as the better game, but Forbidden Island on the other hand is less fiddly to set up and play.
All the Take That in Forbidden Island comes from the game itself. The players are working co-operatively.
There's not much fidget factor. The game is best played as a discussion.
Low. You're not deluged with options; there's just enough to induce a bit of planning.
The Island tiles are laid out randomly and the treasure and flood cards are also shuffled before each game. So there is a decent amount of re-playabaility.