★★★½☆ Forbidden Island; it’s like Indiana Jones put together a team of “experts” to retrieve treasures from a sinking island.

Check out this game if: you are looking for a cooperative/friendly game for a younger group.

This game stands out because of the cooperative element. Everyone works together and everyone will either win or loses together. Additionally, this is a great cooperative game because of it’s accessibility.

This game plays a lot like Pandemic (reviewed earlier), but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you like either of these games, you should buy both -the theme is different enough to own both.

1. Cooperative game means no conflict with other players.
2. Although the box reads 10+, I believe much younger players can handle this game -especially if an adult is supervising/playing along.
3. Game is quick but still feels like you’ve accomplished something big.
4. Unique character abilities force every player to interact and participate.
5. High component quality -it’s easy to dismiss this detail, but it really helps to get players involved when you get to hold a plastic gem in your hand (instead of a picture of one).
6. Different levels of difficulty and a modular board gives you more replayability.

1. Game is susceptible to “quarterbacking” i.e. one player trying to make everyone’s choices.
2. Maybe a little too quick -if you’re looking for a game night with the family, this likely won’t last an hour.
3. Game only plays up to 4 players.

Brief Overview:
You and your team are trying to retrieve treasures from a sinking island. To obtain the treasures, you and your teammates must collect cards and move around the board (you decide where to go -it’s not just a track everyone follows). Some characters can move quicker than others and some shore up the sinking island better.

After every player’s turn (where they can move or shore up the island) players draw cards from the deck. These cards will either help you obtain the treasures, or cause the island to sink more.

Number of Players 2-4
Age 10+
Time 30 mins
Friendly ★★★★★
Teachable ★★★☆☆
Replayability ★★★☆☆
Creative Freedom ★★★★☆
Inclusive (no elimination) ★★★★★
Interaction ★★★★☆

There is only one version of this game, but there is another similar game called Forbidden Desert (very similar, but a little harder).

Teaching Advice:
First explain how to win the game (obtain the treasures, and leave the island -with everyone alive).

With the board set up, explain the limited actions you can perform on a turn, show how flipping the tiles over reveal sinking island icons.

Lastly, show the cards you draw at the end of your turn and how they can either help or hurt your progress.

Link to Video Tutorial.

Link to Forbidden Island on Amazon.

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