We're game freaks over here and while I'm quite the anti-video game mom (you notice I've never written about my issues with video games? It's because I dislike being tarred and feathered) any time I can find a good non-blinking, non-beeping, non-battery requiring game I do a little dance of joy.
But for every good game review request I get there are five others that are junk so I'm always very cautious when someone writes and wants me to try out their new game. However . . . when Gamewright (which has a good track record already) sent me a video clip of their new game Forbidden Island the curiosity got me.
And what great timing because with this bad knee of mine I've been stuck on the couch this week and we've been playing it for the last three or four days now.
You set up an island with tile cards representing various locations like "Temple of the Moon" or "Coral Palace" and each of the players assumes a role that has special powers. The story is that the island is sinking underneath you and you need to find and gather four special treasures then return to the landing platform where the helicopter can lift you off to safety before the water covers the island completely.
A few great things about the game:
- It's not too long or too short. I'm afraid I HATE Monopoly. By the time you finish a game you're eligible for social security. Every time I play it I get to a point where I'm so sick of it that I really don't care who wins. Take my money, just get me out of the game (making me a good person to play with because you'll beat me every time). You can finish Forbidden Island in between homework being done and dinner being served--perfect.
- It's a fun kid-styled game but yet still entertaining for adults too. Death to Candyland. Forbidden Island says it's for ages 10+ but Lillian (age 8) has no problem playing--though it is possible she's just a genius or something. Spencer (13) and David (11) love it and even Andrew and teenage Grace like playing.
- It's unique in that it's a team effort. You aren't competing against other players, all the players act together to collect the treasures and get everyone off the island which is not only nice as a life lesson in cooperation, it's nice for those of us who have problems with nice family games ending in bloodshed because of heavy competition. Not that our family ever argues or anything. Not us.
- The level of difficulty can be adjusted according to your confidence. The island floods bit by bit as you play and if you want to make it even more of a challenge (though we haven't got to that point yet) you can set the water level higher at the beginning of play, giving you less time to complete your task and making it more frantic as the island floods. Perhaps you need more "frantic" in your life?
- The roles each person gets assigned are fun and add a nice twist. There's the Navigator who can move other players to safety, the Explorer who can move diagonally, the Diver who can swim through flooded areas, the Engineer who can shore up sinking places, even a Pilot who--along with being able to fly to any point on the island in one move--has the added benefit of his own theme music that sounds remarkably like the theme song for The A Team each time he flies to another spot on the island. It's a bonus.
Sponsored by Polkadot Peacock for children's bedding.