Conventions, Signal Boost, Tabletop Games, Tabletop Tuesday

Tabletop Tuesday: Forbidden Island

Hey all, Sam and David here.

It’s Tax Day here in the US, so it feels right to focus on a game that will have you running off to an island…and then quickly trying to escape the island before you drown. Yeah, taxes were just that good this year (and yes, we’re being sarcastic). But hey, things can only get better from here…right?

Anyway, welcome back to Free State of Geek, and another installment of Tabletop Tuesday. If you’re new around here, this is a series where we post each week about some sort of board game, dice game, card game, or TTRPG or TTRPG accessory.

Basically, we met while playing D&D, and our whole relationship has included a lot of tabletop games of all varieties. When I decided to really dive back into working on this blog again, it seemed a perfect fit to have David join me and we could talk about our love of tabletop, and share some of the games we have enjoyed in the hopes that you might find something fun to play as well.

Let’s go ahead and dive on in (and yes, that is an intentional pun).

You and your team can be the first to breach the borders of the Archeans’ ancient mystical empire in the collaborative card game Forbidden Island, by Gamewright. In this game, teamwork proves essential to locate the Earth Stone, the Statue of the Wind, the Crystal of Fire, and the Ocean’s Chalice as the Island floods beneath your feet. Adventure… if you dare!

Mega T-Rex
  • Ages: Ten and up
  • Requires: Two to four players
At a Glance:
  • Be the first team to breach the borders of the Archeans’ ancient mystical empire
  • Locate the Earth Stone, the Statue of the Wind, the Crystal of Fire, and the Ocean’s Chalice before the Island sinks
  • Find the treasures through collaborative play and teamwork
  • Stimulates problem-solving and strategic skills
The Legend of the Archeans

This game is centered on the legend of the Archean empire, a civilization that possessed the ability to control the Earth’s core elements–fire, wind, water, and earth–through four sacred treasures. These treasures stayed hidden from enemies for years on the Forbidden Island, which was designed to sink if intruders ever attempted to capture them. Set the appropriate water level for your gaming skill, and let the adventures begin!

Capture the Four Sacred Treasures Before the Island Sinks!

Your team of adventurers must work together to keep the Forbidden Island from sinking as you seek the four treasures hidden within. The mission is carried out using different combinations of Flood, Treasure, and Adventurer Cards on the 24 tiles that make up the Forbidden Island. Once you’ve captured each treasure using the appropriate cards, you must make it to Fools’ Landing and escape by helicopter in order to win. If the island sinks before you complete your tasks, the mission ends in defeat.

Use Collaborative Play to Succeed

Each player is dealt an Adventure Card and given a corresponding pawn before the game starts, designating him or her with a certain set of strengths. This game is designed so that instead of competing with other players, you work to find the treasures and find out how to best use each Adventurer’s strengths through collaborative play. This stimulates problem-solving and strategy skills.

We’ve played this game a couple times, and depending on the shuffling of the tiles or the random deal of the adventure card that denotes each team member, the game can be easier or more difficult. You can also make the game easier or harder by choosing if you’re starting at different levels on the Waters Rise tracker.

One of the things I enjoy most with this game is that it is collaborative and helps with team building, but sometimes all the teamwork in the world can’t compete with the issues of having a hand limit or the randomness of which tiles on the island sink beneath the rising tide.

This is the first of this series of games. Since its release they also came out with Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Sky, and apparently Forbidden Jungle will be coming out sometime this year.

Honestly, this is a fun series of cooperative games where there are so many ways to lose and only one way to win, and so long as you have a good group of friends with you, you’ll have a good time. Sometimes it’s actually fun to lose as a group. Everyone either all wins or all loses.

And because the island tiles are shuffled and placed randomly each time you play the game, it’s like a new game every time. I’m a huge fan of games with massive replay value. Sure, the more you play it, the more you understand how to play and how to work together. But that’s when you just increase the difficulty level and play again.

This also is a game that isn’t super complicated on the rules and gameplay, so you can start playing very quickly. Games only take about a half hour to play…although that partly depends on how much time your group spends on the strategic aspect of the game.

We enjoyed playing this game enough that I think we’ll finally end up buying Desert and Sky, so we can play them as well. They all have similar gameplay, but with some new feature or aspect so each game has an individual feel to it.

If you’re looking for a fun and easy game that’s quick to learn and quick to play, maybe consider picking up Forbidden Island.

All right, well that is all from us for today. Thank you so much for stopping by and we’ll be back soon with more geeky content.


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