Forbidden Island board game
Forbidden Island board game

Forbidden Island

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Overall Rank: #41 | Trending Rank: #508

Dare to discover Forbidden Island! Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise. Your team will have to work together and make some pulse-pounding maneuvers, as the island will sink beneath every step! Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss!

Nominated for the 2011 Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) Award.

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User Ratings & Reviews

  • Hated this game because every time I played it it seemed obvious what the best move was. When we won it felt like we would have had to make stupid moves to lose, and when we lost it felt like it wouldn't have been possible to win.
  • A very intriguing cooperative game that borrows some of the mechanisms of Pandemic, yet manages to capture its own unique feel. The production quality of this game is amazing. The chunky tiles have great art on them, the cards are all well laminated, and the treasure tokens are just amazing quality. This would be a great introductory cooperative game, as the mechanisms are very simple yet the game can still be quite challenging.I love the fact that the game is fast to set up and plays in 15 minutes to a half hour at the most. It will really attract young people, but has enough decisions that it can entertain adults as well. Watching the island slowly disappear under the adventurers is very cool and actually brings the theme to life. I may enjoy other cooperative games more, but if I'm limited on time this one is a superb alternative. And don't let the younger age range, faster play time, and simpler mechanisms fool you...this game can be a real challenge to win even on the normal difficulty level.
  • Traded For: December 201017 - 13, W1My Review: A Year With Forbidden Island
  • Fun, but in our one play on Normal difficulty, it was quite easy. The owner chalked it up to an extremely lucky shuffle, but it is a shame the mechanics didn't pick up the slack in that instance. I bet it's better most of the time, but I'll wait until that's proven before I raise the score.
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I like this idea. There are a few popular games that I legitimately don't like. There might be good or bad reasons I don't like these games, and my not liking them certainly doesn't invalidate the games.

#The Castles of Burgundy: I have talked and written about this a number of times. And, it is no secret that I bounced off of this one, hard. I like euro's, I used to like them more than I do know. I don't need pretty art. I honestly didn't mind the "poor art" which many decry. But, the whole thing felt way to samey, I never  found the fun, the hook. And, it was way too long. I didn't, and don't mind long games. But long games that felt the same the whole way through.... Not for me.

#Pandemic What do you get when you take an appealing theme, ok gameplay, and make it a cooperative experience? You get a massive yawn. I would much much rather play #Forbidden Island than Pandemic. I am not a big fan of cooperative games anyway, though I will solo them sometimes. But, somehow Pandemic is just in a weird place that I don't like. I want something lighter or something a chunk heavier. In fact, you could probably say that most of my complaints of Pandemic could probably be applied to most mid-weight coops.

#7 Wonders I would play this again. I find it to be a OK experience, though barely. I don't hate this game, but I do feel like it is rated much much higher than it should be.

You have already mentioned some of these, but I have used and enjoyed:


#Dominion: Second Edition

#Forbidden Island

#Lost Cities



If they are a crowd that likes monopoly a lot, and are all teens/adults, I have even had a lot of fun with #Acquire.


There are quite a few cooperative games out there, but I think its probably tough to do that kind of balance well (I'm assuming, not a game designer myself).  Pandemic is deffinitely the quintessential example of this but there are #Forbidden Island, #Forbidden Desert, and #Forbidden Sky: Height of Danger by the same designer and use the same basic mechanic as Pandemic. I find those to be a little redundant of Pandemic but other co-op games that I enjoy are #Ghost Stories, #Mechs vs. Minions, #Spirit Island, #Hanabi#Commissioned and there's the RPG-lite #Mice and Mystics and of course there's always #Gloomhaven.  I'm planning on playing #Magic Maze at some point as well which I hear is fun.  Then there are the tons of semi-co-op games with like a traitor mechanic or some way of picking a winner out of the players like #Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game, #Betrayal at House on the Hill, #Castle Panic, etc.  We like co-op games in our house =)

#Dinosaur Island is good for 9yr olds if you play the short game.  My boys didn't have the attention span for the medium or long game, but they did enjoy building the dino's. 

Other games my boys loved that would be good at 2:

#Carcassonne, #Forbidden Island (or really any of them), #Pandemic, #Raptor, #Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Gameand #Dice Throne: Season 2 - Gunslinger vs. Samurai

I don't know who you are playing with, nor do I know your tastes. So, don't take my recomendations too seriously. But, some that I have enjoyed, in addition to what you posted, include:


I am not a huge coop fan, but many people are, and if that includes you you could add #Pandemic / #Forbidden Island / #Forbidden Desert

Many people really enjoy #7 Wonders. I myself enjoyed the #Sushi Go Party! quite a bit more fore a drafting game. I here a more modern drafting game t hat beats both of those is #It's a Wonderful World.

I think #Dominion: Second Edition is a the closest thing you can get to a collection essential.

I like both #Forbidden Island and #Forbidden Desert

#Spirit Island is a superb superb coop. It is crunchy, and I don't know what level of comfortability your wife has with heavier games, but I think that most gamers could easily get ahold of it. I don't know what languages you speak, but if you don't speak German you will have some difficulty with a German copy of SI. SI does have a decently high level of language dependence.

You could also check out stuff like #Flash Point: Fire Rescue, #Atlantis Rising (second edition), or #Ghost Stories, which has recently been reimplemented as #Last Bastion.

That should give you some themes to pick from.

That should