Forbidden Island board game
Forbidden Island board game

Forbidden Island

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

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    So far only one play, but we had a blast on our first try. We played on novice and it went right down to the wire. We barely got off of the Island before it completely sank! I was the Diver and my partner was the Messenger. I'm excited to try this one with some more players.This was my first time playing a cooperative game and I think it might lead me to try some of the other coop games like Pandemic.
  • 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
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I remember liking games when I grew up, and as I've mentioned elsewhere on BGA, loving #Dark Tower and #Scotland Yard, and playing trick-taking card games with family and relatives. We also played a number of kid's games with my son when he was growing up.  #Scooby Doo Pop 'N' Race Game was one of his favorites. 

It was about 9 years ago that I came across a FLGS near where I worked that rented out games.  We rented #Forbidden Island, #Dominion: Second Edition (really, 1st edition back then), #Carcassonne, and #Catan. I really enjoyed them, and our son loved Dominion. We bought it for him for Christmas that year after renting it twice. Around that time, I worked with a Boy Scout troop and they had a game night.  I pulled out my copy of Scotland Yard and taught four of them how to play.  They thought it was so cool! 

It was still about three more years before we were introduced to #Ticket to Ride: Europe by an Aunt that really got us interested in current gaming.  Since then, there's usually a game or two under the Christmas tree and for my birthday. Our collection has ramped up since Azul won the Spiel de Jahres-I bought it the next day and my wife really enjoyed it. We've probably added about five or six games a year since then. I'd rather play a game than sit and watch tv, but when my wife needs some 'come sit with me' time, I can pick up some knitting project and sit with her.

I love to share games with people.  We're on our third year of hosting foreign exchange students and have played board and card games with each of them.  They have all shared a game with us, and have really enjoyed playing our games as well.  It's been nice to learn some games played in Europe (6 qui prend!, Cortex Challenge 2, and Romme). We've also introduced a few other people to new games and it's a lot of fun.  We start out with the easier, family-friendly, or co-op games, then go from there.

My wife suggested a board game birthday party for me a few years back and I thought it sounded like fun. I had a friend that was into games and he brought #Bang! The Dice Game, #Forbidden Island, and #Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game.  I had never played any modern games up to that point but after that party I was hooked!

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