Forbidden Island

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Rating Summary (156 Total)


If you play with non-gamers and/or people who are turned off by the theme of Pandemic, Forbidden Island is worth looking at, especially at that price point. Forbidden Island has fewer special power cards in the draw deck, but I think it makes you work together more, and focus on each person's special powers. It is very similar to Pandemic, but has fun artwork and an approachable theme. One of the things that held me off from Pandemic for a while was the theme. If FI had been available, that would have been a GREAT game for us, and I think it will go over well with family groups and/or couples with a spouse who wants lighter gaming. The setup is pretty minimal, the rules are pretty minimal, but it does make for a challenge. It's quick enough that you can play again, which is always good to have it "sink in". I think, with the intended audience, it is a very good game.


I love using this to introduce children to non competitive gaming.


Don't like the tin, however I like the game more than pandemic because there isn't always a scripted set of actions you MUST take to survive.


"Pandemic Light"




Potential to rise or fall at moments notice. It depends on how it plays at higher difficulties


Actions feel like they're on rails at times, but otherwise a wonderful simple co-op game.


This is a very quick co-operative game. Great entry game to show non gamers that there are other board games beside monopoly. Couldn't play this all the time, but its a very good filler game. 05.03.2012 - Changing rating to a 6 which reflects my views on the game. Its simple fun but after 2 consecutive games I always find myself wanting to do anything else.


Good as introduction to co-op but I'm giving it a low-ish score having played both Pandemic and Forbidden Desert several times prior to this, so it now feels a bit too basic.



Watered down pandemic. Mini idols are cool and the flip and destruction of tiles is a good visual conponent. Great for gateway and families of younger kids.


Decent co-op game, but too many B.S. luck wins or losses. More straight forward than Pandemic, for example.


Solid, light coop game. Great for playing with younger kids, but not a lot of depth involved.


I would personally rather play Pandemic than this every time, but if I am playing with my family, this is a good alternative.


Another great game for cooperative play that leads to good gamer interaction. Buy It!


Easy to teach and plays quickly. After playing Forbidden Desert for the first time I think this might get replaced by it eventually.


THE gateway game for Co-ops. Keep a copy of this game in your collection if for no other reason than to introduce co-op games to people in less than an hour.


Love this Game, works so well with the people I can play with. Great length of play too


Plays like a simplified Pandemic; cool theme, quick play, and dramatic difficulty. Great for kids. Really low price, really high quality. iPad version is amazing! I'd rather play Pandemic, but this seems real good for a certain age group.


I don't think it would be unfair to call this game Pandemic for Kids, as it's the same designer and the same core mechanics, but with everything simplified a bit and the theme changed to be more kid-friendly (I assume kids would rather be treasure hunters exploring island ruins than be the CDC trying to prevent biological Armageddon). If kid-friendly was a priority for me, I'd probably rate this game more favorably, but I don't have kids, and I don't play with kids, so I'd rather just play Pandemic.


Great introduction to coops for new/young players. Replaced by Pandemic and other coops for more experienced players.


2017-09-16 - Bought starlitcitadel; don't like co-ops; got it for the kids;


It’s a simple introduction to coop board games but I don’t think I’ll be playing it anymore.


Very Simple, hard to lose, but if you do its all luck because the decisions are so easy, easy to alpha game.


Matt Leacock's design aesthetic is immediately apparent in this game. The accelerating rate of the constantly sinking island, and the various roles are streamlined from Pandemic. This streamlining makes for a much simpler game, but also feels like a major step backward. The game hinges too strongly on the timing of the 'Waters Rise' cards. A few too early, or a few too closely together can make the game unbeatable even with optimal play, which feels more frustrating that challenging. Despite all of the changes I still find Pandemic to be much more enjoyable, but if you are a Leacock fan looking for a shorter and easier experience, this is your game.


(+) Good gateway to co-ops, different player abilities, cool theme, has some close finishes, variable difficulty (-) Most of the tiles are not important and are given up as flood fodder, trading cards is frustrating (can't take cards from others, they can only be given), can feel same-y


The first co-op game we bought. One of our main games we play with new players and even parents. Doesn't hit the table as much since we haven't had any new people in out group. Classic.


Short and fun co-op game, good as a filler. If you try to arrange the map in different ways it can get pretty difficult.


I bought fan made exp when free shipping on


A fun light co-op game that can easily be used to get new people into the hobby if they're not into competitive games.


(11/15) 4. Sold at Strategicon Auction! (10/17) 4. Another fine gateway that I probably won't play again. Especially since I prefer Desert.


In Germany


Nice light co-op game that my wife also enjoys playing. My 6 year old son has also played and he loved it.