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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.
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.
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.
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.
I bought fan made exp when free shipping on http://www.artscow.com/gallery/playing-cards/forbidden-island-official-zjrsvu26d3e0 https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/569926/official-variant-tile-layouts/page/16