So, as regular readers of the blog will know, I’m a massive fan of Wil Wheaton’s web series Tabletop. Now this has now lead to me owning many more games, including Small World and Castle Panic (articles coming on those soon).
Wheaton’s aim is to get people gaming together and his videos are brilliant for two things:
- They explain the games simply and showing the joy of playing, either trying to win for yourself or working with his guests in cooperative games.
- Watching Will’s face as once again he snatches defeat from the jaws of victory
Now I’m not saying Wil rarely wins, no, in fact I am saying that. It’s become a brilliant and unintentional theme as time after time, he ends up on the couch of defeat, rather than in front of the wall of victory.
So when James of IYGDTTWT bought Forbidden Island, the challenge was set, do what Wheaton could not!
The aim of the game is to get the artifacts and get off the island which is trying to stop you, for a more detailed explanation the Tabletop video is here.
In short: the island is sinking, get the goods by collecting sets matching the artifacts in specific locations and get out. While you try this the island is sinking at a progressively faster rate and the game gets harder as it goes on as the waters rise (shown by the card with the same name). The more The Waters Rise cards you draw, the quicker the island sinks, obviously sinking is bad, blocks movement and if you haven’t recovered an artifact before it’s location sinks, or the landing pad at Fool’s Landing sinks, you’re done.
To start with the game was going well, we were kicking ass and collecting the sets we needed. All was good, maybe this was an island of candy.
Then Drew Appeared.
Drew is notorious in our gaming circle as the harbinger of bad luck. and within 3 rounds of him appearing just to say hi (clearly his special rule is a radius effect) the waters began rising. Again and again and again.
Drew was then banished. but it was looking like this action might have been too late.
Our game had turned into a more desperate race against the clock.With two of the four artifacts secured, we had to scramble to keep our routes open to the remaining locations, and only with the judicious use of the special cards in the deck did we manage to get to Fool’s landing with the swag and a ride out of there.
So with success secured, there was only one thing to do: Troll Will Wheaton!
And to my utter astonishment, he responded in a very cool way!
Forbidden island is a great little game, with excellent, simple mechanics that encourage the scheming and bickering in the way that every good Co-op game should. It’s also a bargain and has great re playability. I encourage everyone who likes a good beer and pretzels game to pick it up.
Thoughts and comments, as ever, are welcome.