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Subject: Baker's Boards: Needs a "Lost" Edition rss

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Nathaniel Baker
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Lino Lakes
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Initial Response – 7/10

After my Catan games, I thought I should venture off and buy something new for the mix. That’s when I came across reviews for Forbidden Island, praising it in all its glory, telling of how Coop games are the future of gaming. So I obviously wasn’t that psyched, because I’m not that into Coop gaming (unless its Arkham Horror – review on that later). Not only that, but I didn’t enjoy the fact that it was going to come in a tin. The only tinned game I can do is Quarriors, because the tin is a giant Quake Dragon die. Anyway, I was excited to get something new to try out, but a little on edge as it was really new compared to things I’ve played in the past.

Unboxing and Components – 9/10 (10/10 if no tin)

Regardless of the tin, which dents extremely easily, the packaging inside was quite superb. Every component has its own little slot in the insert, and fits nice and snug with little to no loose parts.



And the components! The components had been some of the nicest components I had seen back then, and they still are relatively decent today. The cards are a good sturdy card stock. The difficulty setter is a good hard cardboard. The “meeples” are a nice bigger size and fit the tiles rather nicely. The tiles are textured like Carcassonne tiles, but a bit thicker and, in my opinion, of a nicer quality than Carcassonne tiles. The 4 treasures are a detailed plastic mold, and are very sturdy and fun as well. If components made a game, this game would be a 11/10.

Setup – 8/10

Setting up your Forbidden Island is relatively easy. First, shuffle the 24 Island tiles and randomly place them face up (color side up) into a grid. Start by making a 4 x 4 grid, and then place 2 tiles next to each of the 2 middle tiles on every side of the square (will look kind of like a fat + symbol). This is your Forbidden Island you’ll move your paws around on.

Next, you will place your 4 treasures. The treasures represent the Earth’s 4 core elements: The Earth Stone, the Statue of the Wind, the Crystal of Fire, and the Ocean’s Chalice. Place the 4 treasures in the open 4 corners around the Island. Now, separate the cards into 3 decks according to the card back. 1 deck will be blue (Flood deck), another will be red (Treasure deck), and the other will be the 6 Adventurer cards. Draw 6 cards off the Flood deck to form the Flood discard pile. Then flip the corresponding Island tiles to their white/blue side, meaning that it is flooded.



Each player will take on the role of an adventurer with a special power that only you can do during the game. Take a moment to read aloud your roles and powers written on the bottom of the cards so that your teammates know your strengths. You’ll find the game will be easier to win if you cooperate and take advantage of these special powers. Take a pawn matching the color of your Adventurer card and place it on the corresponding Island tile. (Look for the matching pawn icon in the lower right corner of the Gates and Fools’ Landing tiles.) Put any extra Adventurer cards and pawns back in the box. Note: It’s OK to start on a flooded tile.

Next, you will shuffle the Treasure deck and deal 2 cards to each player. Each player places their cards in front of them so that everyone can see them. If anyone gets a card called “Waters Rise!”, give them a replacement card and shuffle “Waters Rise!" back into the deck. Last but not least, set the water level. The Water level can be started on any difficulty you want.



Gameplay – 7/10

The rules say that whoever visited an island last goes first, but my wife and I just do rock paper scissors. Otherwise I would always go first. On your turn, you do the following 3 things in this order:

Take up to 3 actions
Draw 2 Treasure cards
Draw Flood cards equal to the water level

You can take any number of actions up to three, which includes taking 0 if you really wish. Because of the coop involved in this game, it is encouraged to give advice to your teammates for the greater good. Actions include: Moving your pawn (up, down, left or right - not diagonal), Shore up (which involves flipping a sunken tile), giving a treasure card to your friend, and capturing a treasure. Shoring up can be very important, because if you draw an island card, and it is already sunk, it’ll disappear and be removed from the board. This, at times, can mean being cut off from Fool’s Landing, which is needed for escape at the end of the game in order to win.

Depending on which Adventurer you received, you get a special ability only you can use. Some special abilities include being able to move Diagonal, moving to any space once, moving through a sunken/missing tile, or shoring up 2 tiles for 1 action. In order to capture a treasure, you must be on one of the two tiles where you can buy the corresponding treasure, as well as having 4 of the matching treasure cards to offer up as payment. You ARE able to capture a treasure on a flooded tile.

The game ends when all treasures have been captured and every player manages to escape the island from Fool’s Landing. If one person loses, we all lose, so Cooperative play is a must!

Cleanup – 8/10

Cleanup is simple. The insert is so perfect for separating and holding all your pieces, that there is nothing for me to complain about. However, the scoring tracker cannot be stored with the plastic indicator on it very well as it makes you unable to shut the tin all the way. Other than that, Bravo Gamewright.

Thoughts and Criticisms

For being a game aimed toward a younger age, this game has some snuff to it. If you don’t plan out correctly, you can be horribly defeated, even on easier settings. However, there is enough luck involved that in some games you can make horrible decisions and still come out on top. This makes the game far less strategic than presented as, and makes it so that a game can take forever in order to win, if possible to win at all. We actually played a game and kept track of what we did, and it was literally impossible to win. This brings the game down even further in replay value. While the gameplay is somewhat fun, and the components are just amazing (especially at a $15 value), it just isn’t a gamer’s game.

The Final Countdown – 6/10

The more I played Forbidden Island, the less enjoyable it became. It could’ve been so much more than it is, and still could be if an expansion fixed its flaws. If I could take all those components and make a game out of it, and sell it for $15 everytime though, I swear I would. These components are pretty:



This game is so moderately priced and could easily be a great filler for every once in a while, I would still recommend buying it. Just know that you won’t be blown away. While playing with children, they’ll love it! Younger boys I played with enjoyed the artwork and 4 treasures quite a bit, and enjoyed the mock role play of being an adventurer.

Another plus is the Coop factor. Not many games have a Coop factor and this can be appealing to a large crowd, especially one that hasn’t tried it before and doesn’t want to get to into the mix with Arkham Horror or a Coop Wargame. Like I said, as occasional filler, this game would score a 10/10. However, for your average gamer? This is more of a 6.

Happy Playing!

Nate meeple
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Someone already made a Lost version... German only, unfortunately.


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Paul Harmon
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Rochester
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The ultimate in Co-op Gaming.
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Grudunza wrote:
Someone already made a Lost version... German only, unfortunately.




Thats actually a great idea. Id buy that version...my brother would buy two
 
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Liam Liam
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Good review - excellent use of pictures

Quote:
The more I played Forbidden Island, the less enjoyable it became.

Totally agree with this - its a good game but it comes with a half-life.

The biggest flaw, however, is that it is a lite version of Pandemic - so much so that if you buy one the other is ruined for you, IMO.
 
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Mister P
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I would recommend this for Mums or Dads who like to play board-games with their kids. Hardcore gaming groups will not get much out of this game.
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Nathaniel Baker
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Completely agree.

So there is a lost edition? Glad I wasn't the only one thinking that. Looks like I know what my next imports gonna be (wifes favorite is Lost and she liked Forbidden Island)

BahdMufu wrote:
I would recommend this for Mums or Dads who like to play board-games with their kids. Hardcore gaming groups will not get much out of this game.
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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knatebaker wrote:

So there is a lost edition? Glad I wasn't the only one thinking that. Looks like I know what my next imports gonna be (wifes favorite is Lost and she liked Forbidden Island)


It's not an official published version, just a fan creation.
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Chris Willett
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monkeyhandz wrote:
Good review - excellent use of pictures

Quote:
The more I played Forbidden Island, the less enjoyable it became.

Totally agree with this - its a good game but it comes with a half-life.

The biggest flaw, however, is that it is a lite version of Pandemic - so much so that if you buy one the other is ruined for you, IMO.


I have both of these games (Forbidden Island and Pandemic) and I feel this statement. My weird issue is that I think Forbidden Island is a bit more simple than I want it to be, but my girlfriend thinks Pandemic is a bit much. Therefore, we don't really play either of them. I find the Co-op games fun, but they don't have quite the same pull as a game that you can play against people.

I find it hard to say "We got 3 of the treasures, lets try for all 4 this time," or anything like that. It just turns out to a win or lose thing for the people I play it with. Being defeated in the game does not make for a fun experience in general. This way everyone loses (or wins). You didn't best anyone but the designer.

I don't know though, maybe I just haven't found the right co-op game yet.
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Nathaniel Baker
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nukesniper wrote:
monkeyhandz wrote:
Good review - excellent use of pictures

Quote:
The more I played Forbidden Island, the less enjoyable it became.

Totally agree with this - its a good game but it comes with a half-life.

The biggest flaw, however, is that it is a lite version of Pandemic - so much so that if you buy one the other is ruined for you, IMO.


I have both of these games (Forbidden Island and Pandemic) and I feel this statement. My weird issue is that I think Forbidden Island is a bit more simple than I want it to be, but my girlfriend thinks Pandemic is a bit much. Therefore, we don't really play either of them. I find the Co-op games fun, but they don't have quite the same pull as a game that you can play against people.

I find it hard to say "We got 3 of the treasures, lets try for all 4 this time," or anything like that. It just turns out to a win or lose thing for the people I play it with. Being defeated in the game does not make for a fun experience in general. This way everyone loses (or wins). You didn't best anyone but the designer.

I don't know though, maybe I just haven't found the right co-op game yet.


Arkham Horror my friend, Arkham Horro.
 
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Steve Duff
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knatebaker wrote:
Arkham Horror my friend, Arkham Horro.


Horror indeed. zombie

If they find 1 hour of lightish Pandemic too much, I don't think 6 hours of AH is the solution.
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Andrew MacLeod
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Wow! Just WOW! Where do I begin to disagree?

knatebaker wrote:

Regardless of the tin, which dents extremely easily, the packaging inside was quite superb.


And cardboard boxes don't dent easily (and get damaged otherwise)? This kinda reminds me of the debate in Canada back in the 1990's when the two-dollar coin was introduced. All kinds of people were reporting that, with a bit of difficulty, the centre of the coin could be pushed out, and that Canada should have stuck with the paper two-dollar bill. The debate ended rather abruptly when an official from the Canadian mint stated those immortal words: "Try tearing a two dollar bill in half. You'll find it a lot easier than punching out the centre of a two-dollar coin."

knatebaker wrote:

...the scoring tracker cannot be stored with the plastic indicator on it very well as it makes you unable to shut the tin all the way.


I take it you mean the Water Meter? My tin is shut quite tightly; and I've got extra stuff in it!

knatebaker wrote:

...it just isn’t a gamer’s game.


On that point, you're absolutely right! But it wasn't meant to be a heavy game.

knatebaker wrote:
Just know that you won’t be blown away.


[roaring sound of a tempest's wind] But I was! I was! And I play MUCH heavier games on a regular basis!

monkeyhandz wrote:
The biggest flaw, however, is that it is a lite version of Pandemic - so much so that if you buy one the other is ruined for you, IMO.


I played Pandemic first, and tried Forbidden Island for the first time over a year ago, and I would say that I like them equally....but for different reasons. Pandemic is by far the deeper game, but a tad on the dry side. Forbidden Island is light, but themed much better, and with a sense of impending doom from the get go. Pandemic, on the other hand, frequently doesn't have a sense of doom until a few turns into the game. So owning both hasn't ruined the other for me at all.
I need impending doom......sauron

nukesniper wrote:
I don't know though, maybe I just haven't found the right co-op game yet.


Please try Yggdrasil!
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Grant Fikes
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amacleod wrote:
Wow! Just WOW! Where do I begin to disagree?
...
monkeyhandz wrote:
The biggest flaw, however, is that it is a lite version of Pandemic - so much so that if you buy one the other is ruined for you, IMO.


I played Pandemic first, and tried Forbidden Island for the first time over a year ago, and I would say that I like them equally....but for different reasons. Pandemic is by far the deeper game, but a tad on the dry side. Forbidden Island is light, but themed much better, and with a sense of impending doom from the get go. Pandemic, on the other hand, frequently doesn't have a sense of doom until a few turns into the game. So owning both hasn't ruined the other for me at all.
I need impending doom......sauron


As someone who similarly played Pandemic first and then discovered Forbidden Island, I agree that I love each game in its own way. Pandemic is a little tougher to teach to the non-gamer crowd than Forbidden Island, and unfortunately I have little to no off-line exposure to the gamer crowd here in Abilene. The set-up in Pandemic is a little complicated by the dealing the deck into a bunch of stacks and shuffling an Epidemic into each one (which is a really clever mechanic to keep the Epidemics spread out from the beginning to the end, and therefore one which I would never suggest removing). I suppose the set-up of Forbidden Island is also complicated in the sense that you're arranging the 24 tiles randomly – I even go so far as to use random.org each time I play, so I'm not completely sure how to articulate why I somehow am more put off by shuffling seven cards without seeing them than by randomizing 24 tiles that I'm allowed to see the whole time.

Pandemic is a meatier game than Forbidden Island, but the latter is easier for newbies to swallow, and still exciting enough in its own right that I would recommend it.
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