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Subject: It's a Hit With The Kid! rss

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Paul Clegg
United States
San Carlos
California
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Got my copy of Forbidden Island from Amazon, sitting on my doorstep when I got home. I ripped into it, set everything up on a table, read the directions and waited for the wife and stepdaughter (8) to get home. We all wolfed down some pizza, and while the wife was busy finishing up some work-related things, I set about teaching the wee one to play.

She was hooked. She loved the tension of the sinking island, but really enjoyed the cooperative nature (she's a kind one; hates to make moves that disadvantage other players, so I'm hoping this will keep her into playing games and maybe culture that "drive to win" if it's to everyone's benefit).

We played a learning game together and won pretty handily. Then she wanted to set the board up herself, so naturally she arranged all the important treasure pieces around the helipad and our starting squares. We wont that game pretty handily too, but she loved it.

Then I realized I never actually flipped any of the cards to start with (I totally missed the whole "start by drawing 6 flood cards" bit). When the exhausted wife finally came over to play a third game, we started out right, and the game's tension was definitely increased. But it went over well. It was simple enough for the sleepy wife to follow, strategic enough to keep my brain engaged, and "fun enough" for the munchkin to really get a kick out of it.

It didn't hurt that, for this last game, the kid was playing the Pilot, and happened to have the most of the remaining treasure cards left. The two pickup spots were on the other side of the island from the helipad, and the wife had the last needed card. So the last round of turns, we're seeing bits of island disappear all over the place, the kid has two helicopter cards (and is the pilot). So the wife gives her the last card she needed; kid immediately uses a helicopter card for a free ride over to the pickup spot, so she doesn't have to discard anything. Her turn comes back around, she picks up the treasure, uses the pilot ability to head back to the helipad, and then uses her last helicopter card to get us all off the island. Big win for the family.

Honestly, I don't think the evening could've gone better. This is, I think, the perfect game for bringing the family together for an hour or two on a school night.

So very much worth the $15 it cost from Amazon. I only wish I'd ordered it last week, instead of waiting to see if my local game store had it (they didn't -- but I bought Twilight Struggle from them, so I don't feel too bad )
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Jan
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looks like a fun session.
 
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Paul Clegg
United States
San Carlos
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And after all that, I realized we had forgotten the rule about reshuffling the Flood Cards discard pile after drawing "Waters Rise"! That will definitely make the game even more tense next time around. But that's also very cool for the kid; by simple tweaking of the rules here and there (fewer initial tile flips, don't reshuffle after Waters Rise, etc) the game was even more kid-friendly!
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William Norris
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Southbridge
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It's a great game to play with the family! My 5 year old loves to play. She doesn't do much of the strategic thinking involved, but with the help of my wife and me, she enjoys the interactions. Drawing the cards, flipping the tiles, moving the token. She understands the tension and gets into the spirit. It's a great time spent as a family.
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Melissa Welborn
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Anderson
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We like this game too. We have an almost-9 year old and 10 year old, and the kids enjoy it. We call it "Pandemic-Lite".
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Tom Lawnsby
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Seattle
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My 8yr old son loves this game too. We typically head to a coffee shop and lay it out -- last time we were about one move away from winning and then lost the last tile we needed to land on. Drama! I usually play the "messenger" so I can help give my son the treasure cards to collect the goodies, he loves that.
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