Forbidden Island board game box cover
Forbidden Island board game back of box
Forbidden Island board game pieces

Forbidden Island

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Quick Takes:Crowd icon 2-4 players Clock icon 30 minutes Adult and child icon Ages 10+ Ace of hearts Level 1 (easy to learn, easy to play and FUN!)

About the game:

Grab the family and get ready to capture the four treasures from the ruins of the Forbidden Island. In this cooperative game, you and your fellow players must work together to escape with the treasure before the island sinks into the sea. Forbidden Island is a great game for kids and families, with easy to grasp rules and a fun theme. The game allows for multiple levels of difficulty and lots of different ways to set up the islands. Players take turns moving their pawns around the island, but as the game goes on, the tiles that make up the island start sinking one by one. Players must work together, juggling actions that help collect treasure vs. stop the island from sinking, to win.

This game is by the same designer as Pandemic, and it has a similar style of game play but a much different (and after 2020, more escapist) feel than Pandemic. The light island theme makes it good for families, while the mechanisms are relatively simple to understand. There's not a lot of reading required for this game, nor is the strategy particularly on the heavy side. Rather than thinking several moves ahead and considering collateral damage, this game encourages players to think through their actions for up to 1-2 turns.

We think it's the perfect family cooperative game for families with younger gamers, and it comes in a decorative tin. For families with somewhat older children, or anyone who enjoys Forbidden Island, we also recommend Forbidden Desert.

Why we chose this game for Board's Edge:
  • Cooperative - play with your friends, not against them
  • Family fun - this is great for family game night, striking the right balance between interesting for adults and not too challenging for kids
Selected Awards and Honors:
  • Mensa Select Winner - 2010
  • UK Games Expo Best Family/Children's Game Winner - 2010
  • Golden Geek Best Children's Board Game Winner - 2010