The kids received a lot of board games over the holiday and in the early days of January, we finally got a chance to crack some open. One of the games was Forbidden Island. It's a collaborative game, in which the players are trying to retrieve four treasures and all make it to the helicopter rendez-vous point before the island sinks. The first time we played it, the crew consisted of the three Maliszewskis. (My son declined our invitation to play.) It was fun and tense and despite our best efforts, we lost. Here's a photo of the board at the end of our first game of Forbidden Island.
The next day, our family friend came over and to provide a change of pace from the very-competitive Risk Legacy, we decided to play Forbidden Island with four players. Once again, it was a very close game, but this time we won! Playing before helped because we knew more about playing our character cards (you select one prior to the game's start and it gives you extra abilities that you can you to help yourself and your friends - I was the diver, which meant I could swim between areas that had sunk - areas that are usually made inaccessible by the lack of land).
I'm not describing how to play the game very well. Let me try to paraphrase the rules.
The island is represented by location tiles. You lay out the island in a certain pattern but the placement of the individual tiles is random. There are three decks of cards - a flood deck, a treasure deck, and adventurer cards. Before we start to play, each person picks an adventurer card for special powers. To collect treasure, you need four cards with the same image and you must go to the tile with the picture of the treasure on it. You get two treasure cards at the end of your turn. Some of these have other benefits besides the items we need to claim. However, some are "waters rise" cards. The water level starts at two if you are a novice (you can set it higher for extra challenge). At the end of your turn, you must draw two flood cards. These match the item location tiles. If you choose a flood card location and that place is "normal", it then becomes flooded. If you choose a location and it is already flooded, then it sinks and is removed from play. Each player turn consists of three things: 1) taking three actions of your choice (moving, shoring up a flooded area, giving a treasure card to another player, or capturing a treasure) 2) drawing two treasure deck cards 3) drawing flood cards (it starts at two but when waters rise cards are turned over, it increases the number of flood cards you have to pick).
Here's a photo of our winning last scene.
And a close up of our treasure!