I have been watching TableTop; a show created to allow celebrities and well known figures in the geek world to play tabletop games with Wil Wheaton on camera. This has been my starting place for table top games. I grew up on the classics, like Monopoly but since my younger years I have not touched a board game, besides for a random night of Risk after my masters degree graduation. We all know that if you want to keep friends and not make enemies, you do not play Monopoly.
I have seen the crews and Wheaton play many games on the show. Forbidden Island – TableTop. One that caught my eye and made me want to play was Forbidden Island. In the episode, the crew loses and the island floods before they can recover the treasures. The game looked fun and easy to learn, so I decided to give it a try.
Here are the basics, you and your team have found a mysterious island with four ancient treasures related to the four elements. The island is flooding, but the flooding isn’t normal. The island is actually working against you and trying to flood itself before you can get the four treasures. By moving around the island and collecting four cards for each treasure, you can pick up the goodies. The entire crew must move back to where you started, Fool’s Landing, and be airlifted out to safety. At that point, you win! If you fail to get one treasure, the water gets too high, fool’s landing is flooded, or any player gets stuck and cannot make it back to fool’s landing, you lose.
This is a Matt Leacock game. So, you will lose over and over and cry before you get enough luck to win the game. It’s important to say that first. Secondly, you will grow to love the game. My crew and I played this game at least 5 times before we were able to beat it. The first time we “beat” the game, we quickly realized that we in fact, did not beat it because we forgot to shuffle our discard pile. However, when we actually did beat it, it was obvious that it was the real deal this time. It seems as if a lot of luck is needed to beat it and the right cards in the right order. In the end, we were down to two cards, Fool’s Landing and The Temple of the Sun. We ended up drawing the Temple of the Sun to be flooded, leaving our only other option Fool’s Landing, thus allowing us to leave the island with all four treasures and the helicopter card we saved.
Since that great night we have won 0 more times. Each time ends up as a deeper and deeper failure. Maybe the island is angry at us….
We have played Forbidden Island several times since this first post, and happily won many of those games. The greatest accomplishment however came on 23 May 2016, when we beat Forbidden Island on LEGENDARY. That’s rights….legendary. Like making legends. However, I should note that the game proved to beat us once more, as that night and the next day there was massive flooding in our town. Coincidence…… you decide.
The winning setup. We all made it back to Fool’s Landing with one helicopter left to get us out of there!