Board game "Forbidden Island": reviews, rules, which is included

Board games are a great leisure, which allows not only to enjoy the process, but also to acquire useful skills - quickly count, think through their actions, make optimal decisions, and finally just work as a team. The latter applies to cooperative games - not too common, but very popular at the same time. It is no coincidence that the board game "Forbidden Island" reviews from experienced players receive mostly positive. Even with repeated passage, it will not become boring and will deliver more and more pleasure each time.


First of all, I would like to mention the scenario when talking about the board game "Forbidden Island". It is quite simple, but interesting and perfectly explains everything that happens in the game.

Playing field

A team of researchers, consisting of several specialists, arrives on a mysterious island, where, according to legend, four artifacts are stored that allow you to control the elements: fire, water, land and air. However, representatives of ancient civilization, hiding them in such a wilderness, provided for a protection option - only worthy ones will be able to take hold of enormous power. As soon as the foot of strangers touched the firmament of the island, a flood began. Parts of the island immediately went under water. And each movement leads to the fact that several more random parts flood. It is necessary to take measures to dry them - with repeated flooding, the site will go to the seabed, and it will not be possible to return it.

Well-thought out names create an additional atmosphere - Coral Castle, Treacherous Dunes, Cave of Shadows, Ghost Rock. Of course, these are trifles that do not affect the game mechanics, but playing using such place names becomes much more interesting.

Game preparation

Leaving reviews of the board game "Forbidden Island", many experienced players note the simplicity of its development - even teenagers and children can figure it out with the help of their parents, so the whole family will gather at the table to pass the test side by side.

To begin with, a standard field is laid out of tokens - a square four by four plus two tokens on each side. The field is created in random order, therefore, despite the standard form, it will be unique each time. Then the participants are dealt cards of characters, each of which falls into place (find the image of chips of the corresponding color on the field). The level is set on the flooding scale (depending on the experience of the players it can be 2 or 3) - it shows the number of cards that will have to be taken from the blue deck. Now six cards are taken from this deck - the corresponding tokens are turned over, which indicates the flooding of these locations.

Finally, all players are given two artifact cards - from the red pile. If the “Flood” card comes up, then it is kneaded into the deck, and another one is taken instead.

That's all. Now you can play!

Rules of the game

Each character has four standard actions (we will talk about unique, inherent to specific characters later). Firstly, it can move one cell vertically or horizontally. Secondly, to drain a piece of land (it’s flooded, but not out of the game). You can dry the one on which the character stands or the next one - vertically or horizontally. Thirdly, exchange an artifact card with another character - for this you need to be on the same cell with him. Fourth, after collecting four identical cards of the artifact and being on the appropriate cell (with an image of an artifact, for example, the Temple of the Moon for the Earth or the Cave of Shadows for Fire), pick it up. However, if you wish, you can perform not three actions, but less.

When all the actions are completed, the player must take two cards from the stack of artifacts. If the Flood map is among them, perform its action - move the marker on the flooding scale, but do not take a new one. If after completing the draw there are more than 5 cards on the hand, the excess must be discarded or used - at the player’s choice.

Metal box

The last stage of the move is the game for the forbidden island. Several cards are taken from the deck of tides (blue) - their number depends on which scale the sensor on the flooding scale measures. All matching tokens are flipped. If they have already been turned upside down, they are washed off - the tokens are removed from the game and no longer return, which greatly complicates the passage.

Victory conditions

To win the board game "Forbidden Island. Adventures for the Bold", you need to fulfill several conditions.

First, all four artifacts must be collected by players. Secondly, all characters must be on the take-off cage. Thirdly, players must have at least one Helicopter card in their hands. As you can see, everything is quite simple. However, the board game "Forbidden Island" received positive reviews not at all by chance. Although the conditions for victory are quite simple, it is much more difficult to fulfill them than it might seem at first glance.


Now it’s worth telling briefly about the conditions that make winning impossible, and therefore leading to defeat.

One of them is the complete flooding (leaving the token from the game) of the "Runway". Even if this happens at the very beginning, you can finish the passage - you won’t be able to win anymore.

Also here can be attributed the death of any character. If it turns out to be locked in a location cut off from the main island by the formed strait, and its token sinks before it can be evacuated, then the game is considered lost.

If the tide marker rises to the mark with the skull (this usually happens after the tidal deck has been played three times), the game also ends in defeat.

Finally, it’s bad if there is no way to get all the artifacts. For example, the team has not yet obtained an artifact of the earth, and the Temples of the Sun and Moon (two locations on which it can be obtained) went under water. It also leads to a loss.


Talking about how to play the board game "Forbidden Island", one can not help but mention the features of the classes. There are six such cards in the game. But the number of players is from 2 to 4. Therefore, at least two cards will not be involved. However, talking about each of the classes will be very useful.

Character Cards

Researcher - is able to move and dry areas not only horizontally, but also vertically. A very valuable character, characterized by high mobility, able to quickly cross the island.

Courier - can transfer cards to other heroes, while not being on the same cell with them. Spends one action for the transfer of each of them. Useful if you need to collect a set of 4 cards - this is usually observed in the middle and end of the game.

Engineer - is able to dry in one action not one neighboring area, but two at once. It copes well with the flooding of the island, so it is especially valuable towards the end of the game, when half of the island can go under water at any time.

Pilot - once per turn is able to move to any part of the island - the Temple of the Sun, the Tidal Palace, a ghost rock and any other. It spends one action. It is useful if you need to quickly pick up an artifact, urgently dry the area or save a character who is in a hopeless situation.

German edition

Scuba diver - can dive and move between flooded or even absent (for other characters this action is not available) sections of the island. At the same time, any number of cells can swim through the water - this will be considered as one move. The main thing is that the action ends on a dry or flooded (but not absent) token.

Finally, the Navigator. Having spent one action, he is able to move the other character to two cells at once.

As you can see, the specialists are very different, each with unique properties. This makes the game especially interesting, and teamwork is extremely important.

Card Description

With cards found in the deck of tides, everything is quite simple. If “Water arrives” comes across, you need to raise the marker on the water level scale by one mark, and mix all the cards taken from the deck of tides and put them on top. Therefore, in the near future, all flooded areas will be flooded more actively - this makes the game more rapid. If the marker has risen to a critical point, you lose.

Regular cards from the deck of tides show which location to flood. If it has already been flooded, you need to remove it from the game along with the corresponding map.

The artifact cards are very simple - you need to collect on the hands of one player a set of four identical ones and pick up the artifact. But there are others. It is to these cards in the board game "Forbidden Island" that the description should be given in more detail.

"Helicopter" - a card needed at the end of the game to fly away from the island, collecting all the artifacts. But also it can be used at any time. After dropping it, move the character to any cell in the field. The action is not wasted. If two or more characters are on the same cell, the card can transfer them all - also to any one cell in the field.

Beautiful tokens

Sandbags is a very useful map. It makes it possible to "dry" any one token, even if it is on the other end of the field. It is advisable to hold it on hand, to use it only in a critical situation - if the takeoff landing or the only remaining token where you can get the missing artifact is in danger. This may be the Temple of the Moon, the Tidal Palace and others. Sometimes a card allows you to save a team member or at least give him a break by drying out a section cut off from the island on which he stands. Perhaps the time gained is enough to save him by handing over a Helicopter card to a diver or pilot.

Interaction with each other

Since the game is cooperative, the interaction between the players is very dense.

Of course, this is primarily oral communication. Players can confer, discuss who will perform what action and in the shortest possible time to achieve the best result.

In addition, you can transfer cards - for this, the characters must be on the same cell. Very convenient - rarely, one player manages to collect four of the same cards needed to receive an artifact. Therefore, it is possible to transfer them to each other, giving to someone who already has two or three.

Finally, moving. As already mentioned, the navigator can not only move itself, but also move the chips of other characters. Being in one location, the player can also move his character and others using a helicopter map.

Can I play alone?

It's nice that for all its depth, the game provides for different modes. As mentioned above - from 2 to 4 people can be involved. But if you wish, you can play alone. Then it’s enough to choose any two characters and walk them one by one, reproducing the actions of a pair of players.

Great equipment

Composing a review of the board game "Forbidden Island", one can not help but mention the configuration. The first thing that catches your eye is a metal box. Very few desktops can boast of this! Of course, she looks just fine.

Chic artifacts

A nice plus is well-developed artifacts - all four are represented by figures, which makes the game more atmospheric and interesting.

The rest is pretty standard - location tokens, player chips, two decks of cards and a small one - characters. Also included is a flooding scale and marker for it.


In general, the board game "Forbidden Island" receives positive reviews. Users note the simplicity of the rules, the huge replayability, an interesting cooperative mode and the need to think through actions several steps ahead.

"Forbidden sky"

The most experienced complain that the game could be more difficult. Difficult versions include its sequels - Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Heaven.


Now you know the rules of the board game "Forbidden Island", its features and ways to win. So, you can get a lot of pleasure from the passage.


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