Welcome to Dice Spotlight! I’m your Gamemaster, Jonathan, here at Connexxions Cafe. This blog highlights different games that we have at the Cafe that you may want to check out. Maybe you’ll discover a new favourite!
Today, I have a game that's perfect for those who don't like losing to the obviously more-talented younger brother all the time and instead would like to work together with them for a change (but Daniel, it's fun for ME....)! All jokes aside, cooperative games are one of my favourite board game genres and are great for all types of people (those who are new to the hobby, like working together, like solving puzzles, etc), even those that were the talented younger brother. Instead of fighting against other players, your battle is with the game itself! It could be stopping the spread of diseases, fighting off aliens, or in this case, escaping an island that is slowly sinking into the ocean. You as a team will complete objectives to reach a "winning condition" before you hit a "losing condition" (ex: time ran out to escape the temple, fire has spread to too much of the building). In many of these games, there are multiple ways to lose and only one way to win. Now you know generally how cooperative games work, let's dive (unintentional pun) into Forbidden Island!
In Forbidden Island, your goal is to collect 4 of a kind of each type of treasure card and then head to certain areas of the island to claim the four treasures that somehow help you escape (if it were me, I'd just leave the island, but apparently these guys are treasure-hungry). You gain 2 treasure cards after every turn, so might as well sit back until you get the cards you want, right? Well, remember how I said that the island is sinking? After every turn, a certain amount of island cards are drawn and those locations become submerged. If they're already submerged, that spot is removed from the board permanently! This creates gaps in the board, and if either the landing pad or both drop-off locations for a treasure are gone, you lose the game! Not to worry though, as one of your actions each turn you can shore up submerged tiles that are next to your character. Or use one of the handy little sandbag action cards to help you!
These two things are your enemies. The one on the left are cards that show up in your treasure deck. If you reveal them, it raises the meter on the right up by one, which could force you to flood an extra area every turn. Not only that, all the locations you've already revealed get shuffled up and put back ON TOP of the draw pile. It means unless you gotten to those flooded areas and shored them, you'll be losing locations VERY quickly. It's a classic race against time, where each turn brings you closer to losing, but it may not bring you closer to winning....
This game is a fun, short game that brings on the tension as you race to the end. It's not a perfect co-op game (some turns you feel there's nothing for your character to do), but I like recommending it for a casual audience, especially for couples or groups of 3. This game just feels more....intimate versus a game like Pandemic (I'll probably write about that one too) that seems more geared toward a family. I also REALLY like these treasure pieces (you can probably see a trend with little miniatures :P)! The thing about a simple game is it does get a little boring after a number of plays. But it honestly is a really fun game when you're first discovering it! Try it out for yourself!
Well that's an intro to cooperative game. Does it sound interesting? Come visit the Connexxions Cafe (12644 137 Ave, Edmonton) and check it out! Or, as always, ask me about a certain game that you’ve always wanted to learn. I’d be happy to work through it with you :) I'll catch you all next time!