Saturday, April 25, 2015

Terrific Toys - Forbidden Island

My son, who hasn't shown that much interest in video games before last year, has been playing a lot of video games lately, and I wanted to find some way to get him away from that. Luckily, he still enjoys board games, and I try to play games with him often (but probably not often enough).

I came across this game from an educational games/toys catalog that started arriving at our house. I don't know how it got there, but this was one junk mail I was happy to find in my mailbox. Because it led me to this is an awesome game! 

So many games in the market place are about winning and domination, beating the other person. But this game is all about cooperation and strategy.

Four price relics are located on a mysterious island, and you and your team must collect them all before the island sinks to the bottom of the ocean. To win in this game, you must collect all the relics and get to the awaiting helicopter before the ocean swallows up the island.

Danger lurks with each flip of the card, and every move must be considered carefully. Various parts of the island are in the process of sinking, and the team must decide which parts to save temporarily and which parts to let go.

Sure, this is only a game (a board game at that!), but a sense of urgency is real. What I find most fascinating is that the team must decided what to save and what to let go. This decision is relatively easy because if certain parts of the island are under water, then the team loses, even if there are other "dry" parts still above water. Still, it makes kids think about how to use their precious resources (ability to save parts of the island).

When I play this game with my kids (and we haven't played this one in a while), we talk about how we live in a world of limited resources, and we, too, should think about how to use those resources wisely.

This game takes a lot of strategy and cooperation, but most importantly, it's fun.