A great way to get fun time with your kids is to play board games. Everyone has fun, and sits around enjoying each other’s company. Best of all, no screens are required 🙂
But, finding the right board games for kids of different ages can be tricky, especially if there is a wide age difference between children, or if Mom and Dad don’t want to have to throw the game so Junior can win.
Forbidden Island Board Game Fun
Forbidden Island is a near perfect board game for kids from pre-teen through adult. It comes a small metal box with a snap tight lid, and doesn’t take a ton of room to setup, which means it’s great for taking on trips, whether to a hotel or a camp site. It can be played with between two and four players, which means the kids can play it without you if they want. Most games only take a half-hour or so to play, which means nobody will be trying to pull their eyeballs out by the end, unlike the many Monopoly games we ended up with.
The other great thing about Forbidden Island is that it is a cooperative game. That means it is the players versus the game. No more having to fake a bad decision to let the youngsters win.
Instead, the game premise is that the island is flooding. Players have to gather four items and get to Fool’s Landing and leave the island before its’ too late.
The game mechanics are simple enough for youngsters, but the strategy is real enough for older kids and adults. The game board is a set of tiles set out in an easy to remember pattern. That means each time you play the game, the board is different. Each player gets a pawn which corresponds to one of the characters, each of whom has a special power. All the powers are good, so there is no fighting.
As you play, you draw cards. You collect those cards and trade them for the items that you have to collect to win the game. But, some of the cards trigger more flooding.
Each player decides on their turn what to do: Move, Save (un-flood) a tile, Pass Cards to another player, and so on. Since the game is cooperative, the whole team can strategize together, while each player still getting their own moves. So, while the box says Ages 10 and Up, this game is happily played by our 7 year old, who has picked up some solid strategy along the way.
Assuming all goes well, the team wins when everything is collected and you leave the island. But, if you can’t save all the items in time, or your landing pad sinks, well then you all lose.
It’s plenty of fun and excitement, in a well contained game that makes it easy to start late in the evening of a school night and know that not only will everyone have fun, but that it won’t go so long as to mess up bedtime either.
While this game is still plenty of fun, and one of our go-to games for road trips, if you ever want something with even more challenge, the game Pandemic, has similar game play to Forbidden Island, but with a few levels of extra complexity.
Forbidden Island is a recommended family game.