This reboot of the 1986 original Fireball Island is full of family fun and one of our favorites. Here's why!
Theme: You are an explorer searching fireball island for treasures, but you need to collect your booty and get back to the helicopter before Vul-Kar, the massive volcano looming at the top of the island, has it's grand explosion!
Specs: 2-4 Players, but there is an expansion, The Last Explorer, that will allow a fifth player. The box suggests 45-60 minutes play time. This is pretty accurate, faster if all players are older, slower if you have some youngin's exploring.
Recommended for ages 7+. Our six year old does play, but she requires a bit of coaching to keep her on track.
Mechanics: Action points, area movement, pick up and deliver, push your luck, set collection, and some take that, though you can decide how ruthless you want to be!
Designed by Rob Daviau, JR Honeycutt, Justin D. Jacobson, Chuck Kennedy, and Bruce Lund
Art by Noah Adelman, Victor Pérez Corbella, George Doutsiopoulos, David Kegg, Chuck Kennedy, Bruce Lund, and Jason Taylor
Published by Restoration Games
So how does one play Fireball Island? Well, first, you have to set up the island! Yes, there is an actual island that you put together, complete with trees, embers and fireballs (marbles), and a scary faced volcano on top. There's also a little "hello-copter" (adorable right?!) you put together for the mini figures to arrive and leave on! There is also a cataclysm tracker that triggers end game.
There are two types of cards in the base game, souvenir cards (which help you on your adventure) and action cards (which you play to take actions on your turn). After you build the island and set up the embers and cataclysm tracker, give each player a mini figure and matching reference card. Then shuffle each deck of cards and deal each player one souvenir card and two action cards face down.
Then in turn order each player plays one action card and takes the action on the card. This could be movement, allowing the adventurer to gather treasures and/or take photographs OR it could be a cataclysm, allowing the player to move Vul-Kar and/or trees and release fireballs on fellow adventurers. And around and around it goes gathering and often stealing treasure and trying to avoid landing in a spot that puts you at risk of getting hit by an ember or fireball.
It's a lot of fun to move around the island and to launch embers and fireballs on your loved ones, haha. There are also several expansions that add more hazards and, as previously mentioned, an expansion that adds a fifth player, which is perfect for our family of five. This expansion also adds more souvenir cards, snakes (also marbles, but still, gross), player power cards, and a giant boulder to add to the destructive fun! This expansion also helps speed up the game a bit, which is perfect if you have easily distracted or bored players.
Regardless of their age, any kid (or adult), is bound to have fun with this fast paced interactive game.
Do you have a favorite game where you get to use components to attack your opponents?