This month's pick for game of the month is another cooperative game. Although we are a family that loves games, lately competitive games have been causing a bit of stress for my youngest son who has a really, really hard time losing! There are many ways to help everyone in the family enjoy game night (<--- check out our 7 simple tips!), whether they win or lose, but one thing that has been working for us lately is playing cooperative games. We recently acquired Forbidden Island and it has been a huge hit.
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Forbidden Island: Basic Facts
The object of Forbidden Island is to work as a team to capture the four treasures and escape the island before it sinks. Island cards are arranged in a grid (see photo) and pawns move from tile to tile. Each player chooses an Adventurer card which gives him certain skills and powers during game play. During his turn, each player first performs 3 actions, which may include moving, "shoring up" a tile against flooding, capturing a treasure or passing a card on to another player. He then draws cards from two decks: the treasure cards and the flood cards. I will be honest, it took me a little while to understand the directions, but my kids caught on right away! (That's getting old for you.)
Tips for Playing with Kids
- Cooperation is encouraged! One of the best things about Forbidden Island is that players benefit from asking the others for advice. We take turns giving advice before the player in question decides his move.
- The official game recommendation is for ages 10 and up. My almost 6 year old easily learned the instructions. Younger players could certainly play on a team with an adult.
- This is an excellent game for kids of multiple ages to play. Big kids help little kids and no one feels excluded because of a lack of skill. New Kid has been able to join his brother and his brother's friends for a game.
Forbidden Island has become one of our favorite family games! Everybody wins and that makes for a peaceful Saturday night. I highly recommend it and it would be a terrific gift.
Have you played this game? What about other cooperative games? Hoot Owl Hoot is another one of our favorite cooperative board games and the instructions for that one are much simpler!