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Board GameForbidden Island Review
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Posted: 6 weeks ago, last updated 3 weeks ago.

Author: Rob Prior, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Forbidden Island is a cooperative collecting game where you try to survive on a sinking island long enough to collect four treasures. You play by moving across the Island, stopping Island tiles from sinking, whilst collecting enough cards to rescue the four treasures. It is a game about maximising the impact of your actions each go by choosing the right player for the right job at the right time.

You play as a team of adventurers, each with a unique ability, who are exploring a sinking island trying to find and recover four treasures. You only have a limited number of actions per go, so efficiently combining these with your character's abilities is key to success. After each turn, more parts of the island flood and are lost forever. This means that you spend as much time shoring up important locations as treasure hunting, to avoid key places being lost.

As you progress, the water level rises and more of the island is destroyed. If you allow a player to drown, key Island tiles to be destroyed or the water level to rise too far, then you lose. So, you must collect sets of four treasure cards quickly, swapping them for the treasure on specific Island tiles and make it back to the Helicopter tile to secure victory for your team.

This is a game of communication and careful planning. The key to victory is ensuring that the island is always your priority and that you use the best character for each job, so that you maximise the impact of your actions.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2010

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 2-4

Genres: Collecting, Communication, Role-Play, Strategy and Traversal

Pieces: Cards, Figures, Placeables and Tokens

Developer: Gamewright (@Gamewright)



View our choice of games like Forbidden Island. This game is good if you want to:


Learn to Play: This takes half an hour to learn. The first time you play it's worth knowing the following:
  • Keeping all the Island tiles above water is key to victory.
  • Swapping Treasure cards avoids discarding cards, which can cause problems later in the game.
  • Use each characters abilities carefully to maximise the impact of your actions.

Play Time: This game will take between half an hour and 45 minutes to complete.

Play StylePlay Style

You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room. It is best played with 4 players.

You can play this game in the following styles:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Rating

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Younger players need to enjoy strategy and be able to work as part of a team for collective success rather than individual glory.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds. This game involves a sinking island, but this is only depicted by the artwork in a non-graphic way.


There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.


We haven't documented accessibility features for this game yet. Our Forbidden Island Accessibility Report details system-wide settings that may help, and suggests similar games with accessibility features. Tweet the developer (@Gamewright) to let them know about our Accessibility Questionnaire.

Diversity and InclusionDiversity and Inclusion

We haven't documented diversity and inclusion information for this game yet.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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