Thursday, October 16, 2008

#44: Fireball Island

  • designer: Lund & Company
  • publisher: Milton Bradley
  • date: 1986
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 1540/6.34
  • age: 7+
  • # of players: 2-4
  • print status: very OOP!
  • cost: eBay - this is a recent link for a couple of complete copies of the game ($170.00 +) as well as missing pieces. If you want a complete copy, plan to pay through the nose for it. (I guess this is probably not the best time to tell you I picked up my almost complete copy for $2.00 at a thrift store.) :-)
Well, this is gonna be the first of the Kid Games 100 to have a YouTube video embedded in it...

Why the crazy Fireball Island love? (There are a plethora of fan sites - as well as numerous variant rulesets and even one lovable nutjob who "pimped" his copy and is proudly displaying the results on BoardGameGeek.) I have some theories:
  • it's an Indiana Jones kind of game... and people love the whole "Raiders of the Lost Ark" vibe
  • the big molded plastic board, which just looks cool
  • the big molded plastic board, which was easily destroyed and therefore made the game a lot more difficult to find (and thus, in geek life, cooler)
  • people like knocking over each other's figures with marbles
  • it's actually a lot of fun to play
It is NOT, however, a perfect game. The best strategy is roll the dice really well & hope your opponents don't. It's wildly random & chaotic - the action cards can mess up the best of plans - but that's part of it's charm.

For those of you who've never had the joy of playing the game, here's a bullet point description:
  • Players are adventurers who want to liberate (aka steal) the big ol' ruby from the island
  • Players also control the fireballs (aka Hot Lava Death!) that knock other players silly
  • There are little plastic bridges as well as caves on the island
  • It's pretty much a race to grab the jewel, keep it away from the other players, and reach the boat (end of the track) with it
And there you have it. Oh, yeah, there's more to it than that, but not THAT much more.

What the game really has is truckloads of fun dumped into the box... I have yet to meet a young boy who doesn't go nutso over playing the game. And that's why it's #44 on this list.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The worst part about this one is that I vividly rememebr playing this one when I was a kid and us selling it a garage sale for probably a buck. Doh!