Thursday, February 17, 2022

#83: Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar (Mark's Top 100)

Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar

  • rank: 1,152
  • rating: 6.9
  • published: 2018
Print Status
  • in print
Why It's On The List
  • The Restoration Games team took a beloved but not particularly well-designed game from the 1980s and did what they do best... they re-imagined it and made it (a) a game with actual decisions, without (b) losing what we all loved about the original - rolling marbles and knocking stuff over.
Tips & Tricks:
    • You don't have to get three photos and jump on the Hello Copter to win - sometimes it pays to forego escape in favor of collecting treasures.
    • Under no circumstances should you start by going for the Eye of Vul-Kar... that's a rookie move OR the after-effect of having played a lot of the original game. It's just too darn easy to lose it.
    • When playing with the expansions, remember that the Crimson Cutlass and Spider Springs are both relatively safe areas unless someone is specifically targeting you. This can be to your benefit against an opponent who loves dumping fireballs into Vul-Kar.
    • There's a nifty free app from Restoration Games that has an electronic scorepad, a soundtrack for the game, a random sound generator based on what just happened (with some very funny taunting from Vul-Kar himself), and a variant way to play the game (the Real Time Fun Run).
    • There are a number of expansions for Fireball Island - of the big boxes, I'd highly recommend Spider Springs over The Wreck of the Crimson Cutlass. We've found that spring-loaded pile of spiders (and how they eventually end up all over the island) has more bang for the buck and for gameplay.
    • Of the smaller expansion sets, I can recommend them both: The Last Adventurer and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Bees!. We love the boulder and the tiger... and mix in a variety of cards from the Treasure Trove depending on who we're playing with. 
    • The only card set we don't love (in Treasure Trove) is the Injuries set.
    • This is the first of eight (8!) Rob Daviau game designs on my top 100 list... and the first of three from co-designer Justin Jacobson.

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