Saturday, 3 January 2015

Isle of games

So I gave my new game (thanks again, everyone) a closer look this morning. The rule book was pretty poor, but I found a playthrough on YouTube and some game guides on BGG, which helped enormously. First I tried it playing a two-player game on my own until they were both almost dead. Then I decided to play it as a proper one-player game, with Man Friday and a dog to help me.

Me, explorer

It was fun. Kind of fiddly with lots of cards, cubes and tokens, but the board is laid out so you do the actions in a logical order. Loads of icons and text, though, and they’re pretty small. But the game is entertaining, and it tells a good story (see below). If you like a co-op game with a strong narrative, then this is the game for you.

Anyway, here are my notes from my first game.

Day one

Last night a terrible storm upended the ship I was on. I was washed up on the shores of a desert island, almost certainly the last survivor of the wreck. I only have a pistol, my pipe and tobacco. I meet a native, Friday, and his dog. After a quick search of the surroundings I find a valley, and two candles and a broken bottle.

Day two

There was a hurricane last night and all my resources have been blown into the future! I cannot access them until tonight. I asked Friday to draw a map of the island, and he hurt himself while he did. I also make a basic shovel.

Day three

I am hit by a sudden depression. In my darkest hour, I vow to never build a cellar or invent the drums. Meanwhile, Friday shows me a shortcut back to the beach, but hurts himself doing so. I worry about him.

Day four

I discover that the hurricane two days ago ruined my pipe and tobacco. The dog and I went hunting and now we have fur so I can think about building a shelter. I discover some mountains and I eat a parrot. Wintry rain at night.

Day five

I build a shelter, and Friday and I build a pit to capture more food. Weather is good. Things are looking pretty positive.

Map, shovel and pit all built and ready to use

Day six

A natural dam broke this morning, sweeping away my food. At least I got some wood out of it. Went hunting for food and got some more fur. Now I can add a roof to my shelter! Rain at night.

Day seven

Animal cries from the interior of the island tell me it is not safe to hunt today. I stay at the camp and improve my weapon, hurting myself in the process (well, I had to try it on something). The cold weather means wild animals are attracted to my camp at night, and I fight them off, laughing manically as I do.

Day eight

Wild animals are still circling. I should build a fire so I can signal for help. Then again, I quite like it here. Especially with my new level-two roof.

The island, mid-exploration

Day nine

A bear has been seen near the camp, but I’m more worried about building a fire and collecting wood. While out foraging, I find a helmet and I notice the first winter frost. I send Friday out to look for wood too, but he never comes back. I hope he’s okay.

Day ten

Still haven’t discovered fire. I move camp due to a landslide, but the bear is following me. Unless it’s a different bear, of course. A ship is sighted on the horizon, so I build a fire but hurt myself doing so. I really must stop testing everything I make on me.

Now I'm alone, my motivational speech special ability
just looks like the rantings of a mad man.

Day eleven

Snow on the ground. Ship still in sight. I find a chest full of gold coins! Unfortunately they have no purpose here, and the dog is unimpressed by my sudden wealth. I go foraging, but hurt myself during my second trip and come back empty handed. Terrible storm tonight: the pallisade falls down.

Day twelve

That bear finally attacks. Good job I found that helmet. I’m able to kill it with my last bullet and a broken bottle. I don’t have enough wood to signal to the ship, and it sails away without me. Resigned to my future on this island, I decide to build a dam and a knife to make things more managable. But I fail both times, hurting myself twice. All is lost. All is lost.

That's a busy table


  1. That's my favourite GNN post ever.

  2. Sam and I tried it again as a two-player. It's good, but unless you get that shelter up, you're losing too much wood in the later half of the game because of all the storms. There's lucky break in the clouds after round seven, so it's kind of relentless.

  3. That should be: There's NO lucky break in the clouds.

  4. It was kind of a mental game in terms of rules. Only about half-way through did I fully comprehend what was happening. But then I was really quite tired...

  5. We never got rescued, but we did survive. Partly due to that chronology-defying hurricane.

  6. Sounds fun, in a masochistic kind of way. Looking forward to trying it soon.