With isolation and limited ability to go outside the home, I find myself in a position (along with the rest of you) of nervousness and boredom. One can only watch so much Netflix before you develop bedsores and a stiff neck! So, I’ve set myself a challenge to play at least one board game a day during this time and if possible pair it with a good beer, wine, or cocktail. Why not! Feel free to play along. Just so my readers know, I’m not actually in quarantine yet–I’m a pediatrician and am still going into work on my regular work days. So while I’m not technically stuck at home, I am in a high-stress work environment these days and really need game playing as an outlet when I get home.

I missed day 19 here, but did not fail to play a game! We ended up doing a teleconference with some good friends in Athens, GA and playing the fantastically inappropriate Cards Against Humanity while opening rare beers.

Fobidden Island

Forbidden Island is one of the first of the modern board games I bought for my collection. I believe I saw this featured on Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop and this started me down a road of boardgame hoarding that is now helping us to survive the zombie apocalypse.

This is a game by Gamewright, and is very family friendly and easy to teach. The board consists of a series of cardboard tiles that are placed in a pattern randomly. This is the Island. Each player takes a different character, each with a special skill to help with the coming game. Next you set up a deck of treasure cards and a deck of flood cards. Each player starts with two treasure cards in their hand (with a max of 5).

Gathering the fire gem from the Cave of Shadows!

The idea behind this cooperative game is to gather 4 different treasures from the island before it sinks and takes its treasure (and maybe the heroes) to a watery grave. Each round the flood deck is activated and a certain number of island tiles get flooded (flip to a blue colored flooded side). When those tiles are hit by this again, they are taken off the board permanently. As you go, more and more tiles drop off the board and you are left trying to shore up the remaining tiles (flip them back over) before you are left stranded. My character was the diver who can swim across a flooded or lost tile space, which is very helpful. Sj had the pilot who can fly to any tile as an action. Each character has only 3 actions per turn, which go fast! Each round after going, the player gets two new treasure cards, trying to get 4 of a kind and then get to one of the two island spaces where you can find that treasure. If those tiles are both lost…you fail!

To finish the game, you need all four treasures and all players at Fools Landing to helicopter out with a special card. Our game was incredibly close with only 3 tiles remaining of the entire island when we escaped with our four treasures!

To pair with this epic tale of treasure hunting and sinking, we opened up a growler of Unmapped Brewing‘s appropriately named Mind the Map. This is wonderful example of an English ESB, probably my favorite to be found in the state. And better than a lot we actually had in England this past summer! They are still open for curbside growler sales, and one of the owners (JD) personally came out to our car to deliver our spoils! Keep them in business please.

If you are not familiar with cooperative games, this is a really good starting point. It has a lot in common with the more complex Pandemic (which just seems too spot-on right now for me to want to play).

The island is sinking! And being crushed by a giant feline!