As much as we love our video games, there’s nothing quite so fun as a good, old-fashioned family board game night. But what if you want a game that encourages cooperation, not competition?
Then set sail for tropical adventure and evil jungle spirits with Spin Master’s Volcano Island Countdown, a game that’s not only fun, but is also designed so that all players have to work together to succeed.
The evil Tiki spirit has been released from its temple, threatening to cause the volcano at the heart of the island to blow its top. To prevent the eruption and save the island, the team of up to four players needs to uncover four totems and return them to the island’s four shrines, locking the Tiki back in its temple.
Along with the spirit of teamwork, the other element making this a great family option is that it’s designed to be played in 30 minutes or less. Once the game begins, the team will have eight minutes to return the first totem, then six, five, and four for the last three totems. The volcano looming in the centre of the board is also the timer (requiring 3 AA batteries that are not included), with the persistent drum beat picking up pace as your time begins to run out.
Of course, it’s not as easy as just travelling around the gameboard picking up the totems and dropping them off. Eight mystery tiles are spread around the board, with four hiding totems, two doing nothing, and two with nasty surprises from the Tiki. Each mystery tile is protected by an obstacle, ranging from killer sharks to quicksand, that requires three specific tool cards to be defeated. If you don’t have the right set of tools, you’ll need to either wait for another player to come help you out, or to roll Draw on the die to pull a card from the deck. The difficulty of the game can be tweaked by changing the number of cards each player starts with, from a generous seven to a nearly impossible single.
But, you’ll have to be quick, because the evil Tiki statue is also on the move, leaping forward every time a player rolls a tiki symbol on the die. If the Tiki Statue jumps over a player or lands on their space, it takes them back to the Temple and holds them there until someone rolls a tiki symbol to lure it away again.
It might take a game or two for your family to figure out how to work together to succeed, but with such a short play time and a slightly different game everytime you play, Volcano Island Countdown doesn’t feel like a game your family will tire of easily.
The GamerPops Recommendation
If your family enjoys a good board game, and you’re looking for a game that encourages (or in the case, demands!) cooperation, Volcano Island Countdown is a fun, fast-paced adventure of a board game that can only be won if the whole family works together. This is definitely going to become a regular addition to our family’s Friday Fun Nights.
A review sample was provided to GamerPops.