Drew’s Reviews- Fireball Island

One of the hottest trends now is re-birthing classic games from our childhood. I LOVE this trend and can only hope it keeps going and is not just a trend, because there are so many games I’d love to see a new modernized version of! I heard These guys that made this game are working on a new version of one of my old favorites, Dark Tower! They’re gonna call it Return to the Dark Tower and its gonna be a new game pretty much with all the content theyre gonna be adding. Well, todays game we’re talking about is a truly a beloved classic, Fireball Island! I always wanted this game because I never had it as a child and always begged my parents for it. Well one big thing that most people forgot about the original was, as a game experience, it kinda sucked. Like sucked hard! (laughs)

Well, put all your fears to rest my kiddies, because they did what I wasn’t expecting with this game, they made a really entertaining and fleshed out SOLID ACTUAL GAME! The old game was just more of a gimmick of rolling marbles down paths and knocking out your friends. This game actually adds more to the story and mythology, but also adds depth, subtle layers of strategy, and lots and LOTS of new content. Like 4 expansions, one of which is a whole new board with its own skill of launching marbles you have to master to get any results here. The other 3 expansions are smaller in scale and lighter in fare and execution, but still make the game truly awesome when you have them all. Don’t misunderstand me here. They didn’t re-invent the wheel, they just took an interesting game concept that people had fond memories of and made a better game that those same people can create new great memories with their children and families and friends.

Again, I’m going guerilla style on this one because if I explained every expansion in depth, this would be a 3 page article. (laughs) When you’re looking for this game, you will come across all the expansions and will be able to decide if you feel they will enhance your game or not. I say absolutely get them all, because they create an amazing fun sandboxy island to run loose on, causing havoc and having havoc rained down on your own head. This game is much bigger and taller than the original, which not only adds more to explore and things to do, but also puts a really fun and beautiful 3D island on your gaming table. Even the wreckage of a pirate ship with the expansion, The Wreck of the Crimson Cutlass. There are these little palm trees that you can rotate on your turn to change the paths of the marbles as they wind down the island wreaking mayhem and destruction on the players. Add in decks of cards to dictate your movement and to cause destruction and chaos. That’s another fun thing they did here is they didn’t make it a roll and move game or use a spinner. Your movement is based on cards you collect in your hand as you explore the island. This is just a lot of fun to be had here, messing with your friends and family, or even just running around solo like I did. I had a blast!

Production value here is great, though I have heard some complaints from some people already saying they thought it was flimsy and not well made. For what this company had to work with and what they achieved here, I think they did a great job giving you a really beautiful well made game for not a lot of money for what you get here. Which is a giant 3 piece plastic island with a really solid head of an idol, Vul-Kar as the volcanic villain raining death upon all the invaders of his island. This was a Kick Starter at first, to get the funding to make this piece of art and love, which is what they’ve done here. You can tell these people had a love and passion for this game and project and really put their hearts into this thing. There was a lot of extra stuff added to this game as stretch goals, which made me go all in and get EVERYTHING for this game, and I’m not sorry I did. For a game I always wanted as a child, I now had it as an even bigger child. (laughs)

The game is a lot of fun which is the bottom line here. You really feel like little adventurers exploring this dangerous island that can knock you all around at any second, and will! With all the expansions, you will have a really nice, light gaming experience with your friends and family here. There’s not a lot of complexity here, but you already know that going in here. But what you DO get is a lot of fun memories with this game, which is why we game in the first place. Escapism and memories are what push us into these wonderful fantasy worlds where everything doesn’t suck, like it kind of feels like sometimes in the real world. (laughs) Its why I game anyways. But you will have a great time here as brave and foolhardy adventurers on this deathtrap of an island gathering riches and tales of adventure to tell your friends.

Retail copies of this game still have almost all of the content you got with the kickstarter campaign, so rest easy there. And like I said before, this is a light but very fun gaming experience here that ANY level of player can enjoy. This is even easier than most gateway games in the hobby, so that’s another great point to this game and reason to jump in. It may not be for everyone, like the super hardcore gamer that demands huge amounts of depth in their games, but for the average gamer, this is just pure fun escapism and a way to kill some fun time with your friends and families. Again, yet another reason we game and are in love with this hobby.

Very happily satisfied,

Andrew Baumgartner