Adventure, Fortune, and Glory Await You in Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-KarDecember 3, 2018
You’ve heard the decades-old stories of Fireball Island: adventurers being engulfed by fireballs as they sought their fortune and glory. And you’ve managed to stay away, but just can’t resist the temptation of exploring an island full of treasures, even if it means incurring the wrath of the mighty Vul-Kar and its fireball-spewing ways.
Can you dodge the island’s dangers and pitfalls while grabbing treasures and snapping photographs? Or will your opponents snatch those precious valuables right out of your hands before leaving the island?
In Fireball Island: The Curse of Vulkar, your crew is tasked with taking photographs at different points of the island before jumping back onto the “Hello-copter.” Any treasures you come across, including the one-of-a-kind Heart of Vul-Kar, are yours to keep, but beware of opponents that cross your path: they can steal from you!
On your turn, play an action card to move and collect treasures. Most action cards have an optional second action, such as the ability to launch an ember marble down one of the paths. If you’re able to knock down an opponent you’ll steal one of their treasures. They do get a consolation, though, in the form of souvenir cards that may help them as they trek around the island.
Some action cards are cataclysms, which means you’ll be launching fireballs from Vul-Kar itself. As more cataclysms are played, more fireballs are added.
If a player has collected three types of photographs and returned to the helipad, then the other players get two final turns to make their way off the island. Likewise, if four fireballs have been added, then all players receive two final turns.
Points are awarded for the treasures you’ve collected and if you’ve made it off the island with your photographs, then you’ll receive additional points. The highest point total wins.
Restoration Games has done a remarkable job of recapturing the fun and excitement of the original 1986 game, while updating it with modern gaming touches. The sight of that 3-D board and the marbles as they travel down the paths is something that’ll capture anyone’s attention. Talk about table presence!
Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar is an excellent way to introduce players to modern gaming. Obviously, there’s the wow factor of the board and components; it’s like an Indiana Jones movie on the tabletop. But there’s also its easy-to-learn ruleset. Play a card to move, collect treasures, and hopefully launch marbles to knock down your foes and take one of their treasures.
I like the set collection scoring in Fireball Island, as each treasure is scored separately and awarded points based on how many you have. And the rule about making it off the island to score your photographs was a nice touch; it rightfully gives the game a race-feel to it. Just like Indiana Jones, there’s no time to dilly dally. Grab your treasures and run!
The naysayers will complain that the game is too light and a shelf-space hog. Of course it is. This isn’t meant to be a complex brain burner. It’s meant to be a big, fun, family-friendly game, both for those who want a trip down memory lane and those looking to create their own memories at the tabletop.