This is a great little game to take when traveling or when its just you who feels like a short game to pass the time.
It takes around 30 mins to play, is easy to set up and is quite challenging.
The game is based on the story line that you are Friday living on a deserted island. Suddenly your peace is shattered by the arrival of Robinson when his boat capsizes. You realize that to restore your peace, you will have to train Robinson on survival techniques and then get him to defeat the two pirates guarding the island. He can then leave.
The game is played in 3 rounds progressively getting harder and then you must defeat the pirates if you can survive that long…..
The game comes with 3 small boards.
The left is where you place the “Aging” cards. These will be detrimental to your survival and are added to your fighting deck every time it is exhausted and reshuffled.
The middle is where your “Fighting” deck is placed.
The right is the “Hazard” deck is placed. Hazards have different difficulty levels based on what round you are on. Green is easy, red is hardest.
Other components included are 22 life counters. You start with 20 and 2 are put aside.
Pirate cards – shuffle the deck face down and select 2 at random. These are you ultimate challenge – beat these and you win!
Difficulty level cards – start with green on top, then yellow and red on the bottom.
The picture above shows the game ready to play.
The first thing you do in a round is draw 2 hazard cards. You need to select one of these to fight. If you beat a hazard card, it is flipped and added to your fighting card discard pile.
The two cards revealed are “With the raft to the wreck” which has a difficulty of 0 (we are on the green level) and would give me the special ability to add another 2 free cards to the fight. The other is “Wild animals” with a difficulty of 4 and would give me 1 extra free card, but it does also have a fighting score of 3 (top left of card when flipped – more on that later).
The white number in the white area middle left of each card is the number of “free” cards you can draw when fighting the hazard. In this case 1 and 4.
Your starting “fighting” deck is very weak, so it is unwise early – unless you like a real challenge – to tackle the more difficult cards. The score of 0 to beat for a reward of +2 cards in a fight is to good for me to pass, so I discard the Wild animals and take on the With the raft to the wreck.
This is placed beneath the fighting deck board.
I draw one free card as indicated on the hazard card and place it to the left of the hazard card.
It is the card – Weak. It has a fighting score of 0. Lucky for me the current hazard only requires me to equal or beat a score of 0, which I do in this case. I flip the hazard card and add both to my fighting discard pile, successfully beating the hazard.
So ends my first adventure and I picked up the benefit of being able to draw two more free cards! The board now looks like this.
Free cards I hear you say? You keep mentioning free cards… Do I have to pay for cards in some way? Yes you do! you will find out how further on when I’m not so lucky at beating the hazards…… So on with the adventure!
I draw 2 more hazard cards. This time “Exploring the Island” and “Wild animals”.
I choose Exploring the island. It does not have any special effect, but does give 2 fighting strength. It also only requires a score of 1 from 2 free cards.
I draw my first fighting card and as luck would have it, I am focused and score the 1 point I need to defeat the hazard. You do not need to draw all of the free cards indicated on the hazard. In fact, you can decide not to draw any…… If you lose against a hazard (which you can do on purpose), you can remove unwanted cards from the game… at a cost….. More on how that works later.
so onto the next turn!
We have “With the raft to the wreck” score 0 and “Cannibals” score of 5…
Deciding to once again play it safe, I discard the nasty Cannibals and take the raft.
Even though I am feeling weak, I manage to defeat the hazard which will allow me to exchange cards during the fight and place both cards in my fighting discard pile.
I can’t believe my luck so far….. something must go wrong surely!
The next two hazards are “Further exploring the island” score 2 from 3 free cards and “Wild animals” score 4 from 4 cards.
I like the “sort 3 cards” special ability of the Further exploring the island card. This ability allows you to look at the top 3 cards of the fighting deck, discard one and put the remaining two back in any order.
so I take it and discard the Wild animals.
Oh NO! the bad luck has arrived! I have drawn my 3 free cards and now need to score 3 due to being distracted and getting a penalty of -1!
Now, given that I have used all of my free cards I have the option of paying for a card. To do this I must spend one of my life tokens. This will allow me to draw 1 more fighting card which is placed to the right of the hazard card. Or, I could chose to do nothing, in which case I would have to pay 3 life but in doing so could remove 3 of the played cards from the game.
I decide to pay 1 and draw.
Oh dear…. that did not go well. I spend another life point and draw again…
Gakkk! That hurt!
At this point I decide to cut my losses and pay the 3 life points to lose the fight.
I select the three cards played this turn that I want to remove from the game and do so, put the remaining fighting cards in my discard pile and discard the hazard.
I should have just ran from the hazard for 3 life and saved the 2 spent trying to win…… I am now down to 15 life remaining……
The next hazards to face are “Exploring the island” score 1 2 free cards and “With the raft to the wreck” score 0 1 free card.
I decide to explore the island…..
Another disastrous result when I become distracted again…. I now need to score 2! I spend 1 life point and then another…..
At least I pulled 1 point back.
I decided to pay 2 life points and remove the 2 -1 cards from the game…..
Surely things must get better with them gone!
Next we face “Wild animals” and “Exploring the island”. I go with Exploring as I need the life bonus it brings…..
Again luck deserts me except for the additional 2 life I pick up from eating. However I still need to score 2 points to beat the hazard.
I spend 1 life point and BINGO I score the 2 required and pocket that sucker! About time my luck changed!
Next comes “Exploring the island” and “Further exploring the island”. I decide on the first one. The “1x below the pile” ability allows you to put a card played under the fighting deck. This is a great way to reuse a card and keep the reshuffle and aging cards at bay….
I easily defeat the hazard and move on to the next… I will now only show the results of the cards chosen, not the selection process.
Exploring the island, I again draw badly. At this point I have exhausted the fighting deck.
I take the top card of the aging deck and shuffle into the fighting discard pile to form my new deck.
I pay 1 of my remaining 12 life to draw a card and get “eating” which gives me 2 life back. I decide at this point to lose the fight, pay 2 life and remove the “weak” and “distracted” cards from the game.
Exploring the island again, I have no luck point wise with my free cards (I only need to score 1…..). Luckily however, the “equipment” card allows me 2 extra cards and the first one I draw scores 1 point and gives me 1 life point to boot!
Upon further exploring the island, I came up with the goods and easily defeated the next hazard!
My good luck continued until the hazards began to get harder!
With the depletion of the hazard deck, the green level card is placed below the yellow and red difficulty cards and I now have to beat the yellow scores on the hazard cards.
While exploring the island, I again have to add another aging card and reshuffle the fighting deck to continue the fight with the hazard card (which is not going well…).
I draw my next free card and this is a “equipment” that allows me to draw 2 more cards!
My first gives me 1 life token back and scores 1 so back to 0, still need 3 more points (yellow). My second card is “eating” and gives me +2 life.
I pay 1 life and draw a card – “deception” 1 x below the pile, but more importantly another 1 point.
I decide to put the -1 on the bottom of the pile. I know it will come back, but I need that point back!
Because the card put back was a free card, I can replace it. I draw a weapon giving me enough to defeat the hazard!
Further exploration finds me 4 points short, my realization allows me to destroy a card. I turn the chosen card face down. It’s value is now 0 and it is removed from the game when the hazard is completed.
I pay 1 life and draw a 2 score card, another 1 life for 1 score card and then a third for another 2 score card and the hazard is defeated!
Wearily I take the raft out to the wreck, alas my strategy gives no score. I pay 1 life and draw a “Repeat” scoring 2 and beating the hazard.
Continuing my exploration I find myself needing 3 points. My free cards give me 2 points and I can draw 2 more cards. Note: I could have used the exchange ability to replace the “weak” card when drawn, but chose to keep drawing and getting the food gave me the points needed and 1 extra life point.
I have skipped ahead after continuing on my quest and now I am seriously low on life with only 1 point left. You are not dead if on zero, but if you can’t pay a life point cost due to failure to beat a hazard, you lose…… I press on.
I get lucky and gain a life. My 3rd card is a 0 score so I use the exchange ability on the first free card and gain a genius card for 2 taking the total to five and beating the hazard.
The hazard deck runs out and now the red level difficulty comes into play…..
I take on the an Exploring the island hazard, getting 2 free cards, I only manage to score 2 of the needed 6 points, but do gain a life.
I pay 1 life and get “Books” 0 score, but reduces the level of the card down to the yellow score. Only needing 1 more point, I spend another precious life point and draw a “focused” card giving me the win!
I continue exploring, my 2 free card total 0 points…. but I can draw 2 extra free cards.
The 2 extra cards give me 2 score points – still need 4 more to beat the hazard.
I use the exchange ability to replace the two free cards, receiving an “eating” for 2 extra life points (nice!) and a “weapon” for 2 more points. I am now at 4 needing 2 more.
I now draw the +1 card bonus and OH NO! I lose 1 life for 0 score…..
I pay 1 life and get the card I need – “Repeat”. This card allows me to double the value of another card, I chose a 2 value card taking my total to 8 and defeating the hazard.
I struggle on and suddenly find myself with only 1 life point left…..
The pirates are not far away, just a couple of hazards stand between me and them.
Having lost my last life token beating the last hazard I played, I now stare down the barrel of defeat and the endless ramblings of Robinson….. Things are looking grim…..
The worst possible result! I draw a “hungry” card…. as I can’t lose 1 life I lose the game….
Are the pirates laughing at me? (I think their laughing at me….).
Verdict: A great little game that is simple to play, but very hard to beat!
Thanks for reading.
Next time – Truhlsrohk