Today we’re taking a look at a board game from the past that always stuck out to me as completely awesome: Fireball Island. The game was produced by Milton Bradley in 1986 and remains one of my all time favorite games. This board game never achieved the level of success and popularity as say Monopoly or Clue… Heck it wasn’t even as popular as Crossfire or Guess Who, but it was fun.

The premise of the game is that you are an explorer in the same style as Indiana Jones and are attempting to get the ruby jewel off the island. Standing in the way is the ancient idol Vul-Kar who when enraged will send fireballs to attempt to roast you to your doom. The game channels a lot of Raiders of the Lost Ark as you adventure along this island avoiding traps and pitfalls.

Making the game even harder is the fact that you’re not alone. Up to three other players are also adventuring trying to get the jewel as well. Imagine yourself Indiana Jones but having to deal with three other Rene Belloq’s!

Not only can Vul-Kar send fireballs at you, but you can send fireballs at your opponents too. However you have to be careful because if you select to use a fireball and it turns out only you are in the path, you must roast yourself! Fireballs send you into a pit where you lose a turn. The fireballs themselves are little marbles with red and yellow stripes on them.

One of the really cool elements of this game is that you can backstab and double cross the other players. You aren’t just racing to get the jewel, that’s only the first half of the game. Once you have the jewel you’re racing to get away on the escape boat with the jewel. Other adventurers can steal the jewel from you, as well as you stealing it back from them.

There are a variety of cool cards such as the “Fake Jewel” card which you can pawn off to someone trying to steal your jewel. The “Magic Talisman” which prevents you from being hit by a fireball and a “Fireball” card which allows you to use the fireballs. Among a bunch of more traditional cards like “Take another Turn”, etc. The cards all featured really cool artwork.

All of the pieces of this board game not only made it fun but was great for kids playing GI Joe or He-Man. You could use the ruby jewel in all kinds of plot, the Vul-Kar idol was pure awesome and fit well with Skeletor and even the little bridges were fun toys. I remember using the whole board game which was big and stood out as an actual island during some sessions of play.

Whether playing the game itself, using Vul-Kar with He-Man or playing with the assorted pieces of Fireball Island, Milton Bradley really hit a homerun in the middle 80’s with this game. Anyone who ever owned Fireball Island knows how awesome this game was and those of you who may have never owned one have no idea what fun you missed out on.

Next time I’ll take a look at: Omega Virus!

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