Robinson Crusoe Board Game Review

Year Published: 2012, Number of Players: 1-4, Game Length: 90-180 minutes

This Robinson Crusoe board game review was not easy to write up. It’s not an extremely complex board game, but we like writing our reviews for the pickiest of gamers, and there is a lot to cover in this one. It’s VERY high up on our Top 20 Cooperative Board Games, but that does not mean that it’s for everyone…


What is Robinson Crusoe?

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures of the Cursed Island is a cooperative adventure game that shipwrecks players on a deserted island. Besides the more common survivor necessities (shelter, food, weapons), players will also learn through their decisions, and discoveries, that this island has many mysteries of its own.


Gameplay

robinson crusoe board

There are many steps that go into setting up Robinson Crusoe: Adventures of the Cursed Island, but the most important one is choosing one of the six scenarios. Each scenario plays quite differently and comes with its own set of objectives.

When getting ready to play Robinson Crusoe, players can choose to be the cook, the carpenter, the explorer or the soldier. Each character plays a bit differently since they have different morale/life tracks, special abilities and starting equipment.

There are six basic phases in Robinson Crusoe: Event, Morale, Production, Action, Weather and Night. Three different sets of dice are used for each of the three actions in the game (building, gathering, and exploring). Dice are used to decipher if an action is successful (success, wound or adventure) or not.

We can’t go through this Robinson Crusoe board game review without pointing out how important the Building action is. You have to build camps to avoid taking damage from the elements; you build up your weapon strength to be able to handle the animals that you encounter; and you have to build items to help you stay alive on (and “beat”) the island.

Players make their own choices while playing Robinson Crusoe, which makes the game unique and difficult to master. For example, one day you might choose to move to a different part of the island and fight a bear, while on another day you will focus on getting the team’s morale up.

If one player succumbs to their wounds during the game, then the whole team has lost. You also lose when you are unable to complete your chosen scenario’s objectives in time.


Check out Robinson Crusoe (2nd Edition) at Amazon


Pros

  • There is so much replay value in Robinson Crusoe since it is almost impossible to play the same game twice. Not only are there multiple scenarios to choose from, but the dice rolls and the decks of cards make it hard to predict what you will be facing.
  • We have to once again point out just how thematic Robinson Crusoe is! It’s one of those edge-of-your-seat experiences that makes the 2-3 hours just fly by. Please let us know if you know of a more thematic game than this one because we definitely want to play it!
  • (BOLD statement incoming…) Robinson Crusoe may just be the most thematic cooperative game around today. No other co-op game that we have played to this point has made us feel like we’ve been on a real adventure. If you are reading this Robinson Crusoe board game review because you are trying to find a thematic game, well, you’ve found one.

Cons

  • Even though we don’t mind long games (if they’re good), we do realize that a game that lasts two or more hours will not suit everyone. We see Robinson Crusoe as a game that will hit the table when we have the time for a long adventure, but it is not going to be played weekly.
  • We definitely recommend that new players take a look at this crib sheet on BoardGameGeek. It makes getting through each phase of the game so much simpler. The game comes with a nice-looking rule book, but it is not easy to navigate.

Conclusion

It might not be the best choice if you are new to cooperative board games, but Robinson Crusoe is a wildly entertaining game for those that give themselves some time to become familiar with it. It’s actually our favorite co-op board game right now, so that should tell you how much we like it.

Anyone who likes the adventure genre should love what this game offers. You really do feel like you’re on a mysterious island and everyone has to work together in order to survive. This makes Robinson Crusoe a great deal of fun and certainly a game that you should consider adding to your collection.


Robinson Crusoe Links

BoardGameGeek | Amazon | CoolStuffInc | eBay


Thanks for taking the time to read our Robinson Crusoe board game review!

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