Old Bookstore Treasure Hunt… and a new Game

Spent a chunk of Saturday hunting for a copy of an old board game at a big game shop about an hour from my home. Had a wonderful trip that involved way too much food and geekery mixed in with a good walk and a few thunderstorms… but the highlight was the old book stores. Found so much cool stuff, but two items stood out…

I’ve always been a Dragonlance fan but I’ve never had a copy of this book before and I was like a 12 year old when I pulled it off the shelf and started geeking out.

It is a strange book, with maps in styles I’m not really used to from gaming products done in shades of green and red and well, just strange. I really enjoyed thumbing through it and the history and map notes brought back all kinds of memories of the days when Dragonlance was still cool (before Dragons of Summer Flame…)

Another fun find:

Yep, Indiana Jones “choose your own adventure” style books. I don’t know how popular these were at the time compared to actual Choose Your Own Adventure and Endless Quest books (man I loved those) but I still have about 8 of these so it was a neat surprise to realize that I didn’t have this one already. Jenny is even more of a Indiana Jones fan than I am so it was a special treat for her (she’s already “beaten” the book, only died once.) And I remembered the Indiana Jones books to be hard. Guess it was just me. Or maybe it is because I was really little?

But probably the coolest thing we picked up yesterday was actually a new game… It’s called Forbidden Island and it’s a beautifully made “sinking island” type of game that comes in a fancy metal tin and has all kinds of neat components. The art is great and the rules — while very simple — are fun to use, not frustrating, and create a game play experience that is actually full of tension. And all for the very reasonable price of $18.

You take the part of a group of adventurers trying to recover four treasures from a sinking island. The waters are rising, the island is disappearing underneath you, and if you don’t get back to the helicopter space (called, Fool’s Landing) then you lose. Each player takes on a different role, like Diver or Engineer as part of the team and after playing twice I can honestly say, it’s a tough game that came down to nearly losing both times, generating just enough stress and interest without feeling frustrating. For me that’s a good game. It’s also small enough and plays fast enough that it’s a game that will be fun to carry to conventions.

Check it out if you’re interested over at the Gamewright site. I highly recommend this game.

Okay, that’s a bit of a lazy Sunday post but I couldn’t resist showing off the new treasure… it’s so rare that I find game stuff in used book stores anymore that it was very exciting for me.

Thanks for reading!

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4 responses

  1. I picked up Forbidden Island last year and my daughter (now 10) and I love it. We’ve played with her cousins and her friends and all seem to enjoy it. It gets pretty intense as you race against the clock and its a different feeling when everyone wins or loses together.

    1. We’ve only played the game with two players so far. I’m really interested to see how it changes with 4. I’m betting it just gets downright crazy.

  2. The Dragonlance atlas was one of the few books I couldn’t find when I was voraciously collecting and reading the novels in the 90s. Yes, just the novels, because I didn’t realize there was a game of any sort attached to the book line I’d gotten hooked on.

  3. Yeah, that Dragonlance Atlas eluded me for many years. At one point, years ago, I made an effort to track one down and failed. Then, when I’d all but forgotten about ever wanting one, I find this one just hanging out at a used book store (of course). I never played any of the “official” DL modules — though I ran a couple of Dragonlance campaigns during 2E and 3E. I read way too many of the novels though… way too many.

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