Review – Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island
A cooperative worker placement game.
Title: Robinson Crusoe: Adventure of the Cursed Island
Year Published: 2012
Designer: Ignacy Trzewiczek
Publisher: Z-Man Games
Game Time: ~120 Mins
Set-up Time: >10 Mins
Theme: Robinson Crusoe
Mechanic: Cooperative, Worker Placement
How to win: Complete the Scenario objective.
Players are taken to a deserted island, where they’ll play the parts of shipwrecked survivors confronted by an extraordinary adventure. They’ll be faced with the challenges of building a shelter, finding food, fighting wild beasts, and protecting themselves from weather changes.
Set up is quite detailed and depends on which scenario you pick.
I COULD go through each item in great detail, or I can let the designer of the game show you… Although the Mystery deck shown in this video has a different card back from the version I have so it might be different for the one you have/get too.
Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island – set up of the game from Ignacy Trzewiczek on Vimeo.
Game play is also fairly involved so rather than go step by step I’ll let you see another great video, this time by Joel Eddy of Drive Thru Review. I’ll briefly go over my thoughts on each step in the round up.
If one player dies, or you complete the Scenario the games ends.
Each turn starts by reading the top card of the Event deck. It may not always be an Event as Adventure cards can get shuffled in here. The backs are different so you know one is on the way and you really start to fear which of the Adventure cards it is…
After the Morale and Production phase is the best bit, the Action Phase.
This is where you place your action tokens to do things but there is so much to balance here…
Firstly, do you put 1 token on each of 2 actions and spread your work load but potentially fail and even get hurt. Or do you put both your action disks on 1 action, pass it automatically but miss out on doing other things. These ‘things’ that you need to do are…
Deal with the Threat action, or face a bad Event in a turn or two.
Build Shelter, Roofs, Palisades and Weapons to protect yourself from Beast attacks and bad weather.
Build Items to help yourself on the Island.
Gather resources to build with as well as get food to eat to stay alive.
Explore the Island to find more resources and terrain types.
Rearrange the camp to help morale.
Also, sometimes you just need to Rest.
You always need to do all of these, all the time, every turn and there not just enough actions to do it. But, if you fail, you could take damage, you could draw an adventure card and you could waste that action by failing… It’s very hard to decide on what exactly is the right thing to do.
Even if you diversify and pass at everything and you’re feeling good, the Weather phase will come and literally blow all your confidence away… You can lose food, health and shelter here… time to rebuild?
Finally it’s Night time and we all gotta eat right? No food = take damage.
A brutal co-op game but very thematic and a lot of fun.
I give it 8/10