Gameday First Play – Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island

Posted on by Jesta

One high up on my “want to play” list…

I have have now played it, and will again.

Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island is another epic game created by Ignacy Trzewiczek, the author of Stronghold. This time Trzewiczek takes the players to a deserted island, where they’ll play the parts of shipwreck 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. Building walls around their homes, animal domestication, constructing weapons and tools from what they find and much more awaits them on the island. The players decide in which direction the game will unfold and – after several in-game weeks of hard work – how their settlement will look. Will they manage to discover the secret of the island in the meantime? Will they find a pirate treasure, or an abandoned village? Will they discover an underground city or a cursed temple at the bottom of a volcano? Answers to these questions lie in hundreds of event cards and hundreds of object and structure cards that can be used during the game…

So this is a fairly epic game played over a scenario. Our Scenario was the ‘starter’ scenario which mean’t we had to build a huge signalling fire and survive until a boat passes to rescues us.

Robinson Crusoe Scenario Board

You also each get a character card. There is a Soldier, Cook, Carpenter and my guy, the Explorer. They each have a unique ability plus a differing number of life points.

Oh yeah, one player dies, EVERYONE loses 🙁

Robinson Crusoe Explorer

Game play is hard to explain but I’ll do my best without being too long and specific.

You can explore, forage, build etc

To do this you can put your two actions tokens on 2 different spaces, or on the same space.

Putting two actions on the same space guarantees you will succeed in the action you are attempting.

Placing one action token involves a die roll which means you may not only fail your task, but you might take damage. (and draw a card which is pretty much guaranteed to be a disaster.)

This is very interesting as there is so much you need to make sure you get done but diversifying too much will probably reduce the success rate for each task.

Robinson Crusoe Board

I’ve said there is so much you need to do, but what is that?

Well…

  • You need food to eat, every turn (Or take damage)
  • You need wood to build the signal fire to win the game
  • You also need wood or fur to build Shelter, Palisades etc
  • You need to increase that ever decreasing moral (Or take damage)
  • You need to explore to find new territories
  • You need to build items (Such as a shovel) to help build other things

All this with harsh night-time weather and animal attacks…

It’s tough.

I heard how Ignacy Trzewiczek is a guy who makes ‘Games that tell Stories’, this is how some of that story telling works.

You need food, 1 per player, per turn. You have fish, fruit, and meat from animals which gives you enough food for 2 days. Yay!

But on this hot Island you know what you don’t have? A fridge.

So food spoils after a day, excellent. BUT, if you explore and find a tile that has a river, you can build a dam which can be used to keep food cooled and last longer.

Genius.

I love this game!

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