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Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar now on kickstarter


Restoration Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign to release a restored and fully updated version of the 1986 classic boardgame, Fireball Island.

Update: Fireball Island is now 400% funded, having reached its goal in less than an hour. You can still pledge to get a hold of backer rewards.

When Justin D. Jacobson and Rob Daviau launched their new company, Restoration Games, they did a poll of what board games people would most like to see restored and re-released. The overwhelming winner was Fireball Island — and Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar is the result!

Restoration Games has smashed their $250,000 (around £178,000) Kickstarter funding goal and still have twenty-seven days to go! Currently, the Kickstarter campaign has had over $1 million (£710,000) in pledges, so the game is guaranteed to be funded. They now hope to meet all of their stretch funding targets, which include more custom artwork, two new legendary artifact cards and fancy bonus marbles.

What is Fireball Island?

The Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar gameboard prototype.
The Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar gameboard (this is a prototype, but the finished version will be very similar!)

Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar is based on the classic 80s board game, which you may remember from your childhood. The board is in the shape of the island and made from 3D moulded plastic, with Vul-Kar, the angry horned statue, in centre stage. Vul-Kar releases fireballs (which look a lot like marbles) that run down the gameboard, causing chaos around the island. It is designed for two to four players and each game should take between half an hour and an hour.

The game ends when one of the players has collected three different snapshots from places of interest around the island and returns to the helipad to escape. The winner is the player who has collected the most treasure tokens from around the island.

How to play:

A GIF of the Cataclysm event in Fireball Island.
The Cataclysm Event in Fireball Island on the prototype board (not the final product!).

Gameplay is fairly straightforward. At the start of the turn, if the player’s figure has been knocked down, they pick up their character and place it back on the board — when knocked down, a player loses a piece of treasure but gains a souvenir which grants special moves. Next, they play an action card. If they hold fewer than two action cards in their hand, the player then draws new cards until they have two. If they draw a Cataclysm card, Vul-Kar gets to unleash fiery death onto the island! (Probably my favourite part of the original board game.)

The four possible actions include rotating something on the island (including Vul-Kar), launching an ember marble and moving another player.

Players collect treasure tokens as they move around the board and land on treasure spaces. Each of the different tokens has a different value — and include the Heart of Vul-Kur, which can be stolen by other players!

Expansion packs

Cannonball marble attack in the Attack of the Crimson Cutlass expansion for Fireball Island
Cannonball marble attack in the Attack of the Crimson Cutlass expansion pack (shown on the prototype board).

As well as the base game, Restoration Games has created four expansions which each add extra exciting features to gameplay!

The Last Adventurer adds a fifth player to the game. It also includes small snake marbles, a giant foam boulder and player powers, giving other players special abilities.

The Wreck of the Crimson Cutlass is pirate-themed! This adds a whole new location to explore: a pirate ship. Players reach it through the island caves and can collect different treasure — though they must avoid cannonball marbles!

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Bees adds both tigers and bees! The tiger leaps onto players from off the board, while the bees swarm and sting any player they touch.

The Treasure Trove adds a pack of cards filled with new effects — and is free to all Kickstarter backers! Backers will receive additional cards as the campaign unlocks new stretch goals.

Fireball Island: the Curse of Vul-Kar has raised $1,083,069 of their $250,000 goal, with the Kickstarter campaign ending on 4th May 2018 at 04:59 GMT. Release is anticipated in November 2018. Visit their Kickstarter campaign page to find out more and back the project, or visit the Restoration Games website to read developer diaries about how they recreated the game and for details of their previous tabletop games.

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