When 1986 came along, we’d already tested our skills as a bartender, we’d rocked out to “Down Under” and we’d fallen in love with Harrison Ford (both as Indy and our beloved Han Solo.) Fireball Island shows up and wants us to steal a jewel from a mysterious Tiki god while simultaneously avoiding fireballs and our other opponents? Piece. Of. Cake. Or so we hoped…
The Milton Bradly board game tried to put a spin on the traditional flat board games. So, in typical 80s fashion, they shook things up a bit and made it…three dimensional. There was a giant volcano (well, giant compared to your player tokens), the coveted jewel (a very shiny piece of plastic, mind you), paths that twisted and turned (and actually incredibly bumpy and at times your little guy had a hard time standing up…and if you can’t stand up on the path, how the heck are you going to maneuver your way through the island to steal the jewel? Skills, our friends. Skills.) and oh yeah, fireballs. The fireballs (marbles if you wanna be boring about it) would come hurtling down the little paths at breakneck speed and if you happened to be in the way, well, sayonara friend. Once you got knocked out you had to take a turn in the “smolder pit.” (To cool off? To stop smoking? We’re not sure.) After you’d lost a turn you got to return to the game and once again try and get the jewel from that tyrant, Vul-Kar.
The game was very much in the same line of thinking as Mouse Trap except this time, when you set it up it didn’t necessarily come crashing down if someone accidentally bumped the board while reaching for their New Coke. Instead you got the thrill of stealing a jewel from a Tiki god and trying to escape off the island before you were consumed by giant fireballs… Sound like fun? Oh it was. And it was so totally 80s.
We ♥ Fireball Island.