Volcanic Isle Board Game Overview

Volcanic Isle Board Game Overview

Disclosure

Once again, a board game has taught me that you’re never too old to learn something. As I’ve said like one thousand times here, history was never my thing in school. I hated all the reading. I struggled with the memorization. I simply didn’t enjoy it. If the class didn’t revolve around math in some way, I probably wasn’t interested. Not only did history bore me to death, but geography wasn’t high on the list either. It wasn’t that I found it dull, but since our family didn’t travel much, I simply wasn’t drawn to the backstory and location of places I didn’t think I would ever visit in my lifetime. I was married before I ever left our country and at 50 years old, still haven’t made it to a dozen states nor been overseas. Yet at a time when travel is unheard of, I’m learning about the mythology of a lost continent. As I read the intro to Volcanic Isle from Arcane Wonders, I found myself putting down the rule book and heading to the internet to see if the lost continent of Mu was a real mythological story or something from the mind of a science fiction writer. This led me down a wormhole to learn about Mu, Atlantis and scientific geological studies of a new continent found below the Indian Ocean. Needless to say that it took me a little while to get back to reading the instructions, but I returned excited about the idea behind the game.

The pressure is building and things are going to erupt. Use the lava to your advantage to claim victory in Volcanic Isle from Arcane Wonders. - SahmReviews.com

I hope that makes you just a wee bit curious about Volcanic Isle and how to play. The setting is the continent of Mu, covered with volcanoes and lava flows. As the story goes, inhabitants of the land feared the eruptions and raised Moai to please the gods. But as we all know, volcanoes erupt, have lava flows and wreak havoc on the land. Thanks to modular pieces, there are a variety of ways to set up the board. Arrange the island with 3D volcano pieces placed in the appropriate spaces. Lava flows are added to the spaces alongside each starting volcano as well as in the empty spaces on each area that doesn’t contain a volcano. Each player selects a color and the related pieces then all remaining components create a general pool. 

The pressure is building and things are going to erupt. Use the lava to your advantage to claim victory in Volcanic Isle from Arcane Wonders. - SahmReviews.com

Throughout the game, you’ll be using action points to create or move settlers, build villages, sculpt and raise Moai and obtain player tokens. You’ll have four to use on each turn and each of these actions have different costs. But this isn’t an area control game. It’s a survival game where you need to continuously reconstruct your villages and Moai as the volcanoes erupt and wash away your progress. Oh, and you’ll also have to be mindful of the fact that parts of the island will gradually sink into the ocean, never to be seen again.

The pressure is building and things are going to erupt. Use the lava to your advantage to claim victory in Volcanic Isle from Arcane Wonders. - SahmReviews.com

Wherever you are, you have the option to use the land’s resources (lava) to build a village. To do so, you’ll remove the lava flow tile from the board and place one of your villages in it’s place. This will cost two action points. As an alternative, one action point to sculpt a Moai using the lava flow. In this case, you’ll lay one of your Moai tokens in the space instead of placing the village there. You could also spend actions to move a settler to a new area, create a new settler or raise a Moai.

The pressure is building and things are going to erupt. Use the lava to your advantage to claim victory in Volcanic Isle from Arcane Wonders. - SahmReviews.com

You’ll continually move around the board taking these actions on your turn. Things are pretty smooth until someone actually raises a Moai. That’s when things get complicated. Moai are placed on an available geyser which will cause the pressure under the surface to increase.

The player who raised the structure will roll the volcano die and hope for the best. If it comes up blank, then the game continues. If the result is a volcano then it’s time for an eruption! Draw a random volcano token and reveal the number on the back. That volcano is where the eruption occurs! 

The pressure is building and things are going to erupt. Use the lava to your advantage to claim victory in Volcanic Isle from Arcane Wonders. - SahmReviews.com

New lava flows are added to the board, wiping out anything built in their path. Those items are returned to the players to use on future turns. The new lava flows are a renewed resource for additional buildings and Moai. Thankfully, when you originally build villages, or raise Moai, you’ll earn victory points based on a variety of guidelines. Even if your village or Moai is destroyed by the eruption, you won’t lose those points. If you happen to have prayer tokens, you may use them to save a village or Moai.

The pressure is building and things are going to erupt. Use the lava to your advantage to claim victory in Volcanic Isle from Arcane Wonders. - SahmReviews.com

In addition to potentially causing an eruption, another thing happens when a Moai is raised. You place a fissure tile on the border in front of it. When a section of the island is completely surrounded by fissures and/or the sea, it breaks off. The active player may rescue all the settlers and place them on one space adjacent to the lost land. All other players are allowed to rescue one settler. 

You’ll continue to traverse the island, raising Moai and dodging the destructive lava channels. When there are two or fewer volcanoes remaining, the round is completed and final points tallied. In addition to points you earned along the way, you’ll also earn end-game victory points for villages, settlers, prayer tokens and Moai. The player with the most can claim the island as their own. The shrinking landscape reminds us of the Survive series of games, but the constantly destructive then replenished landscape makes Volcanic Isle unique. You can pick up a copy of Volcanic Isle on Amazon or from your local game retailer. While you wait for the next eruption, enter to win a copy right here!

Volcanic Isle Game Giveaway

Nicole

About Nicole

Founder and owner of SAHMReviews.com, Nicole has been involved in social media marketing since 2007. She has partnered with a number of major corporations who utilized her skills to improve their social media outreach and online presence. Nicole has worked as an ambassador for brands such as Netflix, U.S. Cellular and K'NEX, has been featured in McDonald's videos as well as Maria Bailey's book "Power Moms". Always a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) and mother of two beautiful teen daughters, if you can't find Nicole, she is probably somewhere playing board games.

17 comments on «Volcanic Isle Board Game Overview»

  1. Lauren B says:

    On our honeymoon, my husband and I visited Hawaii National Park. AMAZING! I have never seen something as breathtaking as the lava just pouring out of the Earth like that!

  2. ali mohammed Ali says:

    I climed BUlusan Volcano twice when I was 15. After it’s erruption, no one is allowed to climb it anymore.

  3. KT says:

    Volcano Nat’l Park after an eruption, it was still streaming lava in a few places. Fascinating to see.

  4. Mia E. says:

    Yes I have visited Mt. St. Helens in Washington State several times. The visitor center has great information and it is fascinating to see the regrowth since the eruption 40 years ago.

  5. Sue E says:

    I can’t remember if I seen Mt. St. Helena when I was sightseeing in Washington. I know I saw Mt. Rainier. My sister lives in Seattle and she likes to take me sightseeing. So to be honest, I don’t know ‍♀️ so I’ll say no.

  6. Timo Hanusch says:

    Sadly not…

  7. Robert Trivasse says:

    I visited Kenya many years ago and we drove past a volcano (the name escapes me as I was about 13 at the time) but we spent most of the trip in Mombasa so didn’t get to visit any, one day though!

  8. Jordan Binkerd says:

    I have not had that opportunity, no….

  9. Josh Christian says:

    I was pretty close to Diamond Head when I visited Hawaii as a kid, but we didn’t actually visit the volcano.

  10. Tim Goodwin says:

    I’ve never been to a volcano!

  11. Pete Donegan says:

    Never been to a volcano yet. As exciting it would be, I dont want to run the risk of suddenly getting turned into a brisket.

    I think the closest I’ll go is Ol’ Faithful

  12. James says:

    I haven’t but would love to!

  13. Debra Branigan says:

    I grew up surrounded by volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest. Fortunately for me only Mt. St. Helens blew. I visited before and full grown trees were along the road. When I visited again after the blast so much was gone including part of the mountain. I still have a christmas ornament blown with the volcanic ash.

  14. Tim French says:

    Never got a chance to see a Volcano, I do want to visit

  15. Abigail Gibson says:

    No I have not visited a volcano yet. Would love to visit Hawaii where there are some.

  16. GarishMan says:

    crater lake national park is a remnant

  17. Greg L says:

    I have only flown over the top of Mt. St. Helens looking down into the dome was pretty cool.

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