This past weekend we headed down to visit a friend with a boxful of games including our usual 7 Wonders, Smash Up! and Elder Sign… but we got sidetracked for a few hours with a great new game she had just picked up on sale and was eager to try with us.
Flash Point: Fire Rescue (BGG link) is a great board game put out by Indie Boards and Cards – it started out as a Kickstarter, as so many games are these days, but it’s expanded into a full series with expansions and a scaled system of play so you can make it simple for those new to the game or for younger players or kick it up to the highest level that’ll have you sweating as you try to save those people!
The game is stated for solo up to six people, about an hour’s gameplay time and for ages 10+ – of course depending on how many expansions and complexity of the scenario you can spend hours. But it’s a game that will suck time away like a nasty backdraft!
You and your team are firefighters trying to save at least seven people from a burning building before it collapses or worse, you lose four inhabitants. You job is to kick in doors, hack through walls and put out smoke before it becomes fire or put out fires while trying to get to the unlucky victims and carry them out of the building. This seems simple enough but when every turn you create either more smoke or fire or a domino effect of smoke reacting to fire… it gets pretty hairy soon enough!
The beauty of this game, other than being easy to relate to because who hasn’t wanted to be a firefighter, is that it can be scaled up or down for new and younger players, much like Wings of Glory. We played the basic version but the starter box also included the possibility for you to take on individual roles such as paramedics and fire chiefs, each with their own bonuses and minuses to help save victims. But you can also just play plain old firefighters with your axe and hose, charging into a burning house to save the kitty… or no one at all.
Yes, there is some strategy here – a lot, in fact. Your team not only has to deal with fires sprouting up every turn (if you look at the board above you can see the two different lines for dice rolls. You roll two dice each turn, one black and one red and where they intersect either smoke breaks out or fire… or maybe an explosion!) you also have the chance of false alarms where you race to save a victim and it turns out to be nothing… or, as I speculated, someone’s blow-up doll. But that’s just the way I think. 😉
We really enjoyed this game and plan to pick it up at some point – it’s a change from our usual fantasy fare and I think that’s why it was so much fun. It’s something everyone can relate to and if you have a friend who doesn’t “do” that “fantasy stuff” he/she might be interested in this game. With plenty of expansions and the ability to scale it up and down I can see this game being a constant go-to game when we want a change from the fantasy worlds we usually visit.
I highly recommend Flash Point: Fire Rescue for anyone looking for a good, fast, fun game with hunky firefighters… ah, I mean strong young men… I mean… ah… yes. That.