Flash Point – Fire Rescue: Review

OVERVIEW

Our Rating:

Want to fight fires and be a hero, but are too afraid of fires and dealing with all that gross smoke? Then Flash Point - Fire Rescue by Indie Games has got you covered! In this cooperative board game you and your fellow fire fighters (other players) are trying to rescue victims from a burning building while trying to put out the fire and avoid the total collapse of the building. Don't let the people die or the building collapse or you lose. Save them and you get to be the coveted hero (even though you tell people you are anyways)!!

Flash Point was recently featured in one of our Favourites Lists! Check it out here:
Best Coop Board Games

WHITNEY'S REVIEW

My Rating:

Likes

  • Nice graphics, boards and game pieces.
  • The ability to change player roles.
  • Cool concept with realistic cause-and-effect scenarios.
  • Multiple ways to die, making this game a challenge to juggle.
  • Adapts to make the game harder as you get better.
  • Up to six players can play.

Dislikes

  • There are a lot of rules to remember, and unless you play it often, you'll need to refer back to the instruction booklet as you go.
  • Some of the instructions are unclear and not organized well, so it can take time hunting for the solution.
  • Resolving explosions can be confusing and isn't clearly outlined.

Intro/First Impressions

I bought this game knowing next to nothing about it, based solely on a game shop's recommendation and the fact that I specifically wanted a co-operative board game suitable for six players for our collection. (I have none. I...I like to win. On my own. I'm not the greatest team player.) When I did a bit of googling in the store, I liked the fact that there were so many positive reviews and so many expansions. The concept sounded fun and I had high hopes for the game.

Thoughts

The first  couple of times Wes and I played, we won. Pretty easily. As much as I like to win, I found this discouraging and a little disheartening. Nobody wants to buy a game that is easy to beat. However, I think we were playing incorrectly, or at least, unknowingly bending the rules by misunderstanding them. To make the game harder for us, I bought Flash Point: Extreme Danger, and the first time we played, we discovered our mistake--and then we got stomped. I'm talking five minutes of play and the building collapsed. I think it's the first time I've ever played a game and was pleased I lost. The second time we played, we lost again. We didn't even rescue one victim, although we lasted a few minutes longer. 

I think the concept of the game is pretty cool. ​As a firefighter, you have several objectives:
rescue victims, put out fires and remove hazmat. You win when you rescue seven victims (and the victims are on the board only three at a time--but even then, they could be false alarms). You lose if too many victims die or the building collapses from too much damage.

The board always starts with some hazmat and fires/explosions for you to extinguish, and as you advance up the ladder (hah), the number of hazmat and explosions, as well as hot spots, increases. Each action, from moving or opening a door, to picking up a victim or extinguishing smoke or fire, costs action points. There are different roles to choose from with each having its own special ability. While every player can take every action, the cost can change depending on their role--and not every role gets the same amount of action points to spend. I like it. It certainly forces you to be strategic in your approach, and adapt your play as the fire moves through the building. 

The game reacts as you'd expect a fire to behave, so victims can die, firefighters can be injured, explosions can occur and even the building can collapse. I like the realism of this and I especially appreciate how the game adapts as you get better. The boards are double-sided and the designers included cards that outline actions and turn order which makes it easier to play--and this I find important, as there are a lot of rules.

​There's a lot about this game I like, including how pretty it is. The markers and game pieces are well designed and I think will withstand a lot of use, and each marker is used in a specific way which makes the game easy to understand at a quick glance. What I don't like? The instructions. They continually frustrate me. There are so many and they aren't well organized, so finding specific rules can take time, slowing down game play. Maybe it's just us, but I don't find the rules around explosions the easiest to understand, either.​

Conclusion

This is a cool game and it's worth playing a few times to see if you want to add it to your collection. The fact that there are so many expansions, including some with different firefighter roles and abilities, is slick. I don't mind playing games I love over and over, but having the option to add different elements is refreshing and challenging. Check it out and let us know what you think--and if you come up with other ideas to help us beat the game and avoid getting burned. 

About the author

Whitney

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