The Game That Turned Little Kids Into Cannibalistic Hyenas

The Game That Turned Little Kids Into Cannibalistic Hyenas

Fireball Island was a late 80s kids' game that epitomized the reason we play competitive games: To burn all who oppose us.

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I've never actually played Fireball Island (my parents had gone for Mouse Trap and Sorry instead), but now I rather want to.

There's definitely something to screwing over your friends while playing a game that is endlessly entertaining. Anyone who has seen an Achievement Hunter Let's Play of New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii U knows that that feeling never really goes away.

FYI, you call Vul-Kar "Kul-Var" at the bottom of the first page. You shall be fireballed for this insolence, Rath!

This reminded me of the Jurassic Park board game by Parker were you could move dinosaurs on your fellow players. Or his other game with a wind-up t-rex that could be set loose on the game, knocking pieces around, but you were never quite sure if you'd be spared. Now that I think about it, there were an awful lot of agression tactics in the board games I played.

Thunderous Cacophony:
There's definitely something to screwing over your friends while playing a game that is endlessly entertaining. Anyone who has seen an Achievement Hunter Let's Play of New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii U knows that that feeling never really goes away.

I think the new Rayman games kind of found a balance for that 4 player on screen dynamic. Jumping won't cause collisions, you can cooperate through the levels but also smack each other around if you desire. Legends even has this football (soccer, for the US) mini-game where you basically have to slap each other silly to get a goal in. aaah...good times.

Never played it, but your description of the experience reminds me a lot of playing Diplomacy with friends. Of course, we still do that now, and it still turns us into absolutely terrible people. Backstabbing is a core mechanic in that game, and it never gets old to break an alliance at the perfect moment to expand your empire and drastically alter the shape of the game.

I distinctly remember a time when I started out allied to one friend of mine, and for the first couple of hours we did pretty well as a team. Unfortunately, I spotted an opening in his defences and formulated an evil plan. I secretly made an alliance with two other players to work against my former ally, and within two turns he was completely gone from the board. It made me feel like an evil mastermind. Cackling was involved.

hmm didn't AVGN do a video on this years ago?

I never played mousetrap...I just set it up and let the trap go....

Robert Rath:
The Game That Turned Little Kids Into Cannibalistic Hyenas

Fireball Island was a late 80s kids' game that epitomized the reason we play competitive games: To burn all who oppose us.

Read Full Article

Great post, jolly good show. I loved the crap out of this game, a friend had it and I got to play it (along with getting caught up in Crossfire) but that I believe was also the Christmas I had to choose between Fireball Island and HeroQuest, the Games Workshop solo/co-op dungeon crawler. I'm glad I picked the latter because it was a driving force for my buddies to finally give in to playing D&D. I used all the doorways and bookcases and monsters (even painting them) and other props. All in all I would have loved Fireball Island for maybe a week before it became a GI JOE playset or some other decorative function, but the guts from HeroQuest lived a long life as D&D game props, probably 13-14 years before the last few pieces were lost or destroyed. I believe one of the painted Orcs was deliberately set aflame by a "friend" who was jealous I could paint minis better than he could, and I only started the day before whereas he had been doing it for 3 or 4 years.
Still this post brought back some awesome memories and I'll always remember Fireball Island as the one that got away. Still I'll give it credit for being an ancillary reason to why I started D&D gaming, and the fun I had with it at a freind's house. I even tried to con him into letting me buy or trade for it. I did that a lot with other kids when they had toys I wanted starting back in Kindergarten with a Grimlok Transformer and a stubborn kid who wouldn't give it up for less than half my Garbage Pail Kids collection. Hard bargain, and I still went for it.

 

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