The Joy of Unboxing: Robinson Crusoe

By November 26, 2014Boardgames, Videos

Don’t worry Wilson, I’ll do all the paddling. You just hang on.

Alone on a desert island with only a single unopened copy of Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island by Z-Man Games. Time to rip off that shrink wrap and see if this game is edible!

No one ever said learning Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island was easy, but after grappling with the rulebook for a while now as I write a rules summary for the game, I’m glad many people say it’s also a great game once you get the hang of it. Ignacy Trzewiczek may have a name that’s tough to pronounce for us English speakers but he designs great games like Neuroshima Hex and Thesus: The Dark Orbit (and coming up from Fantasy Flight Games, The Witcher Adventure Game), so it’s definitely worth persevering.

But before the rules summary comes the unboxing video, so join me as I explore the hexes, counter, tokens, wooden bits, plastic bits and loads of cards in this box. And remember, it can always be used as a crude shelter against the unforgiving elements! Or a shield against wild animals. Or a container to collect wild berries in. Or perhaps something to eat …


  • Of Miniatures and Meeples Of Miniatures and Meeples says:

    Needless to say, familiar gamers are rejoicing that Universal Head is about to work his summary magic on Robinson Crusoe! Whilst I would not call the game heavyweight, there are multiple things to account for in each stage of a round (bloody weather!). This game definitely needs play reference sheets, which alone will greatly speed up (even the initial learning of) game play.

    I also read somewhere that there are/were differences in the rules/translation between the original ‘Portal’ release and the ‘Z-man’ print. I trust by now this has been resolved by the designer or by general consensus. Only for UH’s benefit, as he has proven to be very meticulous with clarifications.

    Hope this becomes a new favourite UH!

  • Michael Ng says:

    Very very very easy to mess them up, I have messed it up three times despite reading and reading again. Here is what I recommend, I have picked this up recently as well.

    BGG must read resources:
    Step 1:
    Get to know what pieces are what, and how the round order goes. This comes after reading the game manual, and you are still fuzzy over what is what.

    Step 2:
    Try Castaways scenario 1, using the above file as a handy player guide.

    Step 3:
    Read this, and realize and all the things in the world you have done wrong, correct, or is debatable.

    Repeat, either with castaways or new scenarios new characters.

    Optional stuff:

    For more thematic feel, and when you ask “what the heck does weapon > 1fur+1 food token mean” (It’s a goat)

    Ignacy actually designed the items from names first, then placed them on discs to find that it is too squeezy to fit the name in.
    Beyond thematic feel, this helps when you wonder why the +2food expires, and the rest don’t

    If you are playing solo or with Friday/dog, please do read up over and over which pawns can perform an action alone, and whether it can use certain assists. (E.g. the Dog can’t use the map or torch)

What do you think?