The Flash Point Fire Rescue game can be pretty intense. Like, melt your face off, it just won’t let up, raging inferno out-of-control intense. Question is: can you take the heat?
Flash Point is designed by Kevin Lanzing and published through Indie Boards & Cards. It is a cooperative game in which you work together to fight fires and rescue victims from the blazing inferno that is destroying their home. I love collaborative games so this is one of my favorites. The pieces are really well made and the setup is pretty easy to get the hang of. Sadly, there are not enough compartments in the box, nor did they give you baggies to separate everything, but it’s pretty easy to sort through the pieces if you are careful about how you arrange them when you put them away and you don’t make a habit of shaking all your boxes regularly like it’s Christmas or something.
There are two modes; I am intentionally reviewing the easier starter mode because it is more kid-friendly. We’ve even played this version with a five-year old who had a blast, but you may want to consider your child’s maturity level and whether or not they can handle not getting the kitty out safely before you jump in… (If the kitty perishing would induce a crying fit or nightmares, wait a little longer. I know 30+ year olds who cannot handle this, so it isn’t the game for everyone.)
The starting setup begins with two points of interest (potential victims) awaiting rescue while on the loo and another trapped in the dining room who could have just booked out the door but didn’t. Gotta admit, I’d hide on the toilet if I couldn’t get out too, though. The fire is spreading through the kitchen into the main family room towards one of the doors. Each player chooses which door to come in on and gets four actions. Moving one square takes an action. Spraying fire to take it back to smoke is an action. Spraying a smoldering square to get rid of smoke uses one action. Opening a door equals one action. Dragging an unconscious victim requires two actions, as does chopping a hole in the wall (though if the raging inferno of fire causes an explosion it may just knock a hole in the wall for you). You can also bank actions you didn’t use for later.
Every player takes their four actions plus any banked actions they wish to use and then rolls to see where the fire pops up next. If you are lucky, you roll a totally untouched square which starts to smolder with smoke. If you are unlucky, you roll an existing fire and it explodes in all four grid directions, sending more fire out at an alarming rate, knocking doors off their hinges, injuring victims and blowing holes in walls. It doesn’t take long for the fire to start to spread…
My character firefighter was rescuing this victim when a nearby fire exploded, injuring the victim and myself. In the kid-friendly situation, the injured victim has to be treated at the hospital and you have to get fixed up so you start at the nearest blue EMT square. In reality, neither of you would be so lucky.
The goal is to rescue 7 victims. Some points of interest have victims to be rescued (including the aforementioned kitty and also a puppy, as well as all sorts of humans) but some are empty blanks. We started this game drawing all blanks and it destroyed us.
We only managed to rescue 6 victims, though we did get the kitty out. The puppy was not appearing in this film. As I’d mentioned, those who aren’t saved require more medical attention; the game doesn’t want to depress you thinking that they died because you twiddled your thumbs or chose the wrong exit strategy or something for all that they totally died. As did your firefighter character who was in the building with the inferno but was conveniently time warp transported to the nearest EMT platform.
After easy mode, there are specialized firefighters who have differing abilities, as well as hot spots that blow up instantaneously and hazmat chemicals. Because it wasn’t enough to fight fires in a normal home, there had to be a meth lab… But I didn’t review that version because it’s more complicated and less kid-friendly, and there just aren’t enough good cooperative kid-friendly games out there that aren’t totally lame (or sparkle lamé or both). That version does make for better storytelling later though, like the bigger fish caught at the lake on that special weekend…
I give Flash Point Fire Rescue 4.5 Cthulus.(4.5 / 5)
I really like Flash Point. It’s actually pretty hard with only two people because you just can’t get good enough coverage on the house, fire and points of interest. The game plays best with four, even if that’s two players playing two firefighters each. If you are interested in buying the game and battling fire with fire yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.
Just remember, when you purchase anything from the links provided, we get some $ back so the Dark Lord says shop away…