The good news is you live in a gorgeous archipelago of paradise islands. The bad news is you’re skint! See you and a bunch of business associates/competitors make your living selling goods to customers on nearby islands. But not a single one of you can afford your own plane to deliver said goods. So what did you do? You clubbed together to buy the best dang seaplane your collective fortunes could afford. Unfortunately, that amounted to a tired old wreck of a vehicle. Your plane’s so beaten up that whoever is lucky enough to outbid the others in order to fly it that day quite literally can’t see where they’re going! Island Hopper is a game of bidding, bribing and flying blind.
Hop Or Flop?
With the right group in the right mood Island Hopper can be enjoyable mayhem. Especially if people have fun with their direction tokens, trying to throw the captain off or redirect him mid-flight. That said, and bearing in mind the production team, all in all, the game is less than the sum of its parts, or contributors. It usually leaves you entirely dependant on someone else that you're competing with to do what you want them to.
Whether that’s drop cargo to your island or help you out while you’re flying. Even when it does go well for you it kind of feels more by luck than judgement. It’s a unique mix of mechanics and I admire what it’s trying to do, but usually, there’s other family games I’d rather play with my kids and other strategy games I’d rather play with adults. Unfortunately, Island Hopper doesn’t really bridge that gap. It’s one I’ll reserve for when I get the itch to play some loud, blindfolded dexterity madness!