Welcome to Fireball Island! – Fireball Island Design Diary 6

In Posts by Justin Jacobson57 Comments

We’re almost there! The Kickstarter begins on Tuesday, April 3rd, at approximately noon EDT. We’re so excited to finally launch this thing. So for our final design diary, we wanted to show off the island itself. You’ve already seen some of it and heard a bit about the design challenges, but it’s hard to overstate the significance of the island as a part of board gaming history. There was never anything in board games like it before, and not many have even attempted anything like it since. (And after going through the development process, I can understand why.) It remains one of the purest marriages of game and toy, such that one part of it couldn’t live without the other. We hope our new design shows how much effort we invested in respecting that legacy and building on it to make something even grander. So, without further ado:

And the full 360:

Work it, Vul-Kar!

I’m so proud of the effort put in by the whole team, but I want to mention a few people in particular. The original layout of the island was developed by Rob Daviau and J.R. Honeycutt. Mike Gray came up with the initial “stacked island” concept. Noah Adelman drafted the initial 3D designs. Chad Hoverter sculpted the accouterments, including the ladder, bridges, trees, and Vul-Kar himself. The staff at Design Innovation took the initial concept and turned it into a tangible thing. Jason Taylor created the artistic treatment. And our team at Longshore, especially our good friend, Jon, who have worked tirelessly with us to tweak every last millimeter of the island to make it hum.

As a final reminder, we will be sending out a preview link to the Kickstarter on Monday via our company newsletter. If you want to get in on that, make sure you are signed up. If not, go to our website and enter your email address in the form on the right-hand side of the page.



    1. Yes!!!! I was just talking to my brother about this and how I wish we had this to play with my kids. We loved Crossbows and Catapults when we were kids!

  1. More impressed than I could have even thought I’d be. Great work guys!

  2. I absolutely can’t handle this, you have no idea. I spent about ten years not sure if I had made the game up or not, and seeing this looking like how I remembered it (moreso than how it actually DID look) is beautiful.

    100% perfect.

  3. A thing of beauty as well as a functional playing surface. It practically sells itself. Well done!

  4. Wow. I’m not even a big fan of Fireball Island game genre. I do think it was a good game for Restoration Games to reprint, however. But looking at it now, if the physics of this game are right, this might just be the biggest achievement in boardgaming ever. I think we can safely say that Restoration Games is the new Days of Wonder. You just get excited at the news of every single game release and their game announcements certainly take on all the flavor of a “major media” event.

    The games are fun and “accessible” for a wide swath of people.

    Justin has done a tremendous job generating buzz for the company. Restoration Games now *officially* takes the mantle of becoming my new favorite boardgame company. Best of luck with Fireball Island. I hope you sell a million of them!

    1. Author

      That’s very nice of you to say. Especially so because we specifically looked to Days of Wonder as a model. We want each release to be special. I should also mention, that while I might be the face of the team over on the website here, they’ve all done much more work on this rollout than I have. And the strength and efficiency of the marketing effort is largely due to Suzanne’s expertise.

  5. The most important question:
    Do Micro Machines (TM) still roll down the paths?
    6 year-old me needs to know.

      1. Speaking of micro machines, have you guys entertained the possibility of remaking Crash Canyon? that was also one of my favorite games.

        1. Saw this product (Fireball Island), and my mind also immediately went to hoping that a Crash Canyon reprint may one day be in the works. What a fantastic game.

  6. Ragazzi, vi scrivo nella mia lingua ovvero italiano…
    Siete fantastici! Aspettavo da anni questo momento ed ora un mio sogno si realizza. Ho 4 copie del gioco isola di fuoco e questo non me lo lascio scappare! Lo comprerò per me ed i miei amici. Sapete a che ora in Italia partirà il kick starter? Grazie, grazie, grazie!!!

  7. The island in full color is even more stunning than I’d imagined it could be. There are so many nice touches, right down to the little subtle ones like the sea spray on the rocks and the silhouette of the Restoration logo guy scrawling S.O.S. on the cliff face. I also like the more basalt-y look of the rocks, which subtly underscores that this is an island undergoing violent volcanic transformation following the events of 30 years ago. Amazing, amazing job.

    The only nitpicks I have are very minor. It’s sad to see the raging river (my favorite childhood feature of the island, aside from Vul-Kar himself) become volcanically acidified, but again this ties in neatly with the narrative you’re going for, and the lava chutes look really cool anyway. I also would’ve liked to see some mysterious ruins on the island a la the first game, but perhaps you can save that (and the river) for future islands if this game takes off… 🙂

    Again, amazing job. Can’t wait to learn more about the gameplay and to see the shipwreck island in its full-color glory,

  8. Are the bridges made to tip a player off when a fireball rolls under them? I recall them having this feature in the original.
    Hard tell in the picture if they are setup that way.

    1. Author

      They are. But we engineered them, like the fireball chutes themselves, not to be completely predictable, such that the bridge higher up the mountain is much more likely to tip you over than the lower bridge.

  9. This looks GREAT!!! I can’t wait to back, pay for, own and then play this game!

  10. Please please PLEASE consider more expansions beyond the 3 listed. How about an old half destroyed crusaders tower with a winding staircase? Or Pillars that can be used to walk on top of but can be knocked over in cascading fashion? Permanent path blockers to act like one side of the island sunk into the sea.

    The possibilities are endless here. Just thinking about them reminds me of all 4 Uncharted games and their massive action set pieces on lost islands and the like.

    1. Author

      Oh, we have a list of possible expansions. Part of this Kickstarter is to see which type of expansions work and what people are responding to.

  11. Is it deliberate (or just a visual illusion) that the right side of the board has less fireball coverage?

    And on a general note: AWESOME! This board looks great- like how it is more colorful than the original.

  12. I can’t wait for the kickstarter. I loved this game as a kid and I have been so tempted to buy it on ebay for my nephew and I to play. Then last fall I found the original in my Mom’s basement! I thought we got rid of it years ago. All the pieces were there and my family has been playing it like crazy. Everyone loves it. Looking forward to the new game as a sort of sequel and excited for it to be a little more strategic!!!! What a great idea!

  13. It’ll be fantastic to have a version of this great game again, as copies of the original cost an arm, leg, and kidney on eBay. 😀

  14. When it will be available for purchase?? Is board map expansions will be added in a future? I cant wait play the game!! Amazing job! Thx to devs team.

  15. If we don’t back this game right now on kickstarter, does it will be available in france in retail (and of course, in french).

    1. Author

      Our English version will be available in France in regular distribution around November. I know our licensor is actively looking for publishing partners for other languages, so I would expect it to appear in French in short order.

  16. i will wait for the French version, with children it’s better!

  17. do you recommend taking the game via Kickstarter to get the French language? or do we have to wait for an official release in French? do you have an approximate date for an edition in French? thank you for thinking about France

    1. Author

      Unfortunately, under the terms of our license, we do not have the rights to do non-English versions of the game. However, our manufacturing partner, Longshore Ltd., is actively looking for partners to do such versions. I would expect to see them very soon after the game releases.

  18. The game looks wicked cool! Dropped in a few bucks to help it along and will love getting a copy for my kid. 🙂

  19. I just received Fireball Island in the mail….no ladder was included in my game set. Can I get a replacement? I’ll pay if necessary

  20. Looking forward to Dark Tower. Omega virus and Crash Canyon would be nice also. Sounds like your restoring alot of the good old games. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  21. I just bought this at barnes and nobles. Congrats on outdoing the original and finally driving down the price of the original. Top notch look and feel to the board. After weeks of thinking about it…what finally did it was you promoting the board as bigger than the original…and bigger is better in this case!!! I love it!

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