Game: Volcanic Isle

  • Publisher: Arcane Wonders, Pendragon Game Studio
  • Designed by: Andrea Mainini, Luciano Sopranzetti
  • Graphic Design by: Davide Corsi, Kris Aubin, Stephen S Gibson
  • Ages 13+
  • 2-4 players
  • 45 minutes
Journal Entry: Day 1

“We have arrived at the island. We have decided to go our separate ways and find places to call home. This land is surrounded by volcanos and have left behind signs of great eruptions of long ago. We shall build our homes on top of the ashes as we seek to please our gods.”

Journal Entry: Day 257

“Our village prospers. We have begun to raise Moai to praise the gods we worship. May they be pleased in what we do. There have been some fissures along the land, but we are not fearful. The gods will protect us.”

Journal Entry: Day 382

“The volcanos are erupting and our villages are lost. The lava comes closer to us. Perhaps we must pray harder to our gods and build more Moai…”

Journal Entry: Day 401

“Our people have sunk to the bottom along with part of the island. My life was spared thanks to the prayers to our ancestors, but the volcanos of our land were our doom and destruction… I must rebuild a new civilization and more Moai in hopes to bring bounty to our people.”

Part of the island has sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

Arcane Wonders was kind enough to provide us with a copy of Volcanic Isle. This game brings your villager to an island covered with volcanos. As you journey across the board you will remove ash and build up villages, create villagers, and then create Moai in hopes to praise the gods and ancestors before you.

There is one catch. With each Moai raised, fissures are created and may cause the land to be spilt and sunk to the bottom of the oceans below. Also, there are chances that one of the eight volcanos may erupt, causing lava to flow into your village, bringing death and destruction. As you build, you will receive points. Once there are two or less volcanos remaining, the game ends and scoring will be added from what remains on the island.


The plastic pieces are well made. Each village, settler and Moai have a great attention to detail. The boat, prayer and lava tokens have artwork fitting of the design and made of thick cardboard.

The scoreboard’s pieces stack on each other which is a nice touch.

Then there is the board. This is what is so special. The board is modular. The game has an initial setup of where you will put all the board pieces and volcanos, but there are special setups with smaller amount of land and also larger islands.

Our Family’s Thoughts

Abigail: the board and character pieces are cool. I like being able to sabatoge other people and get rid of their villages and moui. I dont like how if you use the lava up in on place it doesn’t refill right away so its useless. Recommendation: Try it.

My red players were no match for my wife.

Beth: this one keeps me on my toes and I like it. I plan ahead when I play, but I havent quite figured out the best strategy, whether it is to set up more Moai or just spread out and set up villages. I look forward to trying different ways. It is frustrating to set so much up just to have it sink into the ocean, but hey, thats island life, right? Recommendation: Try it.

Chris: This game has a nice feel of take-that. The wife and I had a serious raising of Moai, resulting in a split right down the middle of the island. Sadly, the side that survives is the side that has the most volcanos. All that work to sink her to the bottom of the ocean led to my own destruction. Recommendation: BUY IT!

Game ends when the island is down to two volcanos. Elijah’s endgame scoring got him the win!

Daniel: the first things I like is that you can sink other players and build your own villages. I hate it when other people sink my villages, but it is fun. You can spread people all over the place. Recommendation: BUY IT!

Elijah: I like to play pretend with the people and Moai. I make them them talk to each other. I like making the volcanoes erupt. Recommendation: BUY IT!

We think this would be a fun game to enjoy with the family. The changing nature of the board makes for replay-ability and the risk for building your Moai can be your victory as much as it is your destruction.