Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a cooperative game designed by Kevin Lanzing with help from actual firefighters, and backed by a very successful Kickstarter campaign. Players take the role of firefighters trying to save all victims in a burning building before it collapses or the fire gets out of control. There are several levels of complexity, but most variations involve each of the players taking on different roles. Someone might be the Fire Captain, making everyone else’s work more effective. Another player might be the Paramedic, stabilizing victims caught in the blaze. Whoever you may be, your goal is to save at least 7 of the 10 Victims before the building collapses. If you can’t, it’s game over for everyone.
Each firefighter has a certain number of Action Points (AP) per turn to take actions like moving, breaking down walls, and carrying away Victims. Finding Victims is made more complicated by the existence of False Alarms, as both Victim and False Alarm tokens have the same appearance until flipped over–which of course, you can only do once your character is on the same space as the token. After taking their action, each player has to advance the fire, spreading it throughout the board. Explosions are an additional complication, which occur when the fire is advanced to a space that is already on fire. Explosions rapidly spread fire throughout the building and damage the walls, threatening a collapse. If for any reason fire spreads to a space with a Victim, they are lost.
Things can get even more complicated with Hazmat, which causes additional explosions when it comes into contact with fire; and Hot Spots, which force players to advance the fire again when in contact with fire. Fortunately, the firefighters do have flexibility in the use of their vehicles, the Ambulance and the Fire Engine. Both can move around the building quickly, which is helpful as victims must be placed in the Ambulance to be rescued. The Fire Engine’s powerful hose, the Deck Gun, can also be used to put out large sections of fire all at once.
Those who prefer things a little simpler or want to ease themselves in can play with the included “Family” rules. As stated above, it eliminates player roles, as well as removing Hazmat, Hot Spots, Vehicles, and simplifying a few rules here and there. There are also expansions to the game that add new scenarios, like fires in high-rises and submarines. Even if you don’t have any of the expansions, the randomized setups create a lot of variety in each play.
A successful win in Flash Point requires close cooperation, and conservation of your resources. If you break down too many walls you’ll be hastening the building’s collapse. If you put too much time toward putting out fires, you could lose Victims. There’s no room for glory when you’re saving lives, after all! Tune into our Twitch channel from 4-7pm PST on Thursday to see how Game of the Game does.
Featured image credit: kilroy_locke on BoardGameGeek