Stats at a glance
Ages: 10 +
Publisher: Indie Boards & Cards
911, what’s your emergency?
Panic ensues on the other end of the phone, “Help me! There’s been a fire!”
There’s no time to waste. Gather your crew, cloak up in protective gear, and rush to the scene. Your fire squad is the only hope for those trapped inside the burning cauldron of flames. You’ll need to be quick and smart, the building could collapse any moment and you DON’T want to be inside when it does.
Read our full Flash Point: Fire Rescue Review below.
Table of Contents
Brief Overview of Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a cooperative board game in which players act as firefighters tasked with saving people and pets from a fiery demise.
Each player is assigned a special action, such as moving other players, scouting out false alarms, treating victims, or gaining bonus action points.
As a round begins, smoke flares up in the house, fires spread, and decisions need to be made. Players fight the flames by opening/closing doors, breaking down walls, extinguishing fires, and carrying the victims to safety.
It’s really easy to get immersed in Flash Point: Fire Rescue. Grab five friends to fill every firefighting role or play the 2-player variant for added twists. Every round is a new experience, and no fires spread the same.
Unboxing Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Your firefighting kit includes:
- 1 Rulebook
- 1 Double-sided Game Board (Two House Scenarios)
- 6 Firefighter Figures
- 33 Fire Markers
- 18 Person Of Interest Markers (6 False Alarms and 12 Victims)
- 24 Damage Counters
- 9 Door Markers
- 24 Hot Spot Markers
- 21 Action Markers
- 3 Heal Markers
- 6 Hazmat Markers
- 3 Vehicle Markers
- 6 Player Cards (Firefighting Roles)
- 1 6-Sided Die
- 1 8-Sided Die
- 6 Player Aid Cards
- 8 Specialist Cards
The component list can be a bit overwhelming at first glance, but the setup is fairly simple. Most of the markers are just indicators of the fire spread and house structure.
The game board and the markers are made of double-sided cardboard depicting clear symbols. The damage tokens are little cubes. If you purchased the newest edition of this game, the firefighter markers are made of plastic. For the older versions, you can expect more vintage-looking wooden figures.
I want to bring particular attention to the specialist cards. The illustrations are on fire, so to say. The art is very detailed and shows realistic firefighters in their unique roles.
The rulebook is a bit lengthy, tapping out at 12 pages. It’s divided between standard rules and advanced rules, so you’ll only need to read 6 pages to play your first game. An added bonus is the back page, which offers players a “Quick Start” Guide, including set-up and turn-taking, making it a valuable reference during gameplay.
The only complaint I can think of for components is that the box is a bit of a mixing pot when you’re unpacking and setting up. For the super-organized gamers out there, you’ll want some small bags or dividers to keep everything in one place for future use.
How to Play Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Before you bring the heat in Flash Point, there are some turn actions you’ll need to know. It’s vital that all players work cooperatively to save all the family members and Fido before it’s too late!
When everyone’s ready to play, you must choose between the family or experienced version setup. Let’s say the group opted for the family version… great! I recommend all players start with the family variant to get a gist of how everything functions before they attempt the advanced mode.
To get started, place door markers, threat markers, and people of interest according to the number of players and set positions shown in the rulebook.
Grab whatever firefighter suits you best, and get ready to extinguish the blaze.
Every turn, players will make decisions using 4 action points. Will you move to an adjacent space, chop down a wall, put out a fire, close/open doors, or carry a victim to safety?
All players have an individual talent that comes with their specialist cards. Some actions may be free depending on your assigned ability. On occasion, you’ll find your abilities useless; in others, they’ll save your life.
Players are able to repeat actions if they have enough points. If you don’t spend all of your actions in one turn, you’ll gain an action marker for every unused play to use on an upcoming turn.
Even with a set strategy, fires are unpredictable. As you carry a victim towards the exit, a fire combusts, and you’re now stuck behind a wall of flames, victim in tow. Stepping into a highly flammable area might be necessary, but any wrong moves could trigger an explosion that engulfs your team in the blaze.
A typical turn consists of three phases:
1. Action Taking Phase:
Take your four actions, use your special abilities, or gain tokens.
2. Advancing Fire Phase:
Roll the dice to place a threat marker. Smoke, fire, or explosions await. If you trigger a fire where the POI marker was, this person is labeled as a fatality and moved off the board.
If you cause an explosion, you could be in serious danger of structural integrity!
3. Place POI
If there are not three blue “?” markers on the grid, roll the dice to place a new POI. Your team needs at least three possible victims to save at all times.
There are no set rounds in Flash Point. The game ends if four victims perish in the fire, the building collapses, or your team rescues seven family members successfully.
Pros & Cons
- Thematic Elements
- No Individual Heroes
Who doesn’t love rescuing people from a fire, especially pets? The themed elements of Flash Point: Fire Rescue will have you falling into the role of a firefighter quite effortlessly. Your blood will boil as you chop through walls and break down doors, only to discover your POI was a false alarm. What now?
In other cooperative board games, you’ll have a player who handles more responsibility than others. Flash Point makes sure that everyone plays an equal role in saving the day. Your special abilities may be lifesaving in one round, but completely useless in the next.
The common goal to get everyone out alive creates a sense of urgency that keeps players on their toes. Since everyone works as a collective unit, you’ll be communicating constantly. Your fire squad wins and loses together. Will your team go down in flames?
- Token/Fire Management
The deeper you dive into Flash Point, the harder it is to manage all the moving pieces and fire spread. For this, I recommend an experienced gamer to help control the fire advancement stages. When smoke becomes flame, and flames turn to explosions, knowing the mechanics well is important.
Players need to be deliberate in their movements, so advancing towards a marker that was placed incorrectly could cause chaos. Pick the most detail-oriented player in your squad to track the fire to avoid the burn of disappointment.
Flash Point: Fire Rescue Review (TL;DR)
Flash Point: Fire Rescue is an easy-to-learn, cooperative, and thematic addition to any gaming table. Players are drawn back to this game to experience the different roles and abilities, as well as complexity. Did you forget that we’re only talking about the family version here? It gets even more difficult when you fight fires in the “experienced” mode.
I would say that Flash Point is a solid gateway game for hobbyists and newbies alike. The designers give you everything you need to make it as simple or complex as you like. It has over 5 expansions, offering new player abilities, expanded maps, fireproof doors, and more!
Versions & Expansions
Flash Point: Dangerous Waters
When I played Flash Point for the first time, I lost. I was setting out to rescue a damsel in distress but found that it was a false alarm; one that I wasted two turns on. I didn’t have plans to play it again, but it found its way into a game night.
The second time I played was with the full six players and it was INTENSE! As the walls crumbled around us, we happened to pull the final seventh victim from the midst in the last possible instant. The win was infectious, and we immediately played again on the experienced version.
For fans of Pandemic, you can expect similar mechanics (the spreading of disease/fires, player roles) but different since no one player can carry the team. The two-sided game board featured in Flash Point gives it an added replayability factor that Pandemic falls short on.
If you’re on the hunt for a board game that plays well for any range of players, follows an interactive theme, and offers a scaling difficulty range, Flash Point: Fire Rescue delivers. I loved the unpredictable nature of the dice rolls, coordinating with my team, and winning/losing together.
It’s no false alarm, Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a hot game to have in any board gamer’s arsenal.
We hope you enjoyed our Flash Point: Fire Rescue review! This excellent cooperative, fire safety board game is tons of fun and educational too! Have you tried playing it with your friends and family? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.
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Kendra has always been a hardcore fantasy nerd. Growing up in the worlds of Tolkien, Sanderson, Jordan, and Abercrombie, DnD & board games just came naturally. She and her husband, Bryan, started GameCows.com in 2018 as a fun passion project that just took over their lives. An avid board gamer since childhood and chronic DnD chronicler for more than two decades, she loves to play, write, travel, and learn dead languages. She is also a professional content writer at SlashGear.com