Dale Yu: Review of Memory Island

Memory Island

  • Designer: Gary Kim
  • Publisher: Bloom Games
  • Players: 2-4
  • Age: 6+
  • Time: 10 minutes

memory island

Memory Island is a cute variant on the traditional game, Memory, In this game, players are racing to find and rescue endangered animals on this mysterious island.  Each of the ranks is associated with a particular endangered species (the green sea turtle, the black and white ruffed lemur, etc).  The game has cards numbered from 1 to 10.


At the start of the game, they are arranged in a 6×8 grid (or perhaps in a free from arrangement).  The first player now reveals a card.  If it is a 10, he collects the 10 (placing it in front of him in his scoring area) and immediately takes another turn.  If it is not a 10, he then reveals another card from the display.  

  • If the sum of the revealed cards is less than 10, he continues his turn by revealing another card and repeating this process
  • If the sum of revealed cards is exactly 10, he collects all of the revealed cards and places them in his scoring area.  (If he is unable to collect the cards, his turn ends, the cards are left on the table and flipped back over)
  • If the sum of the revealed cards is greater than 10, his turn is immediately over, and all the cards are flipped back over.


Once the turn ends, the next player gets a chance to take a turn, following the same procedure.

This continues until someone has exactly ten cards in their scoring area.  When this happens, that player is the winner.  You may never have more than 10 cards – so if you make a set that sums to 10, but this would put you over the limit; you are not allowed to collect those cards and instead must turn them over and end your turn.

The game can also end if all seven of the “10” cards are revealed and collected.  If this happens, the game ends immediately and the player with the most cards in their scoring area at that time is the winner.

As you can see from the description, the game is dead simple.  Reveal cards, see if they add to 10, score or end your turn.  Sure, there is a bit of a twist by not being able to have more than 10 scored cards – but other than that, it’s easy peasy.  This is the sort of game that would be a great introductory game and addition skill builder.  It’s admitted not something I’d play with my adult group – (we’d likely play Nana if we were looking for a memory game) – but this isn’t trying to do that.


The artwork is bright, and as a gamer, I like the fact that the bulk of the card is devoted to the number seen on it.  Sure, there are cute animals on each card, but that art doesn’t get in the way of what you need to play the game.  There is a nice little section in the rules describing the ten different endangered species featured in the game.

For a nice intro level game for youngsters, Memory Island would be a good choice.

Until your next appointment,

The Gaming Doctor

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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