Sheesh. There are so many expansions to Flash Point: Fire Rescue. From 2-story buildings to skyscrapers to boats, you’d think they’d run out of ideas on what to set fire to next.
But the flames never stop, and a fireman’s work is never done. There’s always a bigger building, and there’s always more danger.
Yet of all the expansions so far, this is the most extreme there is. It says so right on the box: Flash Point: Fire Rescue: Extreme Danger
How It Plays
Flash Point: Extreme Danger requires the base game in order to play. If you’re unfamiliar, I’d say head on over to our base game review to learn about that before you start here. This expansion is fairly advanced, and I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners; from here on out, I’ll assume you have some familiarity with the core game.
This expansion adds two brand new maps, an extension board that can be added to the included maps (and others), and a few new dangers to face and tools with which to counter those dangers. The new maps include many features we’ve seen in the previous expansions, including ladders and windows, weak walls, fire doors, and stairs.
New Explosive Objects can be added to the included maps, or others in your collection. These objects take up one or two spaces, and receive damage cubes when hit with explosions. When 4 damage cubes are piled on, the object goes up in a massive explosion.
Another Dangerous Object works just like the Explosive Objects, except instead of causing an explosion it leaks out toxic sludge.
A new Fire Engine platform has been added. This platform can carry two people (firefighters or a firefighter and a victim) and can be raised to any floor at any position along the wall adjacent to the Fire Engine.
An extension board features an Attic on one side and a Basement on the other. The Attic is primarily just one extra floor to deal with, while the basement comes with a special rule. Explosions in the Basement can actually damage and destroy the floor above it. Yikes!
The extension board can be added to most of the maps from previous expansions, although it is primarily recommended for use with the Extreme Danger or 2nd Story boards.
My Middle Name Is Danger (My First Name Is Extreme)
Maybe it is possible to have too much of a good thing, but I can’t say that Flash Point has hit that… um, point… yet. If anything, Extreme Danger is the best expansion yet.
I mean, first of all, Flash Point is a pretty great game from the get go. I tend to get plays in few and far between, but every time I do I remember how entertaining it is. Sure, there are a few frustrating elements. The fire can still flare up suddenly and uncontrollably thanks to a series of poor dice rolls, or remain a non-issue most of the game if the rolls are too spread out.
But most games land somewhere in the middle, and they give you a chance to play the hero. The theme is as family friendly as ever, celebrating the brave people who risk danger to save others, but the design doesn’t forgo the fun of a and challenge of a quality board game.
At some point, once you have 8 to 10 different maps, there’s not a lot different you can do with the layout. The maps included are new thematically – a mechanic’s garage and a science lab – but aside from a slightly different arrangement of walls, it’s nothing crazy. Not like Dangerous Waters gave us the submarine.
At the very least, the laboratory is another 2-story building, which is fun. 2 stories changes the dynamic of the game more than anything.
And oh man. Wait til you try three stories. It’s tough.
But the new tools are neat. The fire engine platform makes it a lot easier to get people down from the top floor, and the targeted fire hose is pretty neat. Gives you a little more heroic control over what happens when you’re trying to wash down a big section. It increases the utility of windows, and overall just adds new ways to interact with the enviroment.
It’s great that a lot of the stuff – engine platform included – can easily be mixed with previous maps to increase the challenge. Explosive objects are easy to toss into any empty space on any board, providing a new threat to worry about. Those extra explosions can be devastating, but if your fire-fighting crew has mastered the art of fire prevention, the extra difficulty is welcome.
Toxic sludge is most at home in the lab, at least thematically, but there’s really no reason it couldn’t be added anywhere else. I mean, maybe the original house was secretly a meth lab. Maybe that’s why there was a fire in the first place?
The extra level drastically expands the variety the game. The additional space adds more ground to cover, but it also spreads the fire out a little more. Adding the attic to any map makes more use of the ladders from 2nd Story (also included in this expansion). When you’re dealing with 3 stories, the fire engine platform becomes invaluable, adding much more movement flexibility for every character.
I think the basement special rule is pretty darn clever, and the idea of the floor crumbling beneath your feet is thrilling and terrifying. In some ways it does seem odd that explosions on the 1st story of a 2-story building don’t crumble the floor above, but I suppose you could argue that the explosions have windows and doors to escape to the outside, where the basement has none. In any case, it’s a clever new feature, although it can be a little tricky to find which space aligns with the space “below” it, since it’s not actually 3D.
My biggest complaint about previous expansions was primarily that they were silos – clever and interesting additions, but not really able to mix with any of the other expansions. With the wide variety of tokens and options in this box, you actually can go back, adding new tools and challenges. The universe of Flash Point is blasted wide open.
Also, this expansion finally comes in a box, not cardboard-wrapped paper. I can actually fit all the boards in this box and the tokens in the other, which I’m very happy about. There is at least one more expansion so that won’t last forever, but… at least it’s contained for now.
Extreme Danger is probably my favorite expansion so far, with a caveat; I’m not sure I would recommend jumping straight from the base game to this. The expansions do a good job of introducing new concepts in smaller increments, and Extreme Danger really is the culmination of everything into one massive challenge. So work your way through the expansions one at a time, and when you’re ready, Extreme Danger is a perfect way to breathe new life into everything you already own. It’s great fun, a huge challenge, and it’s still one of the best cooperative games on the market.
iSlaytheDragon would like to thank Indie Boards & Cards for providing a review copy of Flash Point: Extreme Danger.