Shark Island

Mysterious Island











Some of my favorite movies as a kid were Journey to the Center of the Earth(1959) and Mysterious Island(1961).  The problem was I often had to wait years before a TV station would air one of the movies.  This was long before VCR’s much less Netflix.  Both movies captured my imagination.  I may not know the dialogue verbatim but I can just about tell you what the next scene will be.  A few years ago I enjoyed watching the original Journey to the Center of the Earth with James Mason.  It was also just a few years ago that I saw the remake at thre theater.  The remake was not bad, but I still like the original. 


This past weekend I ventured to the theater to watch the remake of Mysterious Island.  My wife and I really enjoyed it.  The Rock did a good job.  I’m glad Hollywood wants to revisit this classic tales of adventure.  I’m not sure why movies get more unbelievable rather than more plausible, but that seems to be the pattern now.  It was still good entertainment.

            On my original version of the board game Treasure Trove I had a “Mysterious Island,”‘ because it is such an interesting name.  I placed it near Indonesia.  Most of the other Islands, if not all, that I did choose to place on the game board in reality exist.  For example, there really is a Buccaneer Archipelago, a Dragon Island, a Crocodile Island, a Shark Island, and so forth.  The two that are stretched a bit are Castaway Island, which I placed in the Indian Ocean, and Skull Island that I placed near Indonesia.  There is not actually a Skull Island but there are islands near Borneo where people do place the skulls of their ancestors inside caves for burial.  There were a group of French sailors sranded as castaways on an isalnd in the South Indian Ocean in the 17th century for many months.

Treasure Trove is a game of collecting treasure, but it is fun to think of all the exotic places on this globe that would be fascinating to visit, especially if there were treasure there.  Treasure Trove is a quest for fabled wealth but it is also an adventure.  I think it is something kids enjoy experiencing in the process of play.  I choose not to place Mysterious Island on the final version of Treasure Trove because I did not think many people had heard of the Jules Verne novel Mysterious Island, much less the movie made in 1961.  Now that a remake of Mysterious Island has been made, I wish I had left it on the game board.





     I will always enjoy adventure movies to exotic and remote destinations, especially if there is an element of treasure involved.

Island of the Apes


Tiwai Island on the Moa River

All of us are familiar with the Planet of the Ape movies.  I think there are three or four sequels to the original movie made in the late 1960’s.  The first was OK, but that is the only one I recall enjoying.  My favorite ape movie of all time was the original 1930’s King Kong.  More so than the 1970’s remake or even the more recent remake.  The original black and white captured my imagination.  The ship lost in a foggy mist as it approaches an unknown island somewhere in the remote corner of the earth near Indonesia.  My family watched the movie together on TV in the early 1960’s as dad shared with us he had seen the movie at the theater as a child.      


    Islands and their remoteness as well as exotic names easily are naturally intriguing to us.  Mysterious Island, Easter Island, Shark Island: to name just a few.  There is no island called Ape Island, but with a little search on the internet I found there is a place called Island of the Apes.  It is not located in the remote South Pacific but actually in Africa.  It is a small island located within the confines of the Moa River in northwest Africa that has a large congregation of primates and chimpanzees, as well as other wildlife.  Island of the Apes was something I wanted to add to the game board of TreasureTrove.  An exotic place that would be an adventure to visit.






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Penguin Island

Picture for the movie March of the Penguins


Georges Island also known as Penguin Island is a tiny island of one square mile in size located on a remote tip of Antarctica in the direction of Argentina.  It is part of the South Shetland Islands discovered by the British in 1820.  The island is called Penguin Isle by South Americans is home to an abundance of wildlife including millions of penguins.  It is also a tourist destination for hikers and volcanologists because the island is a dormant volcano, Deacon’s Peak. 

            Penguins have never been my favorite animal, but they have always interested me.  As I child living in San Antonio we often visited the large zoo there.  I always looked forward to going to the reptile house to see the snakes.  Years ago they also had a fish house.  Now of course there is Sea World.  At the zoo I always looked forward to the Penguin house.  I loved stepping into the cool building getting a respite from the Texas heat.  They were funny looking to me.  I did not know if they were a bird or a fish.  They would jump in the cold water and then fly out to land.  This was before my biology classes, and of course I now know they are mammals.  I enjoyed the movie March of the Penguins in 2005 which did a good job of bringing to life the story of the penguins on Antarctica.

When I first created my board game TreasureTrove in the late 1980’s, I was wanted to have a number of interesting places on the game board that might invite the interest of the players, especially children.  For example, I wanted there to be a Shark Island, a Dragoon Island, Dinosaur Valley and so forth.  One of the pathways on the board traverses from the southern tip of South America to the southern tip of Africa.  I wanted all the pathways on the board to have a variety of treasure spaces or interesting destinations so I wanted to come up with something on that remote trek of the southern hemisphere.  I placed a spot on the board and called it Penguin Island.  This was before the internet and I did not know if there actually was such a place but at least we would all understand that that is where lots of penguins are.  For kids it would be a point of geographic interest. 

Penguin Island on the game board of TreasureTrove

  I was pleasantly surprised when I brought my game to production many years later that there is in reality a place known as Penguin Island off of Antarctica.  I have since learned there is also a Penguin Island just off Western Australia.

            To enjoy a journey around the globe searching for treasure and experiencing exotic animals and places please visit our website at