The object of this game is to get four idols with the assistance of up to four other players, before the island floods. Players take on one of four unique character roles when doing this, be they the Pilot who has an easy time moving around the board, or the Engineer who can help keep things from sinking. There are item cards that assist players, idol cards that allow you to actually get the idols, and flooding cards that, well, flood things.
It can get pretty hairy from the get go, but the actual rules are very, very simple. One of the beautiful things about the game, beyond the pleasing-to-look-at art, is that the "board" is actually a series of randomly placed tiles, promising a unique game every time you play.
For getting a new gamer involved, cooperative games are nice because one person doesn't lose and feel inadequate. Everyone wins or loses together and the only important thing is that they had a good time doing it.
Anyone have any exciting Forbidden Island stories? I've only played it a few times myself, but it is a very easy setup game. Also, it's Wife approved!