Forbidden Desert Board Game
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- Thirst for Survival
- 2 to 5 players
- Playing time: 45 minutes
- Playing instructions included
- Ages 10 and up
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Gear up for a thrilling adventure to recover a legendary flying machine buried deep in the ruins of an ancient desert city. You'll need to coordinate with your teammates and use every available resource if you hope to survive the scorching heat and relentless sandstorm. Find the flying machine and escape before you all become permanent artifacts of the Forbidden Desert! When Gamewright launched Forbidden Island in 2010, they had an inkling that they had created a hit game but never to the point that we'd be prompted to make a sequel. Well, here they are a few years later with just that in hand. Their challenge to designer Matt Leacock was to create a game that would contain familiar elements (cooperative play, modular board), while offering up a completely different in-game experience. In addition, they wanted it to be simultaneously approachable to new players while upping the ante for those who felt they had mastered Forbidden Island. All this resulted in a fresh new game with an innovative set of mechanics, such as an ever-shifting board, individual resource management, and unique method for locating the flying machine parts. Hopefully they've achieved our goals and quenched your thirst for adventure! Contents49 cards48 sand markers24 tiles 6 pawns6 meter clips4 flying machine parts1 flying machine model1 sand storm meter 1 stand storm meter standrules of play
From the Manufacturer
Gear up for a thrilling adventure to recover a legendary flying machine buried deep in the ruins of an ancient desert city. You'll need to coordinate with your teammates and use every available resource if you hope to survive the scorching heat and relentless sandstorm. Find the flying machine and escape before you all become permanent artifacts of the Forbidden Desert. Contains 49 cards, 48 sand markers, 24 tiles, 6 pawns, 5 water level markers, 4 flying machine parts, 1 flying machine model, 1 sand storm meter, 1 sand storm meter stand, 1 sand storm level marker and rules of play.
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|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||8.28 x 8.28 x 3 in||8.6 x 12 x 1.7 in||11.75 x 11.75 x 3 in||3.2 x 10.5 x 10.5 in||2.5 x 10.5 x 10.5 in||7 x 8 x 2 in|
|Item Weight||1.8 lbs||2.3 lbs||2.8 lbs||2.87 lbs||2.07 lbs||0.93 lb|
Top customer reviews
Forbidden Island is the game that really got me into cooperative games and modern board games in general. Pandemic is my favorite game. Both of these are by Matt Leacock, so when his new title Forbidden Desert was announced, I could not wait to get my hands on it! I was a little worried it might be an unnecessary purchase for someone who already owns Forbidden Island, but I couldn't pass it up. Luckily, my fears were unfounded - although it scratches the same itch as Forbidden Island, it has quite different mechanics.
If you haven't played a co-op game before, the basic thing you need to know is that the players play together against the game instead of against each other - everyone wins, or everyone loses. This is my personal favorite type of game, as it allows overly competitive siblings or spouses to have a more relaxed game night together. :)
The premise of this game is that your team's helicopter has crashed in the desert, and you need to excavate the ruins of an ancient city to find the parts to rebuild their legendary solar-powered flying machine. You do so by exploring on your turn, specifically by flipping over tiles - they make up the game board, so it is different each time - from "desert" side to "city" side and finding what is underneath them. The artwork on the city tiles is beautiful, as it was in Forbidden Island. There are lots of helpful things to find, including wells for your dwindling water supplies (each well can only be used once, and watch out for the mirage!), special equipment, and clues to the locations of the flying machine parts. Once you have two clues for a part, you have located where it is and just need to go grab it. If you can find all four and make it back to the launch pad with everyone, you win the game.
The actions you can take on your turn include clearing pesky piles of sand, moving around the board, excavating the city (aka flipping over tiles), and picking up the parts for the ship (I should mention here that the toy factor on the ship and its parts is GREAT!) Unfortunately, at the end of each turn you have to draw from the storm deck (this would be similar to the flood deck in Forbidden Island) and the "eye" of the sand storm moves, shifting tiles around and adding sand, often to places you just managed to dig out. If there is too much sand, a tile becomes "blocked" and it's harder to move around the board, plus the things you need can become buried. Two other unpleasant types of cards include "Storm picks up" (making you draw more cards each turn) and "Sun beats down" (you have to drink water from your canteen - if you have none left when one of these happens, you die and everyone loses the game!)
Luckily there are a few special item cards to help you along the way, and each player has a unique role with a special power that you will need to get through the game, such as being able to climb over blocked tiles, navigate other players, or carry extra water.
DESERT VS ISLAND
If you are familiar with Forbidden Island, the main differences are there is no set collection of cards; you only have one deck of cards to draw from every turn; and you have your own personal water supply to juggle. Also, tiles can not be permanently lost (like to flooding in Forbidden Island), only more difficult to access. Another aspect I like is that virtually ALL of the tiles are important in this game, since you need to actually explore and locations move. (In Island you mostly just needed to worry about the treasure tiles, Fool's Landing, and whatever pathway you needed.)
I think this game is probably more difficult than Forbidden Island if you're playing with the full range of players, but with only 2 people, this one seems easier to me. Next time we will have to up the difficulty level. The rules are also slightly more complex, but I think that kids who get one will get the other.
If you have and like Forbidden Island, this one is definitely worth a look too. If you don't have either, I slightly prefer this one, but it is also shiny and new, so it's hard to recommend one over the other! Both are great games from a great designer. This is a good game for families, couples, or game groups looking for something light and fun (no heavy-duty strategy, but there are still interesting decisions and challenges and a lot of fun).
I've played Forbidden Desert several times with varying sizes of people, and it was always a lot of fun. If you really like Forbidden Island but wish it had a little more of the complexity and difficulty of Pandemic (which is exactly the boat I fell into), Desert fits the bill very nicely. It plays similar to Island but there is a lot of added difficulty, and some core mechanics are slightly different. You no longer get "good" cards from the regular draw deck, those cards are pretty much all bad. Islands can't sink but they can get buried in an unlimited amount of sand, and you don't know where the treasures are when you start the game (you have to flip tiles to reveal clues). On top of all of that, each player has a water count and certain cards (Sun Beats Down) leave you with less water. Certain water tiles on the board help you replenish your water.
It is *considerably* harder than Forbidden Island, roughly at the level of Pandemic, maybe even a little harder. There is tremendous replay value in both this game, similar to Island, due to the random nature of how tiles are laid out, the different character roles, and where treasure is going to reside. Role interaction is very important in this game; in general the roles feel a little more balanced than they have in previous iterations, although there are still a couple roles which will make victory much more difficult if they are not present.
Overall, I would highly recommend this game to folks who really enjoyed Island and just wanted a bit more Pandemic. If you haven't played any of these games before and are new to co-op games in general, I would suggest starting with Forbidden Island and them moving to either this or Pandemic. Island is the perfect introductory game, and Pandemic and Desert are great follow-ups in different ways.
The way the sand blows by direction tiles and the sun beating down and storm levels rising is great at moving the game to its conclusion. The team really has to work well together and coordinate.
You really do feel the pressure to hurry up and yet you have to dig nearly everywhere it seems. I can't stress enough that if you want to beat this game, you must coordinate and discuss with your team on what each of you will do. I don't think I have ever seen team work in a board game like this one.
I am not the biggest fan of the characters that each person takes on because they don't seem necessarily powerful or in the case of the meteorologist , very powerful but his sole action becomes doing nothing because you need his power so badly (you'll see when you play the game). But, I understand you can't make them too powerful and within the confines of the game, they really are useful (not always the waterboy) and absolutely necessary.
Anyway, I always give some negative but this is still a great game. I highly recommend for a group wanting some coop fun.