Saturday, 24 October 2015

Forbidden Dessert

After entertaining non-gaming (or semi-gaming) friends last night and enjoying K2 and Heck Meck, today Stanley and I sat down for a gaming digestif... of Forbidden Island.

The first thing I have to say about this game that I really dislike is that it comes in a tin. Come on guys. Cardboard is the thing. Cardboard sounds, feels, and smells nicer  - and can also be cut up with a bread knife as an option.

The second is that it might not see the light of day at GNN Tuesday sessions because it's A. a co-operative and B. a family game.

The third is that it's great. As adventurers Stanley - Archeologist - and I - Navigator - crash-landed in a desert, wrecking our helicopter. Like all good adventurers we set out without telling our mums where we were going, so we're kind of screwed. Our only choice: to find the remnants of an ancient flying machine, rebuild it and fly out before the desert empties our canteens and we expire.

There's a modular board of tiles and a heap of sand - cardboard sand! - that sits on top. On your turn you move around the desert either getting rid of sand (I'm not entirely clear on where it goes) or excavating: flipping a tile to find out what bounty lies beneath the desert's surface. This way you eventually discover the locations of the flying machine parts, grab them and rebuild them at a launch pad.

thanks to BGG user Emsdad

Other hidden gems are curiously-still-functioning jet packs and the like; stuff that helps you fend off both the heat, and the storm that is continuously moving around the desert, threatening you with a burial under an out of control sandpit.

We managed to win in a fraction under an hour but I think next time it'd be even less. You can set the difficulty level to different degrees, where more sand comes out earlier and your water supplies dwindle faster.

A really lovely game.


  1. I have Forbidden Island but haven't played it. I have played Forbidden Desert and its one of the few co-ops I've actually liked. However, I bought FI cheap but I'm not sure when I'll ever get to play it.

  2. Joe has Forbidden Island and has played it; but I'm not sure what the verdict was. A review on BGG comparing them suggests Desert is the better game...

  3. Guess who played a rule wrong? We had been taking water whenever we wanted from the wells, but no they are once use only! Played again today and it was close, but we expired in the desert!

  4. Happy to give this one a whirl on a Tuesday.