Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Forbidden Desert

Forbidden Desert

Fall 2013 Games
Ages: 10 & Up
Manufacturer: Gamewright
Price: $24.99

A group of adventurers in search of a legendary flying machine get caught in a sandstorm, and their helicopter crashes in the desert. In the game Forbidden Dessert, players roleplay as these adventurers. The mission for up to six players in this challenging cooperative game is to excavate the desert sand to find the parts to the flying machine and use it to escape the dire situation before their water supply dries up. The game board is a series of 2-sided tiles with desert landscapes on one side and images of an ancient advanced civilization on the other. A sandstorm lies somewhere in the board and it constantly shifts the sands and buries tiles. Players can take up to four actions on each turn to move around the board, remove sand, or excavate tiles. Some excavated areas of the city provide water or refuge from the sun or storm, but one of the water tiles turned out to be a mirage. Luckily, each player has a special talent to help the group survive, and all must be mindful of the water level in their canteen. The game is won when all players and machine parts reach the launch pad. It's not so easy, even when played at the novice level; our testers were swept away in a sandstorm in one game and lost badly.

Art work on the tiles and the game tin is beautiful, and the game materials are of excellent quality. The little flying machine is also detailed and interesting.

Noncompetitive, cooperative games are a refreshing change from competitive games. They allow young children and adults to play together to achieve a common goal; you win or lose together.

Ellie and Don Homce   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Don and Ellie Homce are the parents of two sons. Ellie is a former chemistry and physical science teacher and trainer in the hazardous materials field. Currently a professional volunteer at local schools and a thrift shop, Ellie continues to pursue her interests in art. Don is a health and safety and environmental science professional who enjoys building and fixing things. He has been a Boy Scout Leader for the past ten years.

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