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A cooperative game where you work together to rebuild your crashed flying machine and escape from the desert.

Game Type

Passive. Little or no movement is required.


2 to 6 players

What You Need To Play

The game! Buy it today from Amazon!

From the Makers

Forbidden Desert is great party game for folks who love cooperative games. 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! Contents 49 cards, 48 sand markers, 24 tiles, 6 pawns, 6 meter clips, 4 flying machine parts, 1 flying machine model, 1 sand storm meter, rules of play

Our Opinion

Forbidden Desert is another fantastic cooperative game that can be played by up to 5 players, and is slightly more involved than it's predecessor Forbidden Island though it is not really more complex. One major difference is that in Forbidden Island you know where the artifacts are that you are trying to get. The main challenge is getting the cards (set collection) required to actually get those artifacts, all while the island is sinking. In Forbidden Desert the challenge is in finding the clues that tell you where the parts to the flying machine are, all while the tiles of the game board are moving around and getting covered by sand. Personally, we prefer Forbidden Desert because of this exploration aspect. Your young kids, if you have them will probably also enjoy putting together the pieces of the flying machine. The players also each pick a different character to play with unique abilities. This adds to the strategy a bit as it will make different players better at different things. For instance the Water Carrier will spend a lot of their time distributing water to the other players. As for whether you should buy Forbidden Desert, if you already own Forbidden Island, that would depend on 1) how much you enjoy playing cooperative games and 2) if Forbidden Island is starting to feel so so and losing its challenge. Forbidden Desert is similar enough that you will pick it up very quickly but different enough that it will provide new challenge and variety. If you find your family sitting in front of the TV more and playing games less, don't delay in getting Forbidden Desert. For me, at a price point of less than $20 I would easily get it even if I had the other. I have games that cost 3x the price that I haven't played half as many times as Forbidden Desert. For the cost of about three movie tickets, it's one of the best deals in gaming. And as an aside, if you are interested in something with more depth and strategy, take a look at Pandemic by the same designer. It has similarities to both games mentioned above.

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