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    Board Game Review: Forbidden Desert

    Forbidden Desert is a 2-5 player cooperative tabletop board game that requires about 45 minutes to complete and is targeted towards audiences of 10 years old and upwards. It is produced by Gamewright, the company that also produces Forbidden Island. The game was designed by Matt Leacock and shares similar characteristics to Pandemic, another cooperative game he designed.  


    In Forbidden Desert players have been sent on a mission to discover an ancient flying machine powered by the sun. Players crash-land their helicopter in the desert after a furious desert storm and must now work together to develop a new means of escape. This is done by excavating and assembling four artifacts buried in the ancient city before they die of thirst, are buried in the dunes, or are swept away by the deadly desert storm. 

    Game Play Review 

    You are drawn into this fantasy world and its harsh environment bit by bit as you and your team excavate portions of the board revealing hidden mysteries, steampunk style artifacts or water reserves. At the end of each turn the storm randomly moves around the board and negatively affects players. Your individual strengths are essential for survival in this hostile and ever-changing environment. The board consists of 49 cards which are shuffled and randomly placed during setup. With the addition of six unique adventurer roles, there is an enormous amount of replay value to Forbidden Desert. 

    This replay value is deepened by the difficulty level players can set once they have a hang of the game. All this diversity comes with a drawback, however, as there are a lot of components to this game and a lot of determination is required to constantly reshape the board on every turn due to the ever-changing desert storm.  

    You should buy Forbidden Desert If 

    1. If you enjoy the steampunk genre and want to immerse yourself in a fantasy world where the odds are  
    2. You want a game with massive replay value 
    3. Don’t mind playing a game that requires the management of multiple game components  

    Parental Guide  

    As this is a collaborative game where individuals must utilize their unique strengths, you could, therefore, draw out Biblical principles of church membership from this where every believer has a unique role in serving God’s people and in promoting the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 12:20-26). 

    Forbidden Desert receives the TheoNerds Seal of Approval!  

    TheoNerds Approved - The TheoNerds Seal of Approval

    What are your thoughts? 

    Let others know if they should buy Forbidden Desert in the comments below.


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    The Hunter. Having played too much World of Warcraft, Zo developed skills in tracking, hunting and trapping. Now seeking to redeem the time, Zo uses these skills to find nerdy stuff for you to enjoy. Has a fondness for coffee, presuppositional apologetics and drum & bass.


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