Friday, August 8, 2014

Forbidden Desert Review

   Forbidden Desert is a co-op game by Gamewright Games for two to five players

   Inside, there is a nice compartment that holds everything and keeps it from getting mixed up.

   There are six different adventurers:

   Yellow is the Navigator. They can take another person with them up to three spaces. When they take another adventurer, they can use that players special ability as well.
   Red is the Archeologist. They can remove two sand markers from any tile for only one action.
   Black is the Climber. The Climber can go on blocked tiles. They can also take another adventurer with them.
   Green is the Explorer. They can do their actions diagonally.
   White is the Meteorologist.  They can use one action to draw one less storm card at the end of their turn. They may also use one action to look at the number of storm cards equal to the storm level and place one on the bottom of the pile.
   Blue is the Water Carrier. They can take two waters from an already excavated well for one action. They can also share water with people that are on adjacent tiles for free.

   To set up, randomly pass out one Adventurer card to each player. Place a water marker on the top water spot on each card.

   Place the storm tracker in it's base. Place a water marker on the side that has the same number as the number of players. One side has two and three player, the other side has four and five. This is also where you can choose your difficulty level. This game is on the easiest level for two players.

   Mix the tiles and then lay them face down. The compass should be in the same spot on each tile so they are facing the same direction. There should be an empty space in the center.

   Place one sand tile in a diamond formation. The crash site is where your Adventurers will begin.

   Place everything within reach and you are ready to start!

   Each turn consists of taking up to four actions. Actions are: moving your Adventurer, removing sand, excavating (flipping over a tile) and picking up a part.

   After your movement phase is over, draw storm cards equal to the sand storm level. If it is at a two, draw two cards and do what they say. 

   If the card is a Storm Picks Up card, raise the storm meter up one. If the Sun Beats Down, everyone moves their water marker down one. If you are in a tunnel, you do not lose a water.

   There are also storm cards that look like these. They will be either pointing up, down, left or right. The number of squares is the number of tiles that are moved during the storm.

   In this example, it's move one right. You will take the one card on the left side of the open space and move it to the right. Then place a sand tile on each piece that was moved. If there aren't tiles to be moved, you do not have to move any tiles for that card. If you draw a move three tiles and there are only one or two tiles that can be moved, move those tiles and place a sand marker on them.

   You can only excavate tiles that are clear of all sand tiles. When you excavate both tiles for a piece of the flying machine, place the part on the tile where the row and column intersect.

    If the tile you have excavated has gears on the lower right corner, draw a card from the equipment deck. You can use equipment cards at any time. They do not count as an action. You may give your equipment cards to other players that are on the same tile as you.

   As the game progresses, the sand tiles will pile up. Once there is more that one sand tile on a tile, you will flip the sand tile over to the darker side with an X is on top. This means that tile is blocked and you can not pass on it until it is down to one sand tile (unless you are the Climber). If there is a part to the flying machine on a tile with more than one sand tile, you must remove the sand and excavate the tile before picking up the part.

   There are three tiles marked as water. They have the little water drop in the bottom right (first tile). Two of the tiles are wells (second tile) but one is a mirage (third tile).

   When you excavate a well tile, each player on that tile receives two additional water. You will want to make sure anyone that needs water is on this tile when it is excavated.

   The game ends in a few ways. 
   If you get all of the parts to the flying machine and all of the adventurers make it to the launch pad, you win!
   If anyone runs out of water, the storm meter reaches the top or if you get buried (run out of sand tiles), you have lost to the Forbidden Desert.

   This game is pretty fun. If you like co-op games, I think this is a good one to have. It can be stressful at times, especially at the end. It's pretty easy to play and learn. It has a lot of both strategy and luck. You can have a plan ready and then the storm cards can mess it all up. Since it is a co-op game, it's one you can play with your kids. You never know, they just might have the way to win all planned out!

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