The Sky Is The Limit in Gamewright’s New Forbidden Game

August 10, 2018 by cassn

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Hiding amongst the storm clouds, there exists a mysterious platform which holds electrical challenges designed for only the bravest explorers.  Battle high winds, lightning and the ever-present threat of falling from the sky in the latest installment of the Forbidden... series from Gamewright.

In Forbidden Sky, players must co-operatively lay tiles to create an electrical circuit of wires, capacitors and lightning rods which attach to their launch pad and launch their rocket.  2-5 players take on a special role, each with a unique ability and varying levels of health and rope length.

Health is affected by lightning strikes, and rope length is affected by high winds.

On each turn, players can choose from four actions - move (along a placed platform), scout (place a new tile), gain equipment (draw a card with helpful abilities) and wire (construct the circuit) - in order to meet their objective.  At the end of each round, the storm hits.

Depending on the intensity of the storm, a number of cards are drawn which could be lightning strikes, high winds, or a change in wind direction.  If a player is on a tile with a lightning rod when lightning strikes they receive health damage, and high winds blow each player one tile across whichever direction the wind is currently blowing.

If no tile is present, the player loses a piece of rope as they dangle over the edge of the platform.

However, some tiles contain abilities which protect you from attack, such as Faraday cages which absorb the electrical current.  I love this feature - in fact, I love the aesthetic of the whole game.  I'm a bit of an electrical nerd, so the concept of building a workable circuit through co-operative board gaming is, for me, kind of awesome.

Plus I think there's a real opportunity for a learning element here.  There are four different levels of difficulty ranging from novice to legendary, so you can get younger generations in on the fun or use it as a real cerebral engineering challenge for you and your friends.

This is not just a simple tile-laying game.  Instead, you have to always be thinking ahead to how far your wires will stretch, where the launchpad will go and the location of your character - as all characters have to be around the launchpad when the rocket goes off (spoiler: because you literally construct a live circuit, the rocket does a countdown and makes lift-off noises.

It's a wonderful type of childhood nostalgia that is guaranteed to make you smile!).

Overall, Forbidden Sky is another interesting offering from Matt Leacock, the designer behind Pandemic and the Forbidden... series.  The components give it a fantastic, almost steampunk, presence on the table and the expansive nature of tile-building, alongside the 3D engineering element, means you truly feel like you are growing and creating something throughout the game.

I also really enjoy the versatility of this game through the different levels of challenge on offer.  And while some may argue that the noise and lights of the rocket launch at the end are kitschy, I think it adds to a real sense of co-operative achievement.  Life deserves a bit of childlike wonder.

Houston, we have lift-off.

What do you think of the Forbidden... series so far?

"Battle high winds, lightning and the ever-present threat of falling from the sky"

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