Forbidden Desert


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Review: Oh, To Be Lost in The Forbidden Desert

October 1, 2019 by tekwych Cult of Games Member


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Forbidden Desert


The second in a trilogy of games by Matt Leacock, Forbidden Desert asks player to work together to find the parts of their vehicle in the ever shifting sands of the game board.

From their website:

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!.

Players: 2-5

Play Time: 45 minutes

Age Range: 10+


Setup of the game is a bit more complex than some but still quick. Gameplay itself is fast as player use their individual roles to accomplish the search of sections of desert to find treasure, water, and the parts to rebuild their vehicle all while desert storms move those things around.

Ratting: 6 out of 10 (OTT-1 Stars)


Heavy carport tiles and components, along with Woden pawns and textured, coated playing cards presented in a metal storage box make for an excellent presentation. All components are very well produced and the game looks great both on the shelf and on the table.

Ratting: 8 out of 10 (OTT-2 Stars)


While the manual is well written the mechanism for moving sand tiles took a few read throughs and I did not fully get it until being hands on and doing that action a few times. Once you have done it it all makes sense.

Ratting: 6 out of 10 (OTT-1 Stars)

Art Direction:

While the unexplored tiles and sand dunes are repetitive (its a desert, It’s supposed to be!) the art is very good and the fonts and iconography used keep you in the game. The game design is not however, suited for those who are colorblind.

Ratting: 8 out of 10 (OTT-2 Stars)


The board changes with every play and there are more roles to play than can be used at one time so this is game you want to play over and over.

Ratting: 8 out of 10 (OTT-2 Stars)

Overall Opinion:

Over all a fun, competing game that makes the play group work for their win. A bit harder to set up and play than the first game in the series but still enjoyable and asked for often.

Overall Ratting: 7 out of 10 (OTT-8 Stars)

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Cult of Games Member

I own this game and it’s one of my groups favorites. Easy to learn but a tough challenge, the game usually wins but you never feel helpless. When the players win it feels like a real accomplishment. Given the amount of replayability and just overall fun, this game is well worth adding to your library.