On a horse with no game: Forbidden Island devs bringing Forbidden Desert to mobile

By Dave Neumann 16 Nov 2015 0
Sure it's dry, but at least you can remember your name. Sure it's dry, but at least you can remember your name.

Forbidden Island is a board game app that doesn't get a lot of press at Pocket Tactics. It's not the fault of the developer, Button Mash Games, nor any issue with the game. In fact, it's one of the better board game conversions out there. No, the problem comes from the fact that Forbidden Island's big brother, Pandemic: The Board Game, is also on the App Store. Pandemic caters to the gamer crowd whereas Forbidden Island is simpler, shinier, and more for the pre-teen crowd. In between those two lies Forbidden Desert, another Matt Leacock design, that has all the shiny coolness of Forbidden Desert but complexity that steers toward Pandemic. It's a great cooperative game to play with slightly older kids, but still works with your regular game group and Button Mash has informed me that it's coming to iPad "soon".

Forbidden Desert puts you in charge of a team of adventurers scouring the desert for pieces of a legendary flying machine. Pieces are not hidden on the board, but are uncovered as you find clues in the desert. Where two clues intersect, the flying machine detritus will be found. Of course, it's not that easy. There's a brutal sandstorm that threatens to bury everything even deeper under the desert sand. Like all good cooperative games, there are several ways to lose and only one way to win. Here, you can lose if any adventurer dies of thirst, if the sand gets too deep, or if the clues get swept away by the sandstorm itself. To win, you must find all the pieces of the flying machine and use it to fly to more temperate climes.

Button Mash Games wouldn't give us a release date, but they did say that basic gameplay is completed. The only thing they have left is rulebook/tutorial stuff, and then polishing and testing the app. Also, the game will not ship with online multiplayer which would normally be a huge negative, but since Forbidden Desert is a cooperative game, it's not a huge loss. After all, I've never cared about multiplayer in my games of Pandemic. That said, they have promised that online multiplayer will be coming down the road via a free update.

No video yet (the title screen at the top is the only image we've seen thus far), but after the break you can watch the gang from Game Night! play through a full game using the cardboard version.

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