Monday, January 19, 2015

Forbidden Desert - A Cooperative PVE Game

Hi everyone,

This past week we got thinking that it would be fun to play some cooperative games -- ones which are strictly Player-Vs-Environment (PVE) games.

So, we asked around and heard that there were some really great ones - and that Forbidden Desert was a quick game to learn and lots of fun.

Forbidden Desert comes in a very nice metal box.  Desert tiles, sand tiles and pieces of the flying machine are all ready to go inside.

Here's what we learned:

1) We couldn't figure out the directions.  (It was really that we couldn't understand the basics of how to start!)

2) So, we watched this excellent Youtube instruction video:  Forbidden Desert Gameplay Runthrough

3) Then, we were off and playing!

Here are the basics of the game:
  • You need to search the sifting sands for the pieces of the very cool flying machine
    • Every player turn more sand hits you!
  • Once you have them all, you trek to the launching pad and take off
  • Do this without running out of water (in the sun scorched desert) and you win
The shifting sands are lots of fun.  Just when you think the game is going to go one way, the arrangement of the tiles and sand change and you have to think again.

Here's a case which can be very good.  The storm is *locked* into the center.  So, storm card draws which move sand down or which move sand left can be ignored - since sand can't shift that way with the sand storm lodged in the upper right!!  Random elements like this will ensure that each game play will be unique....

We really enjoyed the concept of building up your flying machine to fly away and win the game.  We didn't need to get out glue or paints (although we have thought about customizing the flying machine already)....

Here we are having discovered and unearthed all of the pieces of the flying machine.  We have each lugged our share to the launch pad - and are ready to win the game!

Here's a close-up of us on the launch pad with the fully assembled flying machine :)

The difficulty scale (which determines how fast and furious the sand comes at you) is nice.  We started at the lowest.  And, what was nice about this was that the degree of cooperation required wasn't too high.  But, can imagine that to win the game at a high difficulty, you really have to help each other out A LOT!

This game has us thinking about how much fun it would be to make similar games.

We are pondering a Mars version.  (Well - there is so much sand there!)
  • We were thinking that players could be robot probes searching for [we're not sure what]
  • Instead of water, maybe you need to get more hydrogen fuel from fueling stations ??
  • One player could be a solar powered robot -- doesn't need hydrogen -- but moves really slowly when it's night-time
We also thought about an undersea version and a moon version.  (Seems like a fair amount of dust in either place!)

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