02835: Forbidden Journey

One of the first cooperative board games that Tobie introduced me to was Matt Leacock's Pandemic, which was players representing a team of professionals trying to save the world from four different diseases spreading across different regions. It's a brilliant game that really stands out versus many in the market and a great example of what sets the tabletop game genre apart.

Matt Leacock didn't stop with that game alone though and has gone on to expand his gaming empire to many different expansions for Pandemic culminating with the amazing Pandemic Legacy experience. He also diverted into odd side projects like the Thunderbirds co-operative board game, which employs a lot of the same mechanics but with the twist of the special Thunderbirds vehicles that so defined the series.

Another branch of Matt Leacock games include the various Forbidden games published by Gamewright. The first was Forbidden Island, that largely felt like a rehash of Pandemic but now with a more dynamic board as represented by the island tiles. He followed it up with Forbidden Desert, which upped the challenge level significantly and added some very rich flavor to the game given the whole theme of a buried civilization and a mysterious flying machine.

The story continues in his latest release, Forbidden Sky, which adds a devilish new tile-laying challenge coupled with a big of an engineering puzzle as well. The game centers around the need to locate the launch pad of an rocket and built a circuit with a minimum number of components in order to power the ship and trigger the launch. This is cleverly represented with an actual electrical circuit that you have to path out and a little electronic rocket ship that will not light up until you've successfully created the circuit. It's quite challenging and we barely got through things on the novice difficulty but I foresee how we'll be playing this game a LOT.

It's sort of amazing how this man has made so many games following a fundamentally constant cooperative game mechanic with minor tweaks here and there that have resulted in such diverse gaming experiences. It's a whole family of games that feel familiar when you get started and yet end up being so different every time.

Is Forbidden Space our next possible destination?