Review: Forbidden Sky 2018

Description and gameplay

Forbidden Sky is the third in the Matt Leacock “Forbidden” trilogy. Like the first two games, Forbidden Island and Forbidden Dessert players and stranded in a landscape and collaboratively work together to escape. In this installment, are stranded on a platform high in the air, and you must connect an electric circuit that launches a rocket ship, while fighting against an intense storm and winds. Forbidden Desert had its sand hazards, and Forbidden island had sinking land. In this game, in addition to wind possibly blowing you to your death, an added danger is the possibility of ELECTROCUTION! Yes, the very same circuits that you are building to save your lives can end you if lightning strikes while you are standing on or near a connected piece.

For our introduction to this game, we had the pleasure of meeting the creator, Matt Leacock, and having him walk us through the game play. This game had great additive mechanics, with stakes raising every time the storm/wind intensified. While this is a well known Matt Leacock mechanic, it always works to ratchet up the tension as the game progresses, making it easy to pick up for new players, yet giving an exciting last minute tense conclusion. We’ve played the game multiple times with two players and a couple of times with four players and each time the game was tense with the win or loss not being at all certain.

Most delightful component

Given the familiar mechanic, playing this third “Forbidden” installment felt like home. The stand out surprise is the practical aspect of completing the real electrical circuit and having the rocket “take-off”. To some, it may seem gimmicky, however the tactile clicks of connecting circuit components and the rocket take-off sound effects made us feel as giddy as little kids. Board games can be quite cerebral, so it was great to have the win condition as something very tangible rather than conceptual. 

Some downsides

The electric components can sometimes be a bit finicky to connect. There are different lengths provided, however they can prove to be too short or too long for the many lengths possible when connecting pieces. Ultimately we made it work, however it can be frustrating for children’s fingers or anyone with trouble with fine motor control in their hands., 

Best for 

  • People who enjoy collaborative games 
  • Folks who like open ended discussion and debate when solving a problem together 
  • Anyone who enjoyed building lego sets 

Overall rating