Review - Through the Desert by Fantasy Flight Games

Time for a board game review! This previous weekend I played a game of Through the Desert with my wife and our nephew. Setup was pretty easy, you just seperate out the camels into their own color piles, and then give each player one camel of each color for them to put a rider on.

The only part of the game that is remotely confusing is the way the camel riders work and the way the colored camels interact with the players. When you first look at it you would think that each player gets their own color of camel, that isn't the way it works at all though. Each player has a set of camel riders - one of each color. You place these camel riders on the board at the start of the game and they form the start of your camel caravans.

So basically each player has one camel of each color at the start of the game. From here your goal is to extend your camel caravan by plating more camels on it. Each turn you get two camels of your choice from the big camel pile and get to place them adjacent to any of your camels. You have to put the same colors next to each other, and you can't connect your camel caravan to the same colored one of another player.

You score points by placing camels on water tiles or adjacent to an oasis. If you manage to enclose a section of the board, you get all the tiles and oasis makers in the area, and bonus points for each tile that you enclosed. At the end of the game you also score points if you have the longest camel caravan of a color - this gives you the ability to get quite a few points if you have a couple of long caravans.

The game ends when the last camel of any color is played on the board, you then add up points and declare a winner.

This game was really fast and fun. I only had to read through the rules once while we were setting up the board and we had it figured out. I am quite happy that I picked this game up and am looking forward to playing it again now that I understand the mechanics better.