22 December 2009 | Through the Desert

On the Horizon, The Caravans Approach!

Announcing a reprint of Through the Desert


The desert is treacherous, mysterious, and without mercy. But for those willing to risk the dangers of the shifting, sun-baked sands, the desert holds riches beyond compare.

Through the Desert, from award-winning game designer Reiner Knizia, was first published in 1998 by Kosmos, as Durch die Wüste. In Germany that year, it was nominated for the prestigious Spiel des Jahres, or Game of the Year award, and was hailed as a simple yet surprisingly deep strategy game. Players also unanimously fell in love with the playing pieces: a teeming mass of nearly two hundred pastel colored camels!

Fantasy Flight Games published the game in 2000, and it quickly gained a legendary reputation for being the perfect gateway game, offering plenty of fun for gamers of all ages. Sadly, Through the Desert was successful enough to sell through all available inventory, and it has remained unavailable for nearly two years – until now.

Like a draught of cold water to a parched and weary traveler, we're excited to announce that this classic area control game is returning to print!

In Through the Desert, two to five players vie for vital resources found scattered across the sandy wastes. Each player will command a tribe of five nomad chieftains that extend their long caravan chains across the board, one camel at a time, in order to connect with valuable sources of water and oases. Each chieftain under your control is in charge of a single color camel.

Sounds easy? The gameplay is richer than you'd think, at a quick glance. There are a number of ways to score points, and you'll need to juggle them all if you hope to win the game.

The simplest way to accumulate points is to collect water tokens. By adding a camel to your caravan, placing it on a space that holds a water token, you will immediately gain the token and its points. You also score points by running a caravan adjacent to an oasis.

Finally, when all the camels of a single color have been placed the game is over and you can tally the final score. The longest caravan of each color will score that player ten points. Also, if you have managed to fully enclose an area of desert that doesn't contain any other camels, you not only score all the water holes in that area, but also one point for each desert space within the area.

This reprint comes in a new box but includes everything found in earlier editions, such as 175 of the legendary pastel plastic camels, 30 plastic camel-rider playing pieces, the classic desert board, plastic oasis trees, and enough tokens, water markers and point-counting chips for five players. Through the Desert is recommended for players aged 10 and up, scales well and is suitable for the whole family. A game can be played in less than an hour. 


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