A team of adventurers race to "recover a legendary flying machine buried deep in the ruins of an ancient desert city" before it is lost forever in the shifting sands. That's the plot of this terrific co-operative game from Matt "Pandemic" Leacock.
Players have to work together, making careful use of everybody's special abilities, to dig beneath the sand (tiles), find the parts of the flying machine (assembling them to build a wonderfully baroque model) and escape. Without running out of water. However, all the time the game's mechanisms force players to add – and move – sand dunes that hide the city ruins.
This may be more family orientated than Pandemic, but it is still a tense challenge that invokes a real sense of jeopardy as the game proceeds and the pace hots up. It is also gorgeously illustrated and produced. And it comes in a tin!
I also have the game's thematic predecessor, Forbidden Island (less sand, more water).
For 2-5 players, aged 10+, playing time 45 minutes: £19.00 (£15.83 outside the EU)