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Can you solve the H.P. Lovecraft UNDO: FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE ?
I believe this is the second adventure for all of you intrepid Time-Travelling Weavers of Fate by PEGASUS Spiele:

Michael Palm & Lukas Zach Artist Lea Fröhlich 2-6 Players Timed by Card not by Minutes £10.00-£15.00

UNDO: Forbidden Knowledge is the second in the ongoing series of family cooperative games. The premise of the UNDO games is loosely based on the Escape Room genre of popular card based games.

Michael Palm & Lukas Zach are responsible for every game in the series to date. For me, this is a series of 5 games, but I believe there are more in the list already (hold on a moment and I'll check on the Pegasus Spiele website).

Thanks for waiting. Well I'm aghast! (not a D&D© Ghast but dumbfounded) It seems I am well behind as far as the series goes. I thought there was one other game in the series when in fact there are three more; wow! these guys are really working on creating a solid catalogue of family adventures. 

I have Cherry Blossom Festival, Curse from the Past and Blood in the Gutter, all lined up and ready to play which means I have to add 600 Seconds, Peak of No Return and Drowned Hopes to my Wish List.

The set up for UNDO: Forbidden Knowledge is the same as for UNDO: Treasure Fever. The players are once again Time Traveling Fate Weavers attempting to discover the truth behind something that has occurred or is going to occur. It is possible that you may wish to alter time (dangerous ground) so that the person or people, whose lives or deaths are your objective, meet their fates on your terms.

The FATE cards, the face-up side of which shows the points you will score (negative or positive), are marked by number 1-11 with three cards per set, A, B, and C with the exception of  #7 which has three Lovecraft symbols, according to my local Lovecraft Cthulhu expert, though a fairly quick bit of research on Google didn't locate them for me.

The three selections on each card also have an icon as well as the A, B & C. These new icons are an Eye, a Spider and a Skull. If the Fate card you select has one of these icons then the players have to make another decision - they have to name one of the icons. This choice should be noted on a piece of spare paper and at the end of the game the negative effect of the icons is doubled for the chosen one (may be chosen 2 or 3 depending on the Fate cards on display face up - if they show different icons and the explanation text states it as a new rule then it is possible that all three icons will score double negatives.

Another thing worth noting is that to the best of my knowledge each UNDO adventure is stand-alone, so nothing carries on or over from the previous or to the next. Also, unlike many Escape Room genre games, there are no cards to be damaged in any way or anything that would destroy the game from being played again, except that once a person has played it they would know too much about it to be able to go through the adventure again. 

Only being able to play it once may seem frustrating but if you think that it costs around £10.00 and is playable by up to 6 players and it lasts as long as you want it to. If you complete it comfortably in 90 minutes, then it averages out at about £1.11p (@ $1.46c) per person per hour of quality entertainment.  

With Arkham buildings like the Cemetery in a Swamp, the Police Station, the Church, creaky old Houses, a Library and a Cellar to visit, this story truly creates the eerie atmosphere of Lovecraft's Essex County, Massachusetts - the only major place missing that I can think of is the Miskatonic University, but that's probably a good thing (it's a truly scary location). Having said all that, there is actually no need to have any knowledge of Lovecraft's creepy, dark, under World as everything is explained as you go. Just think of being a detective on a baffling case with oddball clues and weirdness all around you and you won't go wrong.

Just like the Cthulhu books, games and Mythos, UNDO: Forbidden Knowledge is about keeping your sanity - it drove us mad, especially when we tallied our score and discovered we failed by just one point, exactly as we did in the first Fate Weaver adventure we played.

UNDO games are not about collecting cards, items, objects or trophies. They are not about playing cards at the right time or making tricks, suits, runs or flushes. They are good deduction games with more than one way of reaching a winning situation, though possibly only one or two ways of being outright successful - I wouldn't know as we haven't managed it yet.

Don't think that because we have played two and failed both that these are too hard for families to play. We had a little bad luck on both occasions, mainly because we used diplomacy and majority rule when making decisions and a couple of times the majority went against the minority and the minority had actually chosen the best option which would have scored us a positive point or points. We failed yes, but mainly because we were too cautious and had more 0 (zero) point bonuses than we had positive or negative. These are adventures and we weren't adventurous enough - in fact in Forbidden Knowledge we got so wrapped up in the story that we forgot to use out Clue cards until there were only two turns left.

I should also point out that although the setup of the Story and Fate cards are the same they are not identical in each game. Thus if 1 B gives a positive one score in one game it doesn't mean that 1B will have the same result in another adventure (speaking about totally different adventures not playing the same scenario again, when of course the cards will not have changed). 

From my experience so far I can state that UNDO adventures are a good session of playing a game with friends and family.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015