If you have only ever played Monopoly or Cluedo you really should try a more modern game like this. Released as a sequel to the equally great Forbidden Island game, this time you have to build a machine to escape from the desert. Forbidden Desert also has the advantage of allowing up to 5 players (Forbidden Island is limited to 2 - 4)
If you have never played a modern co-operative game you are in for a treat, everyone has to work together to win (or lose) together. And it means you have to share ideas, help each other out and properly work together - ideal if you don't like the competitive nature of many board games. If you already have Forbidden Island (as we have) then this is a great follow up, play is sufficiently different that you can enjoy both games for their merits (and themes)
Basically the theme is one of Desert survival and escape (which you probably could have guessed) and the artwork complements it well (though it's not quite as pretty as Forbidden Island in my view) and the components robust. All kept in a stylish metal box. The price seems very fair too, even at full rrp. What more could you ask? - a great family game or gift, plays well with anyone from about 7 upwards. If you like the idea of co-operative play but want something a little more challenging, then Pandemic is well worth a look too
UPDATE - well we have had this a few months and are still getting to grips with it, in a good way. Where Forbidden Island got a bit samey quite quickly this hasn't done that yet. We did have to exchange our first set when we noticed some of the pieces were misprinted slightly (and you could tell what was about to be turned over). We have also discovered that the rules take a little while to sink in (but maybe we were being a bit thick) thankfully BoardGameGeek forum is always helpful.