Pendulum - A Real Time Worker Placement Game by Stonemaier Games - (Quackalope Gameplay)

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4 months ago

Sean is in my game group haha

4 months ago

This is just not for me, and this is fine. I don't understand the timers. Why they're there. I just don't see what it adds to the game. A more interesting use of time investment seems to be Terramara.

EDIT: @philryuh for some reason Terramara didn't show up when I tried to # link but it exists on the site.

Supporter4 months ago

There are several issues with the tagging feature hahaha. Trent's been working on upgrading our text/chat system to be better overall, so you should be seeing some changes soon!

And as for Pendulum, it looks so good! The colors, illustrations, components, etc just look amazing on the table. But based on the ~10 min of the video I've watched, I don't think it will be for me.

  • Seems chaotic but that might be okay since I play 2p only with my wife.
  • Simultaneous turns seem fun to a degree, but I don't know how often I'll be in the mood for that kind of vibe in gameplay.
  • I'm always the "accountant" when I play with my wife. I always remind her of little bonuses that she forgot to pick up, rules she forgot, etc. This type of gameplay won't go too well for us I think.
  • I like great looking games, but it leaves me even more disappointed when there isn't much thematic ties for the visuals to enhance the gameplay. Based on the video alone, it comes across as a rather dry game.

Edit: With all that said, Trent and I will be ordering copies to review, so I'm still looking forward to trying it out with my wife!

4 months ago

I agree with everything you said. I think my next game is going to be #Fort.

Supporter4 months ago

Well that was interesting. I was initially drawn to this by its stated comparison to 7 Wonders and Tzolkin. I don't know that it really is like either of those. It has the locked workers over time of Tzolkin and maybe some engine building and simultaneous play of 7 Wonders.

What I think looks good:

  • The variable timers makes for interesting placement and pickup mechanics where you need to plan ahead and judge how much sand is left for each one, so you can pull pieces and then place them before the next timer flips. When doing it right, it seems very satisfying.
  • The on/off of each location and how that ties up workers. You really seem to want workers waiting as little as possible, so sliding them in just before a flip seems important.
  • Peripherals of a hand and built up action choices, as well as the legend? card and mid game buys all seem interesting and additive without being too much to keep track of (for some players)
  • The council rest from realtime play appears to give a nice break to the action so you can collect yourself for the next round
  • The ability of anyone to push a completed timer appears to add a very  unique tension to the game
  • Virtually no downtime for anyone ever.

Concerns

  • There appears to be no discernible theme. It really just looks like timed cube pushing as a math problem.
  • It appears fiddly. It would be so easy to miss a payment or knock a timer over, or knock cubes or illegally place or any other number of rule breaking actions that one could simply misplay and gain an advantage inadvertently
  • A timed game. You either love that rush or you don't. It could completely turn someone off to the game.
  • Timed game affecting wins. A couple of plays would make a world of advantage over a new player in a realtime game like this. After that, it is likely the quick witted would win. After that, pretty much everyone else would lose. There are winners and losers in every game, I just fear that the disparity would be far greater because of the timed game aspect, where someone who really needs time to deliberate to be a viable contender would not be able to reasonably compete with fast thinkers/movers
  • I couldn't tell if there were multiple viable paths to victory or not. There may be. Is there one 'optimal' playstyle? I have this same concern about most new games, so it isn't unique here.
  • Kingmaking? It seemed like there might be the opportunity for an aware player to lock someone out of something they needed right near the end of the last live phase. This is another one that is tough to tell if it is a problem in the video.

It is definitely an interesting game. I would like to play it. I think I would like it a lot. I think several members of my playgroup would hate it.

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