Pendulum, the upcoming board game from Scythe publisher Stonemaier Games, forces players to think very carefully about how they use their time.
An asymmetric board game - meaning that players will have different goals and/or play-styles - Pendulum revolves entirely around the concept of time. Based in the fictional kingdom of Dünya, Pendulum sees one to five players assuming the roles of powerful nobles who are all vying for the chance to ascend to the throne of the timeless king. In order to do this, players must acquire enough power, prestige, popularity and legendary achievements to beat out their opponents.
Unlike many other worker placement games - wherein players use a limited supply of tokens to perform actions or acquire resources each turn - Pendulum doesn’t have its players using an in-game resource such as money or food tokens. As Pendulum happens in real-time, meaning that players do not take turns, actual time is used to perform actions. Each player begins the game with a limited amount of time to use, with the chance to gain additional time if certain actions are performed.
In Pendulum, player success is determined by how well they divide their time between performing actions, like expanding their territory or gaining resources, and actually devising their strategy. With the clock constantly ticking onwards, players will have to think carefully about how they use each precious second.
The designer behind Pendulum is Travis Jones whose previous game, Alynthia - which they co-designed with Andrew C. White - saw players competing to control land across a world scarred by monsters and battle. An asymmetric game of warring factions, Alynthia gave players the opportunity to choose between war and peace when gaining their territories.
Besides publishing Pendulum and Scythe, Stonemaier Games is also known for releasing titles such as Wingspan - one of the best board games of recent years - legacy game Chartestone and My Little Scythe, which is a kid-friendly version of the original game.