Monday, February 26, 2018

Pentaquark just doesn’t click for me

I want to like Pentaquark. It’s a quirky solitaire game based on particle physics with almost no set up and a short playing time. That’s the kind of game I’ve been exploring lately.

But... I’ve finally it weirdly fiddly and very counterintuitive. I feel like all the pieces should click together if I look at it hard enough and, when I see how all the gears fit together, I’ll be able to fluidly play it and enjoy it.

Mechanically, it’s simple. You’re sorting the cards into three piles, trying to get a specific assortment of cards into a specific pile. It has the added twist that every card has an anti side on the back and, every time you shuffle the deck, you flip the deck over.

However, you have to sort the cards into groups based on color and facing, which has different effects depending on what pile they’re in. And somehow, it doesn’t click when I’m playing and I struggle to make sure I’m playing this simple game right. 

I feel like there are too many moving parts for a game that is this short. Like I’m too busy making sure I’m following the rules to actually play the game.

I like the tiny little company of Button Shy. They make neat little games of all sorts and they offer PnP as an option and they really seem to try and push the envelope on what you can do with a handful of cards. 

But Pentaquark feels like an experiment that didn’t work. I’m not entirely giving up yet. I am still hoping it clicks and flows. But, for now, it’s just a grind.

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