Welcome to issue nine of 'The Cardboard Cartographer' here on 'The science of selling yourself short.'
In this issue I'm very excited to be un-boxing another brand new game; Pandante!
Now Pandanté is a very new and relatively unknown game.
Pandanté is a game by Sirlin games that was funded on kickstarter. It reached its goal and was marked off as funded on December 20th 2013. It managed to beat the original funding goal by over $20,000, which is quite impressive!
If you want to check out the Kick-starter's campaign page you can here. There is also an option to print out a copy to play it! - Pandanté Kickstarter Page
Pandanté is essentially a poker based game with variable powers; throw in some cheating and misdirection here and there., and boom! Pandanté.
I have yet to play it, which is a shame. This is just an un-boxing.
The review will appear in a future issue, so keep your eyes peeled!
In the meantime if you want to check out how it has fared with the board gaming community you can check it out on Board Game Geek - http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/140163/pandante
Let's get started shall we?
There are several editions of Pandanté available. This one is the standard version (with a couple of the kickstarter backer exclusives thrown in).
So once the box is unpacked you can see that there isn't a massive amount of parts to punch out or anything like that.
Simply the rules, a dealer chip, some reference sheets, the cards and those kickstarter backer rewards.
The rule book is simple, clear and that is about it.
The reference sheets are clear, organised, very simple and fairly big (they have to be for the game to function properly).
No complaints here.
It is a bit plain, but when it comes to reference sheets I feel this is a plus point.
The only possible down side here is that they are made of cardboard composite. I have a bit of a pet hate for that material as they always get damaged. These seem fairly durable however, and quite thick, so it should not be a problem.
The dealer chip is also made of cardboard composite. This however feels thinner and somewhat cheaper, I almost bent it getting it out of the box. It is also a little plain.
Unlike the reference sheet I think that cardboard composite was a poor choice for this. The dealer chip will be handled a fair amount. Durability should have been a key concern. It isn't the most important piece in the box; almost anything can be a dealer chip, but it just feels a little lazy.
On to the main event. The Cards.
In Pandanté there are several types of cards.
We'll start with the colours.
These fill the role of suits in Pandante; in addition each colour has a power.
I love the colours. Big, big fan of the brightness. They are also plastic coated, very high quality. They need to be really. They are also really big; probably about 5 inches high. I don't think they need to be so big, but it does add some character to the game, so I'm actually quite fond of it.
Then there are the Panda lords.
There is a Panda lord for each colour.
Like the colour they match, Panda lords have additional powers.
They're again, very colourful, very simple and clear. Very pleasing overall.
I LOVE IT.
There are also challenge cards.
As this is a game of lying/cheating/bluffing, players have the ability to 'challenge their opponents' bluff. These cards allow you to challenge your opponent, without revealing the whole card.
A simple, clear, rules based card.
Everything you need it to be. No complaints.
Structure of Play cards.
Like all good card games (that aren't wholly based on 'in game card rules' like Munchkin, fluxx and so on) Pandante comes with a structure of play card; a quick reference sheet on how the game plays out. There is enough for each player to have their own. Perfect.
Kickstarter Backer only rewards.
I love and hate backer only rewards.
They are awesome if you're a backer, but if you're late to the party you miss out on them, which is a great shame.
The cards here are mainly to be switched with cards already in the core game, so it doesn't matter too much.
The purple card however has its own abilities. As does the alternate Orange Panda Lord.
The cards look pretty damn good.
There you have it!
I'm really looking forward to playing this.
If I'm honest I wish I had backed the deluxe edition which comes with high quality clay chips. It would have been nice to have the whole set.
Alas, I will have to settle for standard poker chips.
I really like how colourful the game is, and how devilishly simple it seems.
My only reservation is with the game play. The main draw of poker is the gambling aspect; the tension between the ultimate high of wining and the low of losing.
It will be interesting to see how Pandanté handles this. I know there is a way to 'buy back' into the game, so that should ease this problem.
I feel if it can make the game fun and fresh without relying on the gambling side of the game it will have done very well.
That is all for this issue.
Have you played Pandaté? What did you think?
What other Kickstarter board/card/RP games have you backed/played?
If you want to get in touch the please feel free to comment of hit me up @DarKHaZZl3 on twitter.
I'd love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading. See you soon!