Pendulum

Pendulum

Designed by Travis Jones | Art by Robert Leask

Pendulum is a competitive, turnless, asymmetric worker placement, time-optimization game.

1-5 players | 60-90 minutes | ages 12+

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(Aug 5 preorder and shipping in August)

In Pendulum, each player is a powerful, unique noble vying to succeed the Timeless King as the true ruler of Dünya. Players command their workers, execute stratagems, and expand the provinces in their domain in real time to gain resources and move up the 4 victory tracks: power, prestige, popularity, and legendary achievement.

Players must use actual time as a resource in managing their strategy to best their opponents, using time on different action types and balancing it with time spent planning and analyzing. The winner will be the player who manages and invests their time most effectively and who builds the best engine, not the player who acts the quickest.

Pendulum is the highest-rated protoype in the history of the Stonemaier Games Design Day. If you enjoy Tzolk’in (time and resource optimization) and 7 Wonders (simultaneous play), we think you’ll enjoy Pendulum. Please join us in the Pendulum Facebook group to discuss the game!

Featured Components:

  • 1 box (30x30x7cm; 2 kg). Each first-printing box is individually numbered.
  • 1 game board (53x50cm)
  • 250 tokens
  • 3 sand timers (45 sec, 2 minutes, 3 minutes)
  • 5 double-sided, frosted character mats (asymmetric) and 4 stratagem cards per character (40 total; 44x67mm)
  • 56 Province cards (63x63mm)
  • 31 council reward cards (44x67mm)
  • 10 achievement cards (59x91mm)
  • 1 legendary achievement token (metal)
  • 1 rulebook
  • 1 quick-reference guide
  • 1 Automa rulebook
  • 1 Automa scoring mat
  • 38 Automa cards (59x91mm)

Release Details: Pendulum will be available to preorder from Stonemaier Games on August 5, with all preorders being shipped in August from fulfillment centers in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK.

Product Details: SKU, MSRP, and retail release date TBA. Pendulum is 95% language independent, but it will be published in a number of languages.

Copyright 2020 Stonemaier LLC. Pendulum is a trademark of Stonemaier LLC. All Rights Reserved. This content is not authorized for posting on Steam.

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115 Comments on “Pendulum

  1. I’m not a real time game fan, but after watching play through videos and now reviews, I’m really looking forward to this game. I like how Rhado pointed out the option to play without the timers was a big hit with he and his wife. I think you found a good one here Jamey (and that’s why you have brought it to us)!!

    1. Hi Ralph! We don’t use Kickstart anymore, and we haven’t for years. This will be available for Preorder on our online store on August 5th and shipments should begin in the following weeks, the exact shipment date depending on your location.

  2. Several reviewers so far have given various degrees of concern about defected sand timers. Rahdo especially seemed to have a major issue with sand timers stopping midway, even on camera. Is this an issue that has been fixed since those review prototypes were sent out?

    1. Sand timers sometimes have a sediment in them that needs to break up a bit–this can take multiple uses. The sand timers were made months ago, placed in the printed games, and some of those games were sent to reviewers. The remaining games were completed a month ago and placed on ocean freight to fulfillment centers.

      If your sand timers have issues after a few uses, just let us know and we’ll replace them.

  3. I have to be honest. I don’t think the playthrough videos to this point are doing the game any favors in terms of differentiating it from any other, generic, real-time game. Everyone seems to be playing the game with the mindset that there is a clear benefit to flipping the timers as quickly as possible. This leads (in my opinion) to artificial chaos, confusion, and physical conflict when in fact, there really doesn’t NEED to be any of that. Am I wrong, or will we eventually see a game where players really take their time and only flip timers when they really need to, not as soon as the sand runs out?

    1. Robert: I’m biased, but if Pendulum were a speedy, stressful, race-against-time game, I wouldn’t have published it. It’s a time-optimization game. Players are flipping timers because they’re eager to unlock their workers (and get benefits from their opposite workers).

      I played an untimed teaching game just yesterday, and even the time optimization in it is something I’ve only experienced in one other game (Tzolk’in).

      1. Jamey: Thank you for the reply and I don’t disagree with you. My thought is that all of the playthroughs thus far (at least the ones I have seen) are treating the game as if it were “…a speedy, stressful, race-against-time…” and it shows in the videos. We’ve yet to see a group play the timed game who fully grasp (or maybe they do and just don’t care) that there is literally nothing in the rules that says you MUST flip any timer…ever (other than to start the game). While not optimal, we could start the game, perform out first actions, place our workers on new locations, then…take a break for lunch, come back an hour later, and continue. Am I missing something?

        1. You’re right! It is definitely in the players’ control as to when they flip the timers, and I think we’ll see different groups use this control for various reasons when they get the game.

  4. Hi. Will Phalanx publish Polish edition? If yes, do you synchronize reuse date?

    Looking forward to this one! Great job Stonemaier Games!

  5. I’ve seen some comments on playthrough videos talking about recessed player boards and the worry that in the hustle to move workers/keep up with the real-time aspect that score trackers may get bumped. I assume the reason there is no recession in the board is so that you can quickly and easily grab/move pieces and if anything gets bumped its on your honor. There’s also an increased cost to recessed boards I assume. Was there a particular reason in your mind Jamey?

    1. There were a couple reasons. :) Cost is a factor, though the frosted player mats cost pretty much just as much. Another factor is since the mats are double-sided, instead of 2 layers, it would actually end up being 3 layers per mat. Perhaps the biggest factor is warping–when you glue cardboard together, it significantly increases the chances that it will warp.

      1. Hi. Im from Germany, too. I did look at the homepage of “Feuerland-Spiele” but pendulum doesnt seem to be at the list of their upcoming releases. (while all other stonemaiergames seem to be.)

          1. They have, but on Facebook :) will be available on their website to order on September.

  6. […] Die kurze Marketing Phase für seine Spiele nutzt der gute Jamey ja immer intensiv aus. Inzwischen gibt es reichlich Bilder des Spielbretts und Informationen, wie sich Pendulum spielt. So gibt es drei Sanduhren von 45 Sekunden bis 3 Minuten, die für alle Spieler gelten. Es handelt sich also in Teilen um ein Echtzeit Spiel wie Magic Maze oder Kitchen Rush. Allerdings sollen diese Phasen nur einen Teil des Spiels ausmachen. Ich bleibe da persönlich etwas skeptisch und werde wohl die Feuerland Version im September abwarten, bis dahin gibt es sicherlich bereits reichlich Rezensionen. Die Meeple sind übrigens aus Kunststoff und man sieht auf Bildern deutlich die „Naht“. Das gefällt mir ehrlich gesagt gar nicht. Der Grund sind offenbar Probleme mit dem Export von Holzteilen nach Australien. Ich empfehle für weitere Informationen zum Spiel das Design Diary. […]

  7. My experience with sand timers had never been ideal because of the racket they don’t make when they “go off”. So are the players able to miss the fact that a timer has expired – meaning that an app (or other substitute digital timers) will instantly make gameplay better/easier)? Or is it always the case that the players have nothing else to do, other than watch the timers because they have to wait?

  8. Do you guys sell games directly to Brazil?
    Will i be able to buy this with you on the pre-orders or i have to wait for a localized version?

      1. There’s a notification that Grok Games will sell the game in the brazilian market, can you confirm if that’s true, please?

  9. Your fans in Turkey got really excited when the game theme is set in “Dünya”, which is a Turkish spelling of an Arabic word from the Qur’an, meaning this world is temporary. Could you tell us what made you choose this name? -if it wouldn’t be a spoiler- Some say you might even be muslim now, lol

  10. Hi. Very impressive idea and images. I have a question, how language dependant it would be? Can you advance more on this?

    Thanks Jamey

  11. So duniya translates to “the world” in Hindi, does that mean it will have eastern/asiatic theming, or it’s just used as reference to an internal world?

  12. Being of Turkish origin the name “Dünya” really sounded great! Any particular reason why it was names like that?

  13. Very interesting. I love the artwork by Robert Leask. The box cover is very interesting, a throne within a giant clock, clouds circling the clock, mythical creatures, and the ominous guy near the clock. 3:20, what could that time mean? :)

  14. Amazing art.
    7w is my favorite game of all time.
    I’ve never played tzolkin and the only stonemeier game I own is wingspan.
    I’m curious was wondering wingspan brought to a design day or not? What other games from design days have been published and what were their average ratings?

  15. Will we be able to add other Stonemaier products to the pre-order of this game?º
    Thanks in advance.

  16. Can’t wait to give Pendulum a shot! Looks like there’s a sand timer in one of the pictures. So is this a game where players have a certain amount of time per turn then? Maybe different lengths of time based on choices made?
    When I first heard using actual time as a resource my first thought was similar to competitive chess.

    1. “So is this a game where players have a certain amount of time per turn then?”

      Good guess, but nope! :)

      “Maybe different lengths of time based on choices made?”

      That’s a lot closer. You’ll see soon. :)

  17. I’m always amazed by each new game you publish. I got about half way through and it clicked, sand timer workers? That sounds fun. The art looks pretty epic, I’m hoping my girls will be interested. My wife and I like Tapestry and Scythe.

  18. Real-time games tend to be difficult for those of us with color vision deficiency or other visual/physical limitations. I’ve yet to find a real-time game I enjoy, because I cannot ask “is this green?” without disrupting the experience.

    How have you tackled this challenge in design, development, and playtesting? Thanks!

    1. We spent a lot of time on the UI and the color selection to make the game as colorblind friendly as possible. I think it helps that you know where you placed your workers, and for most actions, no other workers are there. Also, unlike real-time games, Pendulum isn’t frantic–you have plenty of time to think about your workers, resources, and strategy.

      1. I’m very curious now as to how frantic-ness is being counteracted. I haven’t given it that much thought before, but “frantic” seems inherent in having a timer, and introducing it seems like the primary reason you would want a timer.

  19. Looking forward to this real time play game, Stonemaier games are so well done with quality components, great mechanics, amazing artwork and awesome customer service.

  20. Pumped! Will there be any play through/mechanics videos released before the pre-sale? (I’ve had some iffy experiences with real time games in the past…)

  21. I am in the the “convince me” group. I do not like real time games. On the other hand, I have never not liked a Stonemaier game and three of them are in my top 10.

  22. Was actually just discussing with my wife yesterday how we both wished some new realtime games would come out. One of these days we’re hoping that someone tries to put realtime on a roll/flip and write.

    Definitely excited to see what this one is bringing!

  23. Like others have mentioned, the artwork is stunning. I always appreciate the detail and effort put into the artwork for all Stonemaier Games….really elevates your games to the next level. I’m really excited about a “turnless” based game. My family and I are big into real time games with little to no downtime. Any idea what the BBG weight of the game will be? Thanks Jamey!

  24. I had the impression sand timers were notoriously inaccurate / variable, or at least the types that are cheap enough to include in board games were. Has that not been a problem?

    1. It’s not a problem in this game, as it’s not like each player has their own sand timers. They’re shared, and at most they’re only off by a few seconds. Plus, players determine when the timers are flipped.

  25. Sounds interesting. I love the artwork and am already using the images on the right as wallpaper on my phone. :)

  26. This is intriguing. I wonder if the workers are sand timers, and you have to wait for them to complete before taking the action.

  27. Real-time is…going to require a lot of convincing. I don’t like anything where I can’t take time to answer questions or look up rules during play. Need to see a lot more details about how this is going to work, but I guess that’s the point of the upcoming design diaries…

    1. The game can be played without the timers, and if you ever need a break in the action, you can just set the timers on their side. Also, there are a number of built-in breaks throughout the game.

  28. I was sold until I read “actual time” is a resource. I hope this means something different than a typical real time game. I don’t think I can get excited about a 60-90 minute “real time” game. Although, I’m hoping there is something else going on here and I am excited to see what that might be! Stonemaier has not let me down yet so I have a faith!!

  29. Oh boy…I am giddy with excitement. I love the theme and mechanics. Box art looks incredible as well. Can’t wait.

    1. Good looking as usual, groundbreaking as I hope. Already in my wishlist.
      One question only, by the available pictures one can tell that there isn’t a lot of text. But how language dependant it would be? Can you advance more on this? Some of SM games are out of my scope just because of this, as my game and life partner is not an English speaker and portuguese editions are close to none in Portugal; Wingspan being the only one.
      Thank you in advance and keep up the good work SM Games!

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