Game Buzz: Pakal

A pretty quick post today as I look at

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Pakal is a 2-4 players game from designers Luca Bellini and Luca Borsa, published by Cranio Creations. Thematically, you’re trying to enter a temple in a Mexican jungle, but that’s a very loose theme. Really, the game is a simultaneous puzzle-solving game based on sliding block puzzles.

Each player gets a small plastic tray which gets filled with a pattern card. You’ll also get 11 opaque squares of your color and 4 transparent squares which you put in the tray. This leaves one empty space, and you’ll need to make sure no symbols are showing. Each player puts a ring at the start of the scoring track. Scoring tiles equal to the number of players plus three are revealed, and a stack of goal tiles is created. There’s an app you can use with the game as a timer.

image by BGG user BGGCranioCreations

At the start of a round, you reveal a goal tile. This gives you three shapes that you must have revealed on your board without having anything else revealed. You start the timer (45 seconds for normal, 35 seconds for hard), and start sliding pieces. If you reach the goal within the time limit, you take a scoring tile (but not one that shows a same symbol from the goal tile). This tile shows you how far you can move forward on the track. If you have the wrong combination, took a tile that matches the goal, or didn’t finish in time, you don’t move.

At the end of the round, if your disc didn’t move, you replace one of the transparent squares on your board with one of the opaque squares of your color (but you’ll never have more than 12 opaque). If you crossed a special line, you’ll replace one of your opaque squares with a transparent one. When at least one player has crossed the finishing line, the game is over, and the player who went the furthest on the track wins.

image by BGG user BGGCranioCreations

I do like simultaneous puzzle solving games, and this one looks interesting because it’s made on a sliding puzzle. It seems like a cool concept, and gameplay looks streamlined enough that anyone can pick it up. Plus, it’s very colorful. It’s not necessarily a deep game, but it’s one that you can pull out and play fairly quickly or with people who maybe are not so entrenched in the hobby.

Told you this would be a quick one. Thanks for reading!

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