Mechanisms That Perturb

February 3, 2015 - 10:34pm
Hyperbole Courtesy Hyperbole!

We all have game mechanisms that we really enjoy, and we will often seek out games that use these mechanisms or rejoice when our favorite mechanisms are used well in a game. But are there any mechanisms that you DON'T enjoy in a game?  Or outright detest?  That is truly another question entirely. Grant Rodiek recently published an article for Hyperbole Games in which he discusses mechanisms that perturb. Do any of the following perturb you:
  • Interrupt Cards, and/or Out of Turn Play
    • “I want to do this.”  “Nope.”  “…Okay.”
  • Worker Placement without Blocking
    • "Worker placement without blocking is like beer without alcohol. It’s lite sour cream. It’s a wolf without teeth. It’s another metaphor."
  • The Mimic: Choose any card to copy
    • “This card can be anything, just name it.”
  • Complex Line of Sight and Range
    • "Counting around squares constantly is so tedious!"
  • Trading, because sure?
    • "Trading needs to be fully integrated by giving players a reason to trade."
  • Variable Ending
    • "I prefer games have a set time period, such as a deck running out, a finite number of rounds, or when a nigh guaranteed event will occur."
  • If the game ends with no winner, Bob wins
    • "It feels like someone’s getting an easy win."
  • Losing earned points
    • "This just feels nasty."
  • The Passive Overflow
    • "Remember that players can only track so many things."
Rodiek wisely allows plenty of room for error and exceptions in his list of annoying mechanisms, but on the whole he give some solid examples of those mechanisms that are annoying and are often not used in a way that betters the game in which it is being employed. You can read the article in full here.