20m - 40m
2 - 4 Players
Pattern Building is a system where players place game components in specific patterns in order to gain specific or variable game results. For example: placing chips on 2, 4, 6, 8 on a board gets the player an action card they can use later in the game.
I received a copy of this game for review in February 2022. Since I play 90% of my games at two players, I'm always looking for more options that are two player exclusive. While this can be either 2 or 4 players, we played it at 2. Any time we see something from Flatout Games, our interest is always piqued. This was a solid game from this design team that ramped up over several rounds. Takes up more space on the table than the small box size may indicate/seem, and with red, blue, yellow being the primary colors used, I'm hoping this is color-blind friendly. The game itself is also language independent, which I'm always looking for when I recommend games for folks at the library.
We played the game with many different type of people. Different age, different nationality, different gender... all of them enjoyed pretty much. Short pretty good game even for people, which are not fans of abstract games.
tldr: a good 2 or 4 player game. Quick and interesting decisions. Mild take-that for a 2 player game. In abstract academy you and another player (or you and 3 others in a 4 player game) are creating a 4x4 grid of cards, creating a shared canvas. The cards each have 4 quadrants filled with colors. Each round you will be competing over shared objectives, trying to arrange the colors in certain configurations. Whichever player better completes the objectives earns the card and associated points. There is no predesigned outline for the grid, so the first card laid could end up on your “home” row, in the middle of the grid, or on your opponents home row. This dynamic is by far my favorite aspect of the game. If I lay a “bad” card, my opponent could lay the cards in such a way that it gets pushed to my half of the canvas. You will score for the two rows closest to you, and your opponent for the rows closest to them. This game that fits perfectly into its category and weight. It doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. The turns are simple, take a card and lay a card, but the decisions are fun of where to lay the cards so your half of the canvas meets the objectives better than your opponents. And you can lay on the opponents half of the canvas, so there is a bit of take-that, but there are rules to stop you from being too mean, so generally you’re trying to help yourself not hurt your opponent. As others mentioned, the box leaves something to be desired. It is annoying to put the cards away, but it’s cheap and accessible… so I’ll take that trade off. I worry a little about replay value, but after 4 plays I’ve still had fun each round. There is some strategizing but also a decent bit of luck - depending on the luck of the draw you might know you’re going to lose, but that is the exception not the rule. All in all a good game. Not my top 2 player game, but a good game to introduce to newer players to the hobby or a quick intro to game night.