Alan How – Review of Promenade

How I came across the game

Many years ago, before the detailed presentation of forthcoming games at Essen, you had to wander around the halls, bumping into new games. As there was not very much information about, it felt like an exploration of a large toy shop. You did not know what you are going to find but amongst the stalls would be some gems. The excitement came from discovering one.

So I came across Promenade at Spiel in October 2018. A friend had invited me to join him in a look at a pre published copy of a game. You never know what you’ll find so I joined him. The designer, Ta-Te Wu, originally from Taiwan, but now living in America showed us his game. It was a prototype, but decent looking. He did all the design and art himself and it looked really good.

What type of game is it?

It’s a deck builder where your deck consists of art cards and money cards. You pay for more artwork, add it to your deck and the price of the newly acquired art increases in price and victory points.

What’s the good aspects of this game?

The best game system is that you pay for new cards with your artwork but once a column of art is cleared, the pricing system increases the cost of artwork. So there’s this really good balance between the artwork increasing in price and the cost rising. The system is well balanced, so progress is still made but not by leaps and bounds.

Secondly, as artwork increases in price, it does so for all art of the same colour. This means that you and some other players may benefit, while others do not. So there is a gain for other players which you need to consider. Equally you might want to buy an artwork in a rivals colour (suit) in order to benefit from its increase in demand.

Thirdly, you will need to exhibit your art by putting art on display which will earn victory points in decreasing amounts at the same galleries. This also thins your deck, so money cards, which you can also purchase, become available more quickly. If you place enough artwork on display at the same gallery you may also trigger a gallery benefit.

Replayability?

The variety in the game come from the deal of cards, card pricing, as well as gallery benefits – not all are used in a game, so each game will have unique set ups, but gameplay is similar of course.

Where is it available?

At the time of writing (January 2019) it will come to Kickstarter in April 2019.

Overall feel

The game is polished,with game systems that are very smooth. There is competition for exhibiting art in galleries, and concern about increasing prices for existing artwork. The player interaction is indirect, but not irrelevant as you need to pay attention to other players on their turn. This means that you are engaged with the game and turns are quick, so you can execute your plans effortlessly.

This is a light to mid weight game, that only lasts 45-60 minutes which is spot on for the game. It was my hidden gem from Essen 2019, proving that despite copious amounts of information now available before the show, there are interesting games to find.

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4 Responses to Alan How – Review of Promenade

  1. Ta-Te Wu says:

    Thank you for your review on Promenade! Here is the short URL to the Promenade Kickstarter page http://bit.ly/2ImI7Kx

  2. @mangozoid says:

    Nice article, Alan – have heard and seen some good things about this game, and am confident it’ll do well on KS… Sad to say it’ll probably be primarily because of the artwork, which did look great.

  3. The game is really enjoyable. Hey, if Mike Siggins likes it, Ta-Te must be doing something right. ;)

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