Top positive review
A balancing Jenga-type dexterity game with funky metal rods
on February 15, 2018
COMPONENTS: I've always loved dexterity games, and this is a good one. My game came in a long cylindrical plastic tube which contained a wooden base and metal frame that takes you 10 seconds to put together each time you play, 24 metal rods with rubber tips in 6 colours, a colour die, and an instruction sheet.
SET-UP: First you assemble the wooden base with the four metal rods and wooden connector. Then the metal rods/pieces are shared out, each player getting the same number of each colour, and extras (if any) going to a draw pile.
GAME-PLAY: The basic objective is to be the first player who gets rid of all their rods/pieces, by hanging them from the structure, taking turns to place one at a time, depending on what colour you roll on the die. But there are some rules for placement: You can only use one hand when placing a piece. And once you let go and remove your hand - your turn is done. You can hang your piece anywhere, except on a notch or straight section already used by another piece. If after letting your piece go any other piece touches the ground, you need to reposition your piece. Finally, any pieces that fall during your turn, get added to your pile.
LOOKS: Suspend has quality components, and is an attention-grabber when set up on the table or in play. It's fun to play yourself, but also fun to watch others play.
ACCESSIBLE: The beauty about a game like this is that anybody of any age or ability can play it. The rules are easy to learn and understand, and you can be playing it 60 seconds after you've seen it for the first time. Plus an entire game can be played in well under 10 minutes.
DYNAMIC: Although Suspend shares something in common with Jenga at its raw level, the components have a very different look, and the way the balancing works is quite different. You are not working with a static tower, but the entire structure will move and change every time you play a piece. This makes it slightly less predictable and even harder to assess what will happen each time you add a piece, but it also makes it dynamic and exciting to watch and play.
FUN: Anything that involves physically building something and watching it tumble down will create moments of tension (will it fall?), moments of drama (will he succeed?), moments of disaster (oh, it toppled!). Moments like these that also create laughs and entertainment. The dynamic structure can create gasps as each piece is added and the entire structure swings and changes, and also moments of frustration when pieces tumble off or the entire thing falls over. It really is just a fun game!
VARIANTS: The game comes with a few ways to play, but what it really needs are some good house rules and official variations, which can mitigate the frustration that can be caused by rolling the die. Fortunately you'll find lots of good suggested house rules online that improve this, although for the average person this won't be an issue, given how quick and fun the game is.
RECOMMENDATION: The central element that makes Suspend so much fun is the tense battle against momentum and gravity as you carefully position a new piece onto a swaying and volatile structure! The entertainment that this provides makes it very worth while. There are some real strengths here in terms of accessibility and appeal, and the amount of fun that the game Suspend can produce for a wide range of people. For me Suspend is a keeper!
- BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame