Paizo has unveiled its latest creation, Elemental Stones, marking the inaugural release in the Paizo Games line. This abstract tile-placement and pattern-matching game, designed by Joe Pasini in collaboration with Jason Bulmahn, promises an immersive experience for 2 to 4 players.
In Elemental Stones, players assume the roles of powerful elemental sovereigns, engaging in a constant struggle for dominance. The game revolves around five elemental forces—fire, water, earth, wood, and metal—each vying for supremacy, with air acting as a wildcard element. The design draws inspiration from the intricate system of elements presented in Pathfinder’s “Rage of Elements” hardcover book, introducing two newly supported elements: metal and wood.
The game’s evolution from concept to creation saw various iterations and refinements. Early prototypes featured a dotted grid with constellation-like patterns, which eventually evolved into a robust hex-shaped grid. The ruleset, designed for simplicity and high replayability, allows for nuanced strategy and tactics in each playthrough.
Paizo acknowledges the challenges faced during the game’s development, with adjustments made to card types, scoring metrics, and components. Notably, the team addressed concerns about surplus stones at the game’s conclusion by introducing a scoring system based on majorities in each stone type.
Elemental Stones promises a quick and engaging gaming experience, lasting approximately 30-40 minutes for up to four players. Paizo has actively demonstrated the game at conventions and online, anticipating player feedback and stories of elemental struggle around gaming tables.