Game Mechanic: Action Point Allowance System

A popular game mechanic is the Action Point Alliance System. It's a common and simple mechanic. Each turn you get a number of actions you can use. There usually is a menu of actions you can perform during your turn.

The number of actions differs from game to game. In Forbidden Island, you have up to 3 actions. Forbidden Desert gives you up to 4 actions. Pandemic gives you up to 5 actions. 

So as you can see on this card, you can use an action to move one tile (it costs another action to move to one more tile), to clear sand, and so on. You have a limited amount of actions so make every action count. Many times, I lost because I just didn't have enough actions to complete a goal or prevent something bad from happening. 

It is great mechanic for making a strategy. In Forbidden Island, you are in a race against time because the island is sinking and you have to use these actions to go prevent the island from sinking too many tiles and to collect 4 artifacts. You can trade cards with other players but you have to be in the same tile.  

Same with Pandemic, the disease is spreading and you have to move across the world to try to find a cure and to eradicate the disease before it spreads too much.

You can even say Chess uses the Action Point Allowance in that you have one action per turn and you have a number of pieces with different moves to choose from.

Here is a list of games using the Action Point Allowance.


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