What is Puzzle Strike?
Puzzle Strike is a 2 - 4 player card game played with chips instead of cards (for easier shuffling) that simulates a puzzle game. Break gems from your gem pile and send them to your opponents' gem piles while customizing your deck to do bigger and bigger combos.
Build Your Deck
as You Play
You start with a just some gem chips (money), a Crash Gem, and three character chips that do various fun things. Over the course of the game, you buy more and more chips for your "deck." Puzzle Strike is about building a fun and effective deck as you go in addition to playing your chips well when you draw them.
Each game starts with a different set of puzzle chips to form the community bank, so there are millions of different starting conditions. With both the base set and Shadows expansion together, there's billions of possibilities. It's a new experience each time.
No Shuffling Required
As with all deckbuilding games, you go through your deck quite a few times per game in Puzzle Strike, and you shuffle up each time you do. With chips instead of cards, "shuffling" just means toss them in your bag and shake them for a couple seconds.
Combine and Crash
Combine chips let you combine two small gems in your gem pile into one larger gem. Why would you want to do that that? So you can break your bigger gem with a Crash Gem!
When you play a Crash Gem chip, it splits apart into 1-gems. Send those 1-gems to any opponent you want.
Opponents can then counter-crash by using their own Crash Gem to protect themselves, or even to protect another player in free-for-all games. This core mechanic means Puzzle Strike is highly interactive.
Choose Your Character!
The asymmetric gameplay from all the different characters is one of Puzzle Strike's most interesting features. The base set has 10 characters, and the stand-alone Shadows expansion has another 10. All these characters play differently, and you'll have to adapt to the hundreds of different character matchups. Find the character (or characters!) that match your style.
Slippery slope is no fun. That's where being ahead gives you an advantage to get more ahead, and it snowballs into games that aren't even close matches. Puzzle Strike is the opposite: the more full your gem pile is, the closer you are to losing, but the "height bonus" rule kicks in and lets you draw extra chips. Then you can do bigger combos or draw that crucial Crash Gem you need to clear out your gem pile and stay in the game.
The comeback mechansim means you'll have close matches often. You'll feel the thrill of being on the edge of winning and losing at the same time, as you hover right next to the lose-condition in your greedy effort to draw more chips.
The Puzzle Strike base set and the stand-alone Shadows expansion both contain the same types of components:
- Almost 350 chips
- 4 bags
- 4 boards
- 4 screens (to hide your chips on the table)
- 1v1 Mode
- 3-player and 4-player free-for-all
- 2v2 Team Battle Mode
- Custom Clockwork Mode (draft / customize your own character)
The 1v1 mode is great for intense competition. None of the modes have player elimination, so everyone gets to play the whole time.
Get the strategy guide to delve deep into Puzzle Strike strategy. It's over 100 pages, written by tournament players. Learn about the "triangle" of rushdown, economy, and defense, about all 20 characters across the base set and expansion, and every puzzle chip in the game.