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Wednesday
Apr142010

Puzzle Strike Boxes

Hey everyone, I'm really looking forward to this one! What if the Fantasy Strike characters were all kids, and played a puzzle game together...and we simulated that with a card game? Except there are discs like poker chips instead of cards so you can shuffle them really easily? That's Puzzle Strike!

If you're confused, don't worry about all that, and just know that it's based around a really interesting mechanic where "almost losing" gives you more comeback power, so there's a lot of back-and-forth action right up to the end. There are also a lot of close calls where you're actually over-the-limit on how much your "gem pile" can hold before you lose, but as long as you clear enough of them out by the *end* of your turn, you're ok. Here's a prototype of the box for the standard version of Puzzle Strike: 

And here's a  prototype of the DELUXE version, with wooden box and all wooden chips:

 Here's a closeup of the back of the box, which tells you a bit more about the game:

 

Like I said, I'm really excited about this one. While Yomi is more of a tournament game, Puzzle Strike supports 2, 3, or 4 players, has an absurd number of interactions and combos, and the puzzle game mechanics make it pretty unusual and exciting to play. Plus, it has kid characters and a pink box. My testing shows this results in girlfriend-approval.

Unfortunately this one will cost more than my other two games, but I hope you'll bear with me on that. Because it supports up to 4-players, you can chip in with some friends, and I really think the unusual gameplay is worth it, not to mention that you get over 300 discs and four bags to hold them. Stay tuned for more info, or feel free to ask the various chatters in sirlin.net/chat if you're thinking about playtesting it before release.

There's also a Boardgamegeek page for it here, for further discussion.

Reader Comments (11)

Wow, this game has me *really* excited. I hope that you can keep the costs down, though. Personally, that will be the #1 factor in deciding whether I will get this game. I'm looking forward to reading more details about the game, keep up the good work Sirlin!

April 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGlen

Puzzle Strike is card game played with chips! Am exciting, it be! Happy fun!
(There's a glaring typo in the box copy - it should say "Puzzle Strike is _A_ card game played with chips."

April 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLSK

So it looks like the deluxe version's box is similar to the deluxe version of flash duel. That makes me a little worried about the weight of the components falling out of the box without some type of locking mechanism to keep the lid on. Although with a box that big, its less likely to be turned onto its side like a flash duel box, or accidentally turned upside down. Is there an ETA?

April 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNojh

Yeah the whole "this box is neat looking at the expense of the lid actually staying on during transport!" is the worst part about Flash Duel.

Functional first please.

April 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGuy Srinivasan

I haven't had any problem with my Flash Duel lid staying on, shrug.

April 16, 2010 | Registered CommenterSirlin

Puzzle Fighter inspired? Haha. It'll be interesting how it works because Puzzle fighter is such a fast game and if putting down and counting those chips would work... and if it was "turn" based... But I will be looking forward to how it plays. (Currently waiting on a shipment of Flash Duel... or at least thats what I think it is called).

April 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin

Please consider that your success may be a result of how you prefer to transport games rather than how well the Flash Duel lid stays on, and that only one of those translates across your target audience. :D

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGuy Srinivasan

I'm confused... I thought you were against the Ultra Meter??

April 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharles S.

The ultra meter and puzzle fighter's comeback mechanisms are not at all similar. Puzzle Fighter has a very interesting and extremely rare mechanic. You can reduce your "score" but only by increasing the opponent's score. Whoever gets up to X score first loses. The higher the opponent's score, the more powerful he is potentially, but the closer to losing.

While it's true that having an ultra in SF4 makes you more powerful, that's not the whole story of the system I just described. The "score" here is health and it's unrelated to the ultra. It's a separate score entirely that works in the usual boring way (you always want to reduce the opponent's health score, you never want to reduce your own, and you are not required to reduce yours to increase the opponent's...in fact you can't even do that.)

To demonstrate what ultras would have to be in order to be a similar system, imagine this. There is no health stat at all, there are only ultra meters. If your ultra meter fills completely, you lose. The more full it is, the more powerful moves you can do. You can make moves to reduce your own ultra meter that also consequently increase the opponent's. The system will naturally have a back and forth effect where there will be many, many changes of which player has the most filled ultra meter at any moment. Also, there will be many times where it's possible to make the move "reduce my score and increase the opponent's" but where you won't actually want to. It will also be unclear who is actually winning, and a valuation test to even determine that.

As you can see the crazy system I described is RADICALLY different than SF4 ultra's. I'm not even suggesting SF4 or any fighting game work like that, but I am saying it's NOTHING like the game system used in Puzzle Fighter. An SF4 ultra system would be very boring to model in other games, because it just gives the opponent a powerful thing that you're stuck dealing with. There is no trading back and forth of ultra meter resources. There is no win/lose meter that's inextricably bound up with the comeback thing, it's just a separate life bar that always goes down.

Anyway, I hope this illustrates why one system is very rare and very interesting to model in a new game system and the other is standard, boring, and not something we would care about modeling in other games.

April 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterSirlin

Wow. This game looks fun! Thanks for sharing this one. Time to search for this ! LOL. I wanna play this game now!

April 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbigjobsboard

The design of this game looks fantastic!!
And this system also looks cool, I have never heard like this puzzle game.
I want to see more detail of this game and play it.
Ultra meter is also awesome, I have to see and try.

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDai
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