Sirlin Games: Puzzle Strike – Review

December 2, 2011

Publisher Sirlin Games
Genre Tile / Deck Building
Number of Players 2 to 4
Play Time 30 min.
Initial Review Date 8/25/11
Last Updated 12/1/11
Files/Tools Official Rules
Click here to Play

Puzzle strike is a what you would get if you combined Quarriors or Dominion with puzzle fighter.


Puzzle strike is a drafting game like dominion. However, instead of using cards or dice this game uses pogs. Each player starts with all the same pogs except for 3 specialty pogs that represent the character you’re playing. These pogs have unique abilities that typically work together or at least are similar in what they do.

Additionally, you have pogs that can be purchased to add to your set.

Last you draw out 5 random pogs from your opaque cloth bag (each player has their own). To create your “starting hand”.


The first thing you do is add a gem to your current “stack”. If at the end of your turn this stack has a total value of 10 or higher then you “bust” and are out of the game.

Then you get 1 play and infinite buys. Some pogs will give you additional plays, money, etc. In this game though you must buy something each turn. This means that if you have no money at all then you are forced to purchase a wound, which costs zero and just takes up space.

the primary mechanics of the game are “crashing” and “combining”.

Combining is an ability that allows you to take two gems in your stack and replace them with a single pog of equal value (so 2 1s become a 2, etc.). Keep in mind you lose if the value of your stack is 10 or more so by it’s self this doesn’t help you.

Crashing is the primary method of removing gems from your stack. When you “crash”, you may remove a single pog of any value from your stack. Additionally, you add that many gems to another player’s stack in the form of 1 point gems. So, if I crash a single gem worth 3, I then hand over 3 gems that are each worth 1 to my opponent.

Crashing is an action that can be responded to though, with crashing. In this case you can play a crash pog in response to someone crashing a gem to you. When this happens the difference is taken between the gems and the player who crashed the fewest receives a number of gems equal to this difference.

Of course, players who are close to being eliminated get to draw extra pogs when they draw at the end of their turn. For every 3 points in your stack you get to draw 1 additional pog. So, in this way players who are losing have a reasonable chance of being able to respond.


This is an interesting game. it’s nice that you don’t have to shuffle, but I did feel like I wasn’t really randomizing my pogs that much since they have a tendency to stack sideways in the bag.

I think the extra draw mechanic really drags out the game as a player can quickly reduce their stack when drawing so many extras. As can counter crashing indiscriminately, as then both players end up reducing their stacks in the process.

If you liked puzzle fighter or draft type games you’ll probably enjoy this one.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: