Puzzles are certainly thought-provoking, and depending on the type, can be a family project for all to enjoy. However, for those that want a little more interaction and depth to their puzzle games, the people at Brainstormers published Puzzle Me! in 2012. In Puzzle Me! players try to create the largest puzzle of their own, while trying to sabotage the efforts of their opponents. But beware, Karma strikes back and you will be penalized for damaging an opponents efforts! So, puzzle me this, is it worth the risk?
Out of the Box/Components
Puzzle Me! comes in a small box with a wood appearance with a collection of puzzle pieces on the top. Inside, you will find the following :
- A small rulebook
- 1 six-sided die
- 12 red Karma tokens
- 192 Puzzle pieces in 4 colors (green, blue, orange, and red)
The different colors of puzzle pieces indicate what kind of piece they are. Red pieces have 4 connector sides, Orange pieces have 3 connector sides, Blue have 2 sides, and Green has 1 side.
Karma tokens subtract one point from your final score at the end of the game.
How to Play
To set up a game of Puzzle Me!, a few steps must be taken. First, find a red puzzle piece for each player, and distribute 2 Karma tokens per player. The rest of the puzzle pieces are placed face down in a Draw pile. Roll the dice to determine who goes first starting with the highest number, and then take turns clock-wise.
At the beginning of each turn, players will roll the dice to determine how many puzzle pieces they draw from the pile. Then, those pieces are added to the start of their puzzle. If a player cannot place all of their puzzle pieces that were drawn that turn, they are returned face own to the drawsides may rest against each other only if they are connected into the puzzle with another piece, though.
However, if you have pieces remaining that cannot be added to your puzzle, but can be added to another player’s puzzle, you may do just that. This is an “offensive” placement, which will cause you to take one of that players’ Karma tokens which deduct from your final score at the end of the game.
When a player’s puzzle is closed, or no more pieces can be added to it, the remaining players get one more turn to try to score as many points as possible. If I close Christina’s puzzle, every player except for me gets one more turn, because I was the one to close it. Each puzzle piece is scored for 1 point each, and 1 point is subtracted for each Karma token in their possession. The player with the most points wins the game!
Piecing The Game Together
When it comes to puzzles, I do actually prefer games that are solo, but Puzzle Me! did interest me. I do like that the game doesn’t take long, I believe our longest game was 15 minutes, but I could see it getting to 20 with the max player count. Our 10 year old participant enjoyed the game and played with reasonable ease, so I could definitely see kids as young as 6 playing this game.
One of my favorite aspects were the Karma tokens. Since each player starts with 2 Karma tokens, everyone is fair game in regards to messing up their puzzle. Let’s say that Player 1 places pieces on Player 3 and Player 4’s puzzle twice in a row. Player 1 has now taken all of the other players’ Karma tokens and now has 6. Player 3 and 4 can no longer be targeted to place puzzle pieces on their puzzles, but Player 1 has set themselves up for payback, as now their opponents could severely interfere with their puzzle, up to 6 times. I feel that the way that Karma works in Puzzle Me! makes the decision to play offensively a bit more strategic. You have to be pretty sure that you’ve got a solid plan to work around you opponents getting back at you!
The advanced mode limits the numbers, and types of tiles that you will have available to you in the draw pile, and I think would be good for the adults and older kids. It does take a long time to find these tile types and collect a new face-down draw pile, but it really does increase the difficulty of the game. The point values of each piece changes, and is detailed in the rulebook.
My only issue with the game was the lack of a good way to set the game up quickly, and storage solution. with 192 puzzle piece tiles, dumping the pieces on the table and flipping them all upside down often times takes longer than an actual game does. The game does come with 2 plastic bags for storing the pieces in, but that doesn’t help with the flood of tiles. I’ve tried a few different methods to speed this process up, but have had no luck yet.
Puzzle Me! is a great game to have if your family enjoys gaming, especially if you are easing younger children into tabletop. If puzzle games aren’t your thing or you don’t have younger kids, I’d probably pass this up. At $12.00, Puzzle Me! makes an affordable addition to your game collection, and is a great price for an introductory game. If you pick it up, let us know what you think!