Puzzle Strike is an online deckbuilding puzzle game from David Sirlin, lead designer of Puzzle Fighter HD Remix and creator of the Fantasy Strike universe. Improve your deck (of chips!) as the game unfolds and crush your opponents under a mountain of gems!
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (17 reviews) - 76% of the 17 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 21, 2015

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About This Game

Puzzle Strike is a deckbuilding puzzle game played amongst Fantasy Strike characters. It's inspired by puzzle games such as Puzzle Fighter. Gems fall into each player's gem pile every turn, and whoever's gem pile fills up first loses. Improve your deck (of chips!) by purchasing new chips as the game unfolds. Will you go heavy on economy, offense, or build an intricate engine? In any case, make sure to adapt to your opponents because Puzzle Strike has a lot more interactivity than most other deckbuilders. And like the other games in the Fantasy Strike universe, Puzzle Strike is designed to hold up to thousands of games at the expert level, and we fully embrace the philosophy of even-playfield competition.

The new Steam version of Puzzle Strike (as well as the upcoming iOS release) have these new features:
  • Runs natively on Mac, PC, and Linux (new!)
  • Cross-platform play with players on iOS (coming soon), Steam or the web version on FantasyStrike.com
  • Chips have 4x the resolution as the web version
  • Issue challenges to people on your Steam friend list
  • Climb the leaderboards in Quick Match and check out replays of top players to improve your game!
  • New Puzzle Challenge mode: learn advanced character tactics and think outside the bag! Beat these advanced challenges to become a real Puzzle Striker!
  • Complete your Daily Quests to earn Jewels, then spend them to play "Puzzle Smash", a high-powered version of Puzzle Strike
  • Contains all 48 Puzzle chips from both Puzzle Strike Third Edition and Puzzle Strike: Shadows, as well as the promo chips, Combinatorics, Dashing Strike and Custom Combo
  • Practice offline against AI Puzzlebots for the first time!
  • Launching with English and French language support, with German and Japanese localization on the way
  • The base game comes with the first ten characters (Grave, Jaina, Midori, Setsuki, Rook, DeGrey, Valerie, Geiger, Lum, and Argagarg), and the ten Shadows characters are available as an expansion

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP+
    • Processor: SSE2 instruction set support (Pentium 4 / Celeron and later)
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9 (shader model 2.0) and later
    • Storage: 752 MB available space
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7+
    • Processor: Intel-based CPUs
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9 (shader model 2.0) and later
    • Storage: 813 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10+
    • Processor: SSE2 instruction set support (Pentium 4 / Celeron and later)
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9 (shader model 2.0) and later
    • Storage: 783 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (17 reviews)
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16 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2015
A really fun deckbuilder with a nice video game interface. I actually prefer playing this version than the boardgame as it's easier to see what's going on with action arrows, pigs etc. I've generally played this game in 4 player free-for-alls, but it's got some really great even-playfield, no grind-to-win, no pay-to-win PROPER competitive 1v1 modes too.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2015
Another tabletop adaption makes it's way to my channel this week, and it comes from the minds behind the old Puzzle Fighter HD. The mechanics are solid as the game is known for it's deck building elements, but can that do enough despite an interface that's lacking in several areas? Will the chips fall into place in terms of the multiplayer and the challenge that it gives? Will you go all in on aggro, or will stay back and build up your resources? Will I ask more silly questions in the description of the video? Come find out!

It's nice that there's a virtual version of the famous tabletop game, and the strategy element here has a core RPS element to it, but it's much more complicated then that. Granted, I wish the interface was a lot better: it's servicable, but it shows its browser based routes and some elements of it are particularly ugly. However, I found it to work a lot better then it's browser based counterpart, as online matches were easy to find with no connectivity issues that I could see. If you can stand that, there's a fun core game experience here that will keep your attention in the multiplayer seen, as the different characters do play reasonably different despite only having differences in the character chips. Good deck building mechanics that punish being too aggressive and not thinking about your next move, while giving you reasons to not just horde buying chips. It's fun, I just wish it was better in the end, but you can find out via the browser based version if the game is right for you (if it works).

Gameplay Footage and Video Review: https://youtu.be/w_E828NWyxc

  • Great strategy elements that work on a couple of levels. Good back and forth strategy that has you trying to get two steps ahead of your opponent.
  • Characters being the only unique chip aspect makes it feel like you've got a reasonable chance against anyone, despite maybe having a strong weakness against them.
  • Deck building element does a good job of punishing negative moves but also making sure that you don't go to heavy on one strategy that can't be countered. Good Balance.
  • Network elements work, matchmaking was quick and there's cross-platform which helps things out. No major lag or latency issues as well.
  • Like the Challenge mode that helps bring a little bit of thought and understanding of mechanics, even if it can be a little confusing at times on what it truly wants you to do.

  • The interface and application implementation is ugly. Elements feel tacked on in terms of the interface, and some of the text and color choices are down right bleh.
  • Could have had some animations, some things to help the presentation elements of the game, as again, it's implementation is pretty ugly.
  • Doesn't save information. Even after playing a match, simple choices like who's going first reset to their default, or the chips you've chosen reset on exiting the game. Annoying.
  • Tutorial could be implemented better.
  • Do wish there was some options in terms of gameplay regarding the choosing of chips in the bank, because it would have helped some interesting issues of siding the bank to the host players advantage.
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
44.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
Forget it, it's dead. No playerbase, period. Just now, two hours of waiting, played one MP game. AI is too stupid so you can't really learn to play in singleplayer in preparation to non-existant MP. Almost no youtube videos (other than some reviews). No word of mouth, no advertisement. It has no existing playerbase and no way to keep new players in the game.

Singleplayer... Well, AI can't play it, and given that it's a logic/tactics game, AI = content.

Nice game mechanics, probably one of the best for that type of the game... But without players it's useless.

I added my responce to a comment to this review, i think it will be helpful too.
Keith, i agree that Puzzle Strike is kinda okayish as a singleplayer. But i like Ascension much better as a deckmaking singleplayer game. It has much more different cards and effects, and you can think how to combine them together and it's fun. AI is also weak, but i have more fun playing it because i can play it like, well, a Puzzle game :) Comboing cards, making a deck, things like that.

Puzzle Strike is great differently, it's great in it's simplicity. It's more like chess. But AI can't use the greatness part of Puzzle Strike simplicity :) How top ladder players play in Puzzle Strike (they're like half of the active players actually playing Puzzle Strike)? They see the cards, they see the champions, they make a winning plan and they go for it. AI here doesn't do the "analyze" and "making a plan" part, i think it just buys "good" cards and that's it. The difference is striking. Puzzle Strike is designed as a competitive game, but AI does NOT compete with the player, it just plays randomly based on card weights. AI is just too weak to make use of the best things in a game like Puzzle Strike. They're there, but AI can't show them to you. You need MP for it, but then again, there is no players. That's why i said that it's probably one of the best game mechanics in that kind of game, but unfortunately we can't enjoy it.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2015
Puzzle Strike is a video game adaptation of a board game that's an adaptation of a video game called Super Puzzle Fighter. Yes, that weird Street Fighter spin-off game that plays like Tetris, but isn't quite Tetris. So how does it work? This game is actually a deck-builder similar to games like Dominion. Unlike most deck-builder, this one has a lot more interaction between players and the ultimate goal is to defeat your opponent by crashing Gems into your opponent's gem pile (similiar to filling up your screen in Tetris or Super Puzzle Fighter). The game is also a bit assymetric compared to other deck-builder games in which each player selects a character. Each character has 3 special ability "chips" (cards) that makes them different from other characters changing up how a person plays the game and the strategy they employ. There is more to the game but this, like Yomi, is easy to learn but challenging to master. The PC adaptation is solid, and I think it plays better than the physical boardgame counter-part due to everything being automated.

For more information, check out Watch It Played's Puzzle Strike Guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og01q5_zbD8
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2015
One of the most fun board games on the market, with ridiculous amounts of replay value. Highlly recommended to anyone who likes strategy games!!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2015
Looks like each player starts with the same 7 chips (cards), plus three character-specific special move chips. At the beginning of your turn an ante gem is added to your pool. At the end of your turn you buy a chip from a custom or random bank that is shared by all players. Use the chips you buy to keep your gem pool the lowest and then KO someone else at 10+. I'm having fun with the 4-player AI battles. Thanks for the Linux version!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2015
As a fan of the tabletop game, I'm really happy with how this turned out. It translates well as a video board game as there's no setup, no need for randomizer apps, etc. Moreover, it lets me play when the mood strikes me rather than trying to get people over to play.

The Shadows expansion looks like fun - I'll buy the DLC later on, and will easily be buying the physical version later as well. Well done, very enjoyable, and I've already bought five more copies to gift to friends :)
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2015
The interface feels a bit lacking in some areas but Puzzle Strike is still a very enjoyable, easy to learn game with tons of depth.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
89.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2015
Very nice PC version of a fantastic boardgame. The interface is easy to use, and as a plus, the game comes with puzzles to test your Puzzle Strike skills.
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13 of 24 people (54%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2015
The best of Sirlin's games finally on Steam? Yes, please.

Basically this is a digital version of the board game which is inspired off the old game Puzzle Fighter and the popular deck builder board game Dominion. Unlike Dominion however, there is a ton more player interaction and you get to play as cool fighting game characters in an asymmetrical yet balanced battle to the death throwing gems at each other through pile, hand, and deck management. For me, in real life and on steam, this is my favourite deck builder board game and one of my favourite board games in general.

What's not to love?
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Recently Posted
1.2 hrs
Posted: June 21
This is basically another form of Dominion. You'll love it! :)
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15.1 hrs
Posted: February 28
An excellent successor to Dominion!

Back in college, I got my roommates addicted to Dominion. We played the first four expansions, then years later when the digital version came out, we've been able to play with all of them (except Adventures, as of this writing). It was a rare game that had the perfect balance of strategy, tactics, and randomness to promote table talk and interaction among players. It's an excellent game to play with friends.

With Puzzle Strike, the deckbuilding format is evolved to be more competative and aggressive, with its fascinating Crash Gem mechanic making the game feel more like a bar fight then "multi-player solitaire" as some of Dominion's detractors call it. I wouldn't go so far as to say its better than Dominion, but it definitely has a strong, competative feel that makes it exciting in ways Dominion never was.

If you like Dominion or other deckbuilders, this is an excellent game. If you are new to the genre, I'd start with Ascension or Dominion to get a feel for if that style of game is right for you. This game does have a little more of a learning curve compared to those games, and plays a bit different from other deck builders, but it is well worth the time it takes to master it.
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0.3 hrs
Posted: January 23
Really hard to understand and the tutorial is horrible. A waste of $15. I dont reccomend this game at all.
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15.4 hrs
Posted: January 1
Brilliant strategy depth!
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39.0 hrs
Posted: December 31, 2015
If this game didn't have deep systemic problems, more of the reviewers recommending it would be playing it. But the matchmaking is dead, and that speaks volumes.

Here are some reasons why:
Random banks skew matchups far too drastically. It's a shame, because when this game works, in a fair matchup, it can be glorious.

This game either needs a chip drafting stage before the game starts (adding to gameplay length, unfortunately), or it needs to let you see the random bank and then pick your character (this is how the remaining fans currently run tournaments).

Also, the power level spread on the characters is far to wide. There are barely a handful of tournament-viable characters.

There are ample technical glitches, but the UI is totally slick. This IS the best way to play Puzzle Strike, from an interface perspective.

In light of the game's issues, not a lot of people play it, so good luck finding opponents.
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