Puzzle Battle is a game for ages 6 and up that puts two players — or two teams — in a race to complete their puzzle first. It plays in about 15 minutes.
What makes this family game fun (and it is fun) is that the puzzles are similar, and all the pieces are contained in a bright, happy tin.
I played Puzzle Battle Princes, which has a fairy tale theme with a naughty dragon, a scolding prince, and a disgusted princess. There are two other themes available from Blue Orange Games, Puzzle Battle Jungle and Puzzle Battle Pirates.
Each player gets a model of what his or her 30-piece puzzle should look like. The two models are almost the same. The pictures are reversed and the colors differ, but only slightly.
Players are allowed five pieces in front of them at a time. If they get pieces that don’t go to their puzzle, they throw them back in the tin and draw more out.
Sounds easy, right? It’s not. And I say this as a grown woman who played Puzzle Battle with a grown man who is an avowed puzzle fan.
There was enough challenge here for both of us because the pieces look just similar enough.
Even though my opponent is much better at puzzles than I am, we finished within seconds of each other.
Why? As he finished his puzzle, my pieces were crowding the tin, making his harder to find.
This is the game’s genius, what makes it for perfect for kids of varying abilities and for adults and kids to play together. It balances itself.
Even so, the rules — which fit on the front and back of one small piece of paper — give options for making the game harder for adults and older children playing against younger children.
It also offers a cooperative game, where instead of putting pieces that don’t match your puzzle back in the tin, you give them to the other player. This would make for a harmonious experience.
But Puzzle Battle is at its best when it is what its title suggests — a battle.
The game sells online from $11.99 to $14.95. It’s a great addition to any family game collection.