Jason Moslander
United States
Fenton
Missouri
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Many times when I get an expansion to a game, I am really excited, but then I hardly get to use it because I am almost always playing with new players and adding additional rules will make the game more confusing. However, Puzzle Strike Upgrade Pack does everything, but that. If anything this expansion makes the game easier to play, easier to understand, and increases it's awesomeness by ten fold.

I have only ever played Puzzle Strike with the Upgrade Pack, but I can imagine the difficulty of playing this game without it. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Puzzle Strike, check out my review here and then come back and read the rest of this post -> http://bit.ly/xNEYU6l. Welcome back or if you never left thanks for continuing to read, but I digress.

With the Upgrade Pack you get four player mats (think mouse pad material, if your under 10, Google 'mouse pad') that allow you to play all of your chips in front of you in an organized manner. It also allows your opponents to see what chips are in play, what has been discarded, and how many gems are in your gem pile. The mat also has some great quick references such as how many chips you draw and the order of your turn. The artwork on these is great and they are of the utmost quality.

Secondly, you get four player screens. These are used to hide your chip hand. Gone are the days of having to hide your chips or try to hold them in your hand. These boards are full color and very solid. They are not just low grade cardboard or paper. They also have some great retro video game artwork that will make you laugh and reminisce about the days of playing Contra on your Nintendo. These player screens make the game run smoother, which makes the game more fun.

Finally, you get more chips. Sirlin has modified all of the player chips to make them more balanced, and they have added three new puzzle chips that can diversify your gaming experience. Since I consider myself a Puzzle Strike novice, I can't say much about the player chips. From my plays and first glance, they do seem to balance things out more. The extra puzzle chips are also a plus as they add more game variations and increase the replay ability of this wonderful game.

This is one of the best expansions that I have had a chance to play. David Sirlin listened to what the fans of the game wanted added to there game, and then gave it to them. I know so many times that I have been playing a game and wished they would have added a certain component or feature, and you never see it. This isn't the case with Puzzle Strike. The game has been upgraded and it makes it a better gaming experience. My one and only complaint is that it's difficult to squeeze all my new stuff into the one Puzzle Strike box. I love this expansion and cannot imagine playing this great game without it.

For more go to www.gameswithtwo.com
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Michael Kefauver
United States
Saint Charles
Illinois
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Sigh... This review really makes me wish I had a version of the game that I could get the upgrade kit for. Good review.
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Jason Moslander
United States
Fenton
Missouri
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I think the mats and screens are the best part of the expansion, and I believer those you would be able to use with the first edition. Not 100% sure though as I don't have the first edition.
 
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Michael Kefauver
United States
Saint Charles
Illinois
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Oh, I have no doubt that the screens and mats would work with my deluxe-edition wood bits, I just can't justify buying an expansion that I literally can't use the gameplay-changing pieces of without buying a totally new base game at full retail price. I printed out mats already, some of those nice user-designed ones, and I have a few DM screens from various RPGs I can use to screen hands, and I enjoy it, but it'd be a bit like buying the Resident Evil Deckbuilding Game expansion just for the bigger box.
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Michael Cox
Japan
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Why not buy it online?

http://www.miniaturemarket.com/puzzle-strike.html
 
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Jason Moslander
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Missouri
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Or if you live in the STL, like I do, you just walk on over to Miniatures Market.
 
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