We were sent the new Puzzle Wars game from TOMY for review. This is one of three new games they have recently released, and the strategy and puzzle aspect of this game immediately appealed to me.

The concept of Puzzle Wars is to race your opponent to match the shape patterns shown on the cards, or you can race the in built timer in the game and play alone.

When you first open the box, there is some minimal assembly required to put the board together. The pieces snap into place, creating a double sided playing board with space for the challenge card to slot in the middle, visible to players on both sides.

The shape pieces also need to be snapped out before you can play. Unfortunately, this leaves a lot of sharp edges on the pieces and seriously lets down the game in terms of quality and usability.

As you can see below, there are lots of jagged pieces left on the edge of almost every single shape. Perhaps after sanding every piece, the game would be much more playable but I feel this is something that really should have been done by TOMY prior to packaging the games. If the pieces had smooth edges and came ready to use then our experience with the game would have been a lot different, and much more positive.

The game comes with three levels of difficulty – each using a different shaped board to work with. The easy level is a simple square to fill, medium is a hexagon, and the most difficult is with a star. It’s great to have this level of variety making the game play suitable for beginners and younger players, but also keeping it interesting for slightly older players, or more advanced players after you’ve been playing for a while and built up your skills.

Filling the shape patterns can be quite challenging, as you can see the shapes sometimes need to be made up of two or more shape pieces in the same colour, making it more tricky.

The concept is great, and the level is really good for children 8+ to offer a fun challenge and get their brains working while having fun. Unfortunately the quality of the pieces was a major issue for us. As well as having sharp edges meaning that you have to be careful in handling them, it also meant that the pieces won’t always fit flush into the shape as they are supposed to so does affect playability. When you’re racing against the clock, having pieces that don’t fit properly is extremely frustrating.

I really hope that TOMY could release an updated version of the game with this issue dealt with, as the concept has so much potential and in theory this would have been a fantastic game.

Visit the TOMY games site to see the full range of games available.