Pajaggle: A Review and Giveaway

Pajaggle

Pajaggle touts itself as "the game that thinks it's a puzzle" – if games could think, this could certainly be true. It could also be marketed as "the puzzle that is played like a game". Either way, it fits the bill as a puzzle/game combination that combines dexterity with quick thinking to create a somewhat unique experience that anyone can pick up very quickly.

I was first introduced to this game at Gen Con earlier this year, where folks were lining up to give it a try in a carnival-style competition. The presenter challenged the passers-by to successfully fit 30 pieces into the correct slots in a 2-minute window, in exchange for a free t-shirt. Easy, right? That's what I thought until I gave it a try and fell embarassingly short of the goal. So, what makes it so challenging?

Gameplay

While there are many different variations of play, the core of the game comes down to quickly matching up plastic pieces into the corresponding slots on the tray - this may bring to mind the game Perfection, which is somewhat similar. The key difference, aside from the inclusion of many different game variants, is that the shapes are much more difficult to match up. Rather than matching basic shapes like squares and hexagons, most of the shapes in Pajaggle are stars or gears that differ only subtly - such as one more spoke or point, a slightly different spoke shape, or a slight variation in size. Some of the pieces even consist of an inner and outer piece that must be combined to fill in a single slot.

These subtleties really bump up the level of difficulty. At times, you may find yourself trying a slot over and over again, sure that it is the right one, when really it isn't. Sometimes, it is the right slot but it needs a slight rotation to fit in just right. Other pieces you may not find a slot for at all because they were designed to fit within another piece instead of a slot. Occasionally, you may find yourself forcing a piece into a slot you believe to be the right one, then find your piece stuck in the slot because you were wrong (a tool is provided with the game to easily dislodge pieces, when necessary).

Some of the variants include placing as many pieces as you can within a certain time limit, racing an opponent to build a path across the board, or (my personal favorite) taking turns placing a single piece within a short time limit while the other players count down. No matter what version you prefer, practice is required to fully grasp the subtle differences in the shapes and improve your performance.

Review

Pajaggle is a very short, simple game that is essentially a competitive puzzle, whether competing against the clock or another player. It relies on dexterity and speed (rather than light decision-making) to provide a fun experience, which we found to be much more addictive than expected. I see it as a fun family activity (read: especially good for kids) that anyone can pick up extremely quickly.

However, it is important to note that with one copy of the game, game play is quite limited. Most of the game variants either require or are far better with multiple Pajaggle boards. Ideally, each player in the group should have his or her own board (which vary in color combinations) to make the most of the experience – and at $20 to $30 per board, it can add up. Also, some of the pieces seem to fit less snugly than others, which caused a bit of confusion in our plays. Even so, it's a fun game that can add some adrenaline-pumping fun to your family game night.

Pros: Addictive, fun puzzle game

Cons: Additional boards required for the full experience

Full disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.

Giveaway

Now you have the chance to get started with Pajaggle! We have a brand new copy that will be delivered just in time for Christmas, so be sure to enter the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Griffin Patterson
Griffin Patterson's picture

I would personally love to see a Month of Kickstarter just Kickstarter section with a few big hit campaigns that give the small time game designer a chance to advertise. I know that this half of the year alone, I have loved Drunk Quest, Jungle Ascent, Mr. Card Game and Boss Monster.

Ricki
Griffin Patterson's picture

I would love to see giveaways of any of the Stratus games - especially Eruption.

adrienn
Griffin Patterson's picture

Hoop Cat's Fill the Barn.

Jim@greatbigtab...
Griffin Patterson's picture

I'd love to see coverage of these great games:

Liar's Dice

Wits and Wagers

Pit

Lost Cities

Carnival

Tsuro and Tsuro of the Sea

Tiki Topple

Forbidden Island

Word on the Street