Polyominoes Meet Engine Building in Project L | Casual Game Revolution

Polyominoes Meet Engine Building in Project L

Puzzle L

Choose your puzzles carefully, build up a supply of puzzle pieces, and master the art of solving in this competitive puzzle game.

Published by Boardcubator, Project L is a Tetris-style puzzle game for 1-4 players, with engine-building elements. So how exactly does that combination work?


Project L consists of 135 puzzle pieces of varying sizes and shapes. The simplest, smallest squares are level-one puzzle pieces, while the larger and more complex shapes belong to higher levels. At the start of the game, each player takes a level-one and a level-two piece. The white puzzle deck is shuffled, and four puzzle tiles are drawn to form a display. The same is done with the black puzzle deck. These puzzle tiles show a recessed puzzle space that you must fill with the puzzle pieces to complete it. They also show how many points it is worth, and what new puzzle piece you add to your supply for completing it.

On your turn, you can take three actions. These actions can be spent in a number of ways. As long as you do not already have four unfinished puzzles, you can take a puzzle tile from the display (you draw a new one from the respective deck to replace it) or draw the top puzzle from either deck. You can reset either the white or black tiles by placing them at the bottom of their respective deck and refilling the display. You can take a level-one puzzle piece from the bank and add it to your supply. You can upgrade a puzzle piece from your supply by trading it in for another piece that is one level higher (or, alternatively, trade it for any piece at the same or lower level). You can place a piece from your supply into the recessed area of any of your unsolved puzzles, as long as it does not overlap any other pieces or the edge of the recessed space. Finally, once per turn, you can perform the master action, which allows you to place up to one piece into each of your puzzle tiles. Once a puzzle piece has been placed, it cannot be moved until the puzzle it is in has been completed.

When you complete one of your puzzles, you return all the puzzle pieces you used to your supply and place the tile face-down in your score pile.

The game ends once the black puzzle deck has run out and everyone has had one final turn. After the final round, players can place any number of their pieces left in their supply into their puzzles, but each piece placed this way will lose you one point.

Your final score is the number of points gained from your completed puzzles, minus the points marked on each incomplete puzzle you have and the number of pieces you placed after the last round. The player with the most points wins.

Puzzle L Components


Project L blends a fun and familiar style of puzzle, with a clever engine-building mechanism. As you gain more and more puzzle pieces for your supply, there is a great sense of escalation. allowing you to complete more and more complex puzzles. The result is an intriguing blend of Ubongo and Splendor; an excellent mixture of engine-building and puzzle-solving.

The game is elegantly simple. The rulebook takes up only a few pages (at least for the original edition). It’s quick and easy to grasp, with familiar concepts, and the player boards do an excellent job of reminding people what the available actions are, as well as which level each puzzle piece belongs to.

Gameplay is fast, with turns going quickly. Since the only thing that can change for you between turns is the tiles in the display, you can also plan your next turn while your opponents are taking theirs, figuring out how you’re going to solve your puzzles.

How you use your actions is key. It’s strategically important to use the master action whenever you can (if you have multiple unfinished puzzles), but you also want to ensure the puzzle pieces in your supply allow you to get the most out of the action when you do use it. The puzzle of the game isn’t just about how to complete each tile but how to do it in the most efficient way possible.

The components are excellent, with the tiles nice and thick, and the recessed areas make it easy to fit the puzzle pieces inside. It’s also quite satisfying when you complete a puzzle and fill in that space. The game box is also quite compact and doesn’t take up any unnecessary space. However, the solid-black surface of the box and some of the components makes the game prone to fingerprints. Also, at the time of writing this review, the availability of the game in the United States is still limited despite being released in 2020.

We had a great experience with Project L. A beautiful twist on familiar concepts, it feels fresh, clever, and original. If you can get your hands on it, we highly recommend it

Pros: Blend of puzzle and engine-building mechanics, fast turns, easy to teach, excellent components

Cons: Limited availability in the U.S., prone to fingerprints