I know I’ve mentioned this a bunch of times before, but I’ve spent most of my life playing Magic the Gathering. Back when I didn’t have a whole lot going on in my life, I basically structured my week around attending Friday Night Magic, and definitely planned my schedule around going to any large tournaments that were inside of a reasonable drive from where I was at the time. Then… Life happened, I did boring things like buy a house, and other adult-y stuff that started getting in the way of being able to be somewhere from anywhere between one to three days where all I was doing was playing Magic.
Then Hearthstone (Free) came along and scratched a lot of the same itches as Magic except I could play anywhere I wanted, whenever I had time, and this only got better when they released the iPhone client. But Hearthstone shares the same problem as all CCG’s in that if you don’t spend a ton of time following the game you’re really never going to be able to play competitively. So, I’ve just been playing supremely casually and really sinking my teeth into the single player components that have been released. Both Kobold & Catacombs’ Dungeon Run and The Witchwood’s Monster Hunt have been incredible… But The Boomsday Project’s Puzzle Lab is the best yet.
The way this new single player game mode works is a lot like the segments Blizzard sometimes run between games during actual Hearthstone streams where they show a board state and you’re supposed to figure out how to kill your opponent in one turn. After the break, the answer is revealed. I always really liked that, and Project Lab is effectively that segment blown out into an entire game mode which I absolutely am loving. In all, there’s four different sets of puzzles:
- Lethal: You have whatever is your hand (and at times whatever you can draw from your deck) to kill your opponent on your turn.
- Mirror: Similarly, you need to use whatever resources you have at your disposal to mirror the other side of the board- Both with minions and the health of the minions.
- Board Clear: These puzzles involve using your hand, minions, and any other tricks up your sleeve to do a complete board clear in a single turn.
- Survival: Another interesting mode, in Survival, you need to heal to full to survive the enemy hero power which causes 29 damage.
Each mode obviously has its own twist, but what I really like about it is that every puzzle has a solution. I had a ton of fun in the previous game modes, but to say RNG can be unbelievably brutal in either Dungeon Run or Monster Hunt would be … an understatement. If you’re really stuck in Puzzle Lab, and just want to spoil it for yourself, you can just look up the solutions on Google.
I’ve been avoiding doing that, as it has been super fun getting stuck and figuring a puzzle is just impossible… Then moving on to doing something else for a while and having the epiphany of coming up with the solution. It also makes you think of clever new ways to use old staple cards, which is also pretty fascinating. Either way, Puzzle Lab is totally free for everyone to try, and it doesn’t require you having any cards to play. While you’re in the single player section of the game, make sure to give Monster Hunt and Dungeon Run a spin too if you missed either of those for whatever reason.