I’m a child of the 80’s. I grew up with a GameBoy in my hands, and Tetris was an obsession. What is it about those polyomino shapes that demand such attention? I also grew up in a family whose first names all start with L. So when I saw Project L, a game with a Tetris mechanism, I knew I needed it!
What’s Project L all about?
In Project L, the goal is to draft puzzle boards from a central marketplace. Each board has a pattern that must be filled using Tetris shaped pieces. When the puzzles are complete, you gain a new bonus piece and victory points*. The more pieces you have, the faster you can complete additional puzzles!
Not all (but most) puzzle pieces are worth victory points!
How do you play?
Each player is allowed to take 3 actions per turn, and any action can be taken multiple times. These actions include:
- Drafting a new puzzle board from the central market
- Gaining a level 1 Tetris piece from the supply
- Upgrading a Tetris piece one level, or swapping it for a different shape of the same level. *See Below
- Place a single Tetris piece on a one puzzle
- Use the Master Action which gives players the ability to place a single Tetris piece on each puzzle they are currently working on (this action can only be used once per turn).
The most interesting part of Project L is figuring out how to use the Master Action. You don’t really want to build one puzzle at a time. That’s not productive. It’s much better to draft multiple puzzle boards so you can use the Master Action to place one Tetris piece on each of your puzzles as a single action. Remember, the more puzzles you can complete, the more pieces you can add to your supply! In a game as quick as Project L, there’s no time to mess around.
Project L Tetris Pieces
The pieces in Project L all have a value as you can see below in the chart. All players begin the game with one level 1 and level 2 piece. You can earn more polyominoes by completing puzzles, or you can use an action to upgrade your piece to the next higher level.
What do we think?
Project L is an incredibly fast-paced board game. You can pull the game off the shelf, set it up, and play an entire game in less than 20 minutes. There’s not a lot of engine building games out there that can say the same. It’s a very light weight game; far lighter than I expected it to be, but it’s fun.
- It’s extremely rewarding to develop your polyomino engine in Project L. You start with just a couple pieces, but your supply grows rapidly.
- You can teach this game to just about anyone in a couple minutes.
- Easy setup and takedown.
- The components are fantastic. Thick, double-layered puzzle boards. Colorful, tactile polyominoes to play with. The player boards aren’t particularly fancy, but they work just fine!
- There’s enough strategy to keep it interesting, but not enough to overwhelm young kids.
- The BGG weight rating for Project L is only 1.53. If the game wasn’t so quick, I might feel like this game is too light for us.
- Replayablity is questionable.
Has anyone played the expansion for this board game? Project L: Finesse? It sounds like it adds some depth, but I’m not certain that’s necessary for a quick game like this. Would love to hear some opinions!