Project L Board Game Review
Project L has been a project on my radar for a long time. Project L was released as a Kickstarter project in 2018 by Boardcubator and was also available in 2020 with the launch of their expansion on Kickstarter.
I heard about the game on the 2020 Kickstarter and was very interested in the game. I am a big fan of puzzles and Tetris as a board game sounded interesting to me. I didn't actually back the project, but the game did end up on my wishlist for a very long time.
I started searching for Project L a bit later to see if I could find one in a retail store, but there was nothing in stock. However, in 2022, I was able to secure myself a copy and it was exactly what I expected. Tetris as a board game. In this review, I'll go over the gameplay, components, and what I think of it. I won't go over the rules as I am sure there are smarter people out there that can teach this game much better than I would be able to.
So what is Project L exactly? Project L is a drafting and tile placement game. The game can be played from 1-4 players and has an estimated playing time of 20-40 minutes.
In Project L, you take puzzles and try to complete them with the pieces that you have. Whenever you complete a puzzle, you'll take those pieces back along with the piece that you've won by completing the puzzle. This way, you start with easier puzzles to gather more pieces and eventually go towards harder puzzles to gather more points.
Each puzzle has a difficulty rating, which is also equal to the number of points. So harder = more points, but also requires you to place more pieces. You are able to have a total of 4 puzzles in front of you at the time and you need to do 4 actions each turn. These actions either require you to take a puzzle, place a piece on a puzzle (or puzzles), or by upgrading your pieces to more complex pieces.
Does that sound confusing? Don't worry, it really isn't a confusing game at all. The rulebook is a total of 4 pages, but I think everything could have fitted on a single page. It really isn't a difficult game to play. Which makes it ideal as a family game.
The gameplay is easy, but there are choices that you have to make. The most important choice in this game is when you'll switch to completing more difficult puzzles instead of staying at the simple ones. The more difficult puzzles usually don't reward any good pieces, so you can easily get yourself stranded if you start completing difficult puzzles too early. However, if you start completing difficult puzzles too late, you won't be as efficient and you risk that your opponents complete more puzzles than you. In the end, there are only a limited amount of difficult puzzles that can be completed.
The components of Project L are brilliant. You can really see that they wanted to use the theme of Tetris here. The pieces are beautiful pieces that feel nice in the hand and satisfying to place in the multi-layered puzzles. You can see that there was a lot of thought and love put into the components of this game.
The gameplay of Project L isn't very deep. The more difficult puzzles can usually be solved by using the biggest pieces, you usually just need some time to figure that out. Also, there is no time limit to worry about, so it isn't exactly like Tetris.
Therefore replayability doesn't feel very high to me. Don't get me wrong, I'll play this game multiple times, but I know that the gameplay loop will most likely be the same as previous playthroughs. I'll just need to solve some different puzzles and make sure I get all the good pieces.
Expansions might fix this, but I don't currently own any so I can't talk about that.
I think Project L is a brilliant game. I also think this game is a very good game to try and get people into the world of board gaming. This game is easy to explain and a lot of fun to play. The components are also just amazing. There are more expansive games out there with components that aren't as good as the components of Project L.
However, the gameplay isn't very deep and therefore I feel that replayability isn't very either. I like getting the game to the table, but it wouldn't be the star of the evening after a few games.
But all in all, I think Project L is definitely something you want to get if you are into small puzzles, like Tetris, and don't want to play a very heavy board game.
I hope you liked this review about Project L. If you want to stay up to date with what I do on Budgetboardgaming, then please follow me on Twitter. Thank you!