Intro to Splash Clash on Lake Street


Staff member
Hi! I've been working on this game on and off for a couple of years, but I thought I'd make a small introductory post about it just so that everyone knows what's coming.

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Cover illustration by Ana Lozada
The game is based on David Sirlin's great game Puzzle Strike, but it's different in a few key ways. If you know Puzzle Strike pretty well already, here's the quick layout of the differences which will give you an idea of what this game is like.
It's like Puzzle Strike, except:
- Played with cards; designed to be super-portable
- Standard play is random characters, random market
- Four character cards instead of three
- New "Zone Cards" which go along the sides of the market; have a "when you buy" action that happens when you buy cards in this row. These are probably the single coolest overall new thing about the game; I'll write up some shit about them at some point soon
- No combine cards; instead, character cards and market cards combine
- Way better art and theme
- Totally new character cards and action cards
- All players have 1 "pig" every turn
- A bit easier to learn
- Probably a bit less balanced (although this may change over time!)

If you don't know Puzzle Strike, here's the deal!

Adults may deny them, but all the kids here on Lake Street know the stories about the strange creatures who live here. The fire cat, the giant lobster, the hideous and terrible Lake Boy. The children all have heard the stories, seen the evidence, and some claim to have seen the creatures themselves. One day, the kids on Lake Street got together and hatched a plan: "The monsters have roamed the forest, the lake, and even our backyards for long enough", pronounced the kids. "It's time we declare a WATER BALLOON FIGHT." From then on, every summer, a great and splashy battle was had. Some emerged relatively dry and victorious, and were able to attend the barbecue. Others... well, they had to go home and towel off, drenched, but still clinging to life. Choose your character, create some awkwardly huge water balloons and test your water-fighting skills against some of the toughest opponents Lake Street has to offer. Good luck!

Splash Clash on Lake Street is a deckbuilding game for 2-4 players (primarily 2 players). In the game, you use your character special abilities, buy new cards and build your deck as you play (similar to Dominion or Ascension). Your Soakometer builds up water over time, and if you get too wet, you have to go inside and dry off - and the first player that has to do so is the loser!

On your turn, you're playing cards from your hand which cause you to draw cards, Splash the other player, or do other cool and interesting things. If your Splashometer is 10 or higher at the end of your turn, you lose.

At launch, Splash Clash will have 6 characters and 13 unique action cards. More characters and action cards will be released in an expansion. There will also be a digital version available (more details on that coming soon).

I'm waiting on some graphic design stuff and some final testing before soft-launching the game. What do you think so far? Thinking of Kickstarting the game, but I'm worried it's not something Kickstarter would be excited about. Any other thoughts?
What do you mean by "soft launch"? If your plan is to go to kickstarter, then as a new board game designer, it would absolute benefit you to give the game away as a print-and-play prototype, to instil trust in your potential customers, to garner some pre-publication playthrough videos or reviews, and to broaden your playtest audience.

I would also suggest revisiting the pitch to work as more than an answer to Puzzle Strike. You could say (and Sirlin more or less does) that Puzzle Strike is a direct response to perceived deficiencies in Dominion, but his thesis -- Dominion, but designed for serious competitive play -- addresses a need that enough players could get behind. Your listed deviations, as interesting as they might be in practice, are lacking the bold idea that would make me give the game a shot on Kickstarter.

Finally, as someone who's played a fair amount of Puzzle Strike, but has had difficulty converting new players due to the high skill curve, I suspect your cute and approachable theming might be at odds with the cutthroat, skill + elimination core of Puzzle Strike. Based on your flavor summary, I would expect something more casual and luck based, closer to Exploding Kittens than a Sirlin competitive classic. The art has attitude and a unique style that aren't inherently cutesy - I like it! It's more that Puzzle Strike is a special kind of competitive -- it's demanding and unforgiving in way that makes it hard to bring out on a casual game night. You say "a bit easier to learn" - I'm curious to see just how much easier.

Concerns about messaging aside, I love a good deck builder and am excited to try it.
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