Thrift Treasure: Scramblitz Pattern Game

Scramblitz - Box and board

I’m a sucker for games in metal boxes like Curios, Snail Sprint, or 99 or Bust. Many hate them because they come in all shapes and sizes, yet don’t stack well. I feel the colors pop more and the medium allows for embossing to highlight the title or other key areas. Plus, there’s the added feature of them not crushing or tearing like regular cardboard boxes do.

Mindware published this copy of Scramblitz in 2011 and received a mediocre reception. This example only set us back $1.88 at Goodwill last week. It’s a game about pattern matching with a small twist to make it a bit more challenging than just lining up tiles to match a picture.

Scramblitz - Contents of tin box

Inside the tin are fifty puzzle cards, six sets of sixteen pattern tiles, six playing mats and the instructions. The object of each round of play is to be the first person to arrange their personal set of pattern tiles so they match the puzzle card in play.

Scramblitz - example of one of the challenge cards

Each person receives a play mat and a set of pattern tiles. These are conveniently punched with a shape, making sorting into sets easy. The puzzle cards are mixed and laid face-down in the center of the play area. Choose a player to begin the game by asking them to reveal the topmost card from the puzzle card deck.

Scramblitz - putting a tile on the player's board

All players will race to arrange their tiles to recreate the pattern depicted on the puzzle card. The twist is that each smaller pattern appears only twice on each set of tiles. Additionally, they will have different backs, which could be solid black or white. So, if you use one tile to complete the challenge, it may hide the other pattern you need at a different point in the puzzle. You may need to rearrange and flip over pattern tiles several times before you arrive at the correct solution.

Scramblitz - closeup of challenge card showing the point value

The first person to complete the puzzle slaps their hand over the puzzle card and yells, “Scramblitz”. After checking their solution for accuracy, they get to claim the card and points depicted. Each card is worth a varying number of points depending upon how complex the challenge is. The first player to collect puzzle cards totaling twenty-five points or more is the winner of Scramblitz.

Scramblitz is an easy game to learn and play. Your success is determined by your ability to recognize patterns and keep track of what is on the back of each tile you place. Sometimes you get lucky, and things just fall into place, while other times it’ll be better to just dump your board and start over. You can find collectible copies of Scramblitz on Amazon from third party sellers. I would wait until you find one at thrift for a couple of dollars.

Do you feel you’re good at finding patterns in things?

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