Duel Puzzles are Puzzles in which the player is given a fixed Duel scenario and must win within a single turn. They are used widely in video games to earn Duelist Points to buy packs in games. They usually are unlocked when a challenge in the game has been completed.
Duel Puzzles make their video game debut in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Duel Academy as "Timed Duels" and turn up frequently during the many examinations. Players are often graded based on how long they spent to solve the puzzle. Subsequent video games include Duel Puzzles in one form or another, often as an optional challenge with an achievement for completing every single one. In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2011: Over the Nexus a Duel Puzzle editor is added, where players can create their own Duel Puzzles and post them online for others to play and rate them.
Duel Puzzles are pre-set Duel situations in which both the opponent and the player have a fixed game, this includes:
- Life Points
- Monsters of any kind (face up, face down, effect, etc.)
- Face down/up Trap/Spell cards
- A limited hand
- Extra Decks
- Removed from play cards
The objective of the player is to defeat the opponent with the given cards usually within the single turn given, usually by using all the cards given to them. It is common to see the opponent having a ridiculously high amount of Life Points such there is only one method to do just enough damage to bring them to 0, and the player themselves having a ridiculously low amount of Life Points to minimize the room for error allowed their solution. Fortunately, for the player, they have the ability to check otherwise unknown information, like order of the cards in either player's Deck, or any cards the opponent has face-down or in their hand.
Puzzles do often give a few tries to the player before the puzzle is considered a total loss. Sometimes losing once or more is needed to solve the puzzle effectively, either to understand what Set cards the opponent has or how they will react with those cards, in order for the player to better plan their strategy in subsequent attempts. It is important to note, that regardless of the times a certain puzzle is played, the cards available for the puzzle will NEVER change, and as such the player must carefully make sure to check all cards on the field, and even those that are either removed or in the graveyard, and those of the opponent as well, as some puzzles even demand that the player makes use of the opponent's cards to solve them.
In the anime
Duel Puzzles were shown twice in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. The first was in episode 80 when Yusei Fudo and Bruno hacked Sector Security's computer. The second time was in episode 115 in an arcade. In episode 21 of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, there was another Duel Puzzle that was used as a password to a safe of a jewellery store, which Lillybot and her colleagues unlocked to steal the jewels.