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It's not too hard to see where Slide Blast gets its pedigree: Metro, Indigo , Tsuro are just the most well-known games in the tile-laying route-building genre. So can Slide Blast bring something new to the table?
First of all, it's not abstract like Indigo or mean like Tsuro and it doesn't have Metro's confusing looks and finicky setup. Instead, it has a fun theme, encourages helping rather than messing with your opponent and it plays very quickly. This means it's a game I can play with the whole family more easily than other games of this kind.
Slide Blast also introduces a couple of new mechanisms.
When you play a high speed tile, you get an extra turn. This does mean that a player who gets lucky with the tile draw can have a big advantage, but this bonus turn seems fairly balanced with the the bonus tokens.
You get one of these tokens when an opponent can move on your turn. The tokens give bonus points at the end of the game (1 point for 1 token, 3 for 2 tokens, etc). So rather than build off on your own, it's worth staying near your opponents - either to profit from their tile play or to move them along and snatch a token.
Finally, there are the attraction tiles. These are huge triple tiles with lots of slides and tunnels that can even warp you to the other side of the board in a single move. This brings a very nice surprise element to the board.
The components are high quality. The tiles have a nice thickness, (the attraction tiles are even double thickness) and everything looks cheerful and bright, from the playing pieces to the bonus tiles.
Well, the positions on the starting tiles are fixed and depend on the player colours. With 2 or 3 players in particular, this can mean someone starts out from the opposite side. As a result, that player will have a harder time helping their opponents and getting those bonus tokens. This is of course easy to fix, it just means you won't always be able to play with your chosen colour.
The insert wells also seem slightly too tight and they could also have been a tad deeper. That being said, I was very pleased to see there actually was an insert, with folded cardboard being the norm these days
In all, I am very glad I pre-ordered this for pickup at Essen and I am sure we'll have lots of fun with it in the months to come!
Can anyone tell me how the high speed works? Can't understand it from the rules... what is a high speed tile?
High-speed tiles can be recognized by the red marks on the slide. When you play one of these tiles, you immediately get another turn.