Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Smash Up» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Novel Idea rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
John Hansel
United States
Spencer
IA
flag msg tools
Avatar
Intro

Smash Up offers a fun and new idea to card games. Combine two factions together and watch them wreak havoc on each other. There is something here for everyone from the base game alone.

Players start by combining two decks/factions. When I played I was the Pirate Dinosaurs. I say there is something for everyone because you can always find someone that likes pirates, dinosaurs, zombies, ninjas, leprechauns, wizards, bots, etc. Each faction has it's own ability. Some factions have a more powerful relationship than others.

Gameplay

On your turn you get to play a minion (minions have a number assigned to them based on their status). Minions are played on bases. When the value of the minions on the base meets or exceeds the total for that base, then the base scores. Players score points based on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place when the base is broken.

Players also get to play an action. Actions allow players to break the rules. More often than not actions have a take that element to them, messing up other player's plans.

Components

The cards are of nice quality and the art is great.

Verdict

Be prepared to read a lot. Each card has a paragraph explaining what it does. Even after repeated plays you'll have to ask what cards mean and do. Many cards have ongoing effects and often you'll hear, "What does that card do again?" In this way the variable setup can be a bad thing because you have to learn or re-learn what each faction does every game. That means more reading and remembering.

Each turn you draw 2 new cards. You can opt to play no cards and build your hand size up to 10. This means that you are at the mercy of your cards. There really is no way to burn or cycle through cards faster than the two cards you draw every turn. The last game I played (Pirate Dinosaurs) I didn't get close to halfway through my deck before the game ended. I looked at the cards I didn't get to use after the game and they were pretty powerful. There should be a way to skip your turn, discard the cards in your hand, and draw a new set of 5 cards.

Overall I feel like this game plays you. There are not a lot of choices to be had. It's pretty obvious what to do on your turn with the cards you have available to you. Often there isn't much you can do because your cards aren't any good. They are sitting at the bottom of your deck laughing at you.

I understand that there are races that let you get through your deck. Two of the players had gone through their decks twice while me and another player didn't get close to going through once.

I am talking about one experience in my review but I have played this game a couple times and each experience has been the same. Last night the player that went first won the game. On my next turn (I followed him) I could have gotten 15 points as well. How can it be that it in modern gaming there isn't a rule for equal turns? It is a clear advantage to have an extra turn. Splendor, another race to 15 game, does this much better giving every player the same amount of turns.

This is a light game. Not that, that's a bad thing. My problem with this game is that it's weight does not match it's length. In other words, a game this light should not take 45 minutes to play. Guillotine, another game with fair amount of reading and an equal amount of randomness, has a much better ratio of weight to length. Both games require luck and your moves are obvious, but I would rather play Guillotine over this any day.

This game offers a novel idea but instead you end up playing a novel and not one that is all that great. I would read it, I mean play it again, but it wouldn't be my first choice. I give it a 6 out of 10.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Hicks
United States
Evansville
IN
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review. Would have to disagree with you though. The very chance mechanic you have a problem with is the very mechanic I love best about the game. There is a lot of chance in the smash you pull off. And besides, I don't feel the reading is over the top

Still nice review and opinion.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think there's several things about Smash up. Okay maybe two or three, it's not a subtle intricate game, it's more of a wysiwyg.

1. It's light. It's supposed to be stupid fun. Compared to actual competition in its niche (Munchkin, Gloom and other take that games) Smash up actually gives you choices that make sense.
2. It's free for all conflict game in the shape of area majority. You don't play your deck, you play the opponents. If people gang up on a person whose deck is stronger they will at the least even out (more probably you don't stand a chance if everybody gangs up on you).
Most of the issues of OP are dealt with here: luck evens out with proper bashing the leader, you don't have good cards? - say it out loud, point at the person in front, whine, if you have to. Same with game turns - gang up on the first player, if you have to.

However:

3. Some people you should not play this with. Ideal player should be able to read all cards in their hand in 10 seconds, formulate their plan with 2-3 backup plans while other players take their turn and take around 30 seconds max. for their turn. I have no idea what's the deal with reading that give some people problems, from the experience with people whom I've played the game with: do not play with control freaks. There is no perfect plan in SU, there is no optimal move, just play something, it's a light fluffy game, treat it as such. It's one of the mysteries of the game - some people claim it's too complicated, while the others (me included) find it very simple. Being a former MtG player probably helps (you call this a game heavy with text? Ha, better don't lose yourself within European iconitis monstrosities). And AP pretty much kills the game, you're not supposed to mull over it and write a thesis, it's a whambamthankyoumam type of game. (This isn't aimed at OP in particular, I just had some frustrating plays of it recently). But I blame the players.

We've always played with random decks, but with more skilled (and serious?) players you can draft the decks as in the rules which should even out the problem with some factions.

I actually rate it at 6.5, but that's a reasonably high rating for me.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sgosaric wrote:
3. Some people you should not play this with. Ideal player should be able to read all cards in their hand in 10 seconds, formulate their plan with 2-3 backup plans while other players take their turn and take around 30 seconds max. for their turn. I have no idea what's the deal with reading that give some people problems, from the experience with people whom I've played the game with: do not play with control freaks. There is no perfect plan in SU, there is no optimal move, just play something, it's a light fluffy game, treat it as such. It's one of the mysteries of the game - some people claim it's too complicated, while the others (me included) find it very simple. Being a former MtG player probably helps (you call this a game heavy with text? Ha, better don't lose yourself within European iconitis monstrosities). And AP pretty much kills the game, you're not supposed to mull over it and write a thesis, it's a whambamthankyoumam type of game. (This isn't aimed at OP in particular, I just had some frustrating plays of it recently). But I blame the players.


Thank you Samo for this. Smash Up is the only game I have ever gotten, sold away and then repurchased later. My first play was exactly the kind of a play (or players) that you shouldn't play Smash Up with just as you wrote. It took me some time to understand that it wasn't actually the game I disliked - it was playing it with that kind of players. Which is why I ended up getting it again. And now I'm enjoying it a lot (for what it is).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DeePee wrote:
Thank you Samo for this. Smash Up is the only game I have ever gotten, sold away and then repurchased later. My first play was exactly the kind of a play (or players) that you shouldn't play Smash Up with just as you wrote. It took me some time to understand that it wasn't actually the game I disliked - it was playing it with that kind of players. Which is why I ended up getting it again. And now I'm enjoying it a lot (for what it is).


I got this from last time I was pushed into the game. I was all "no, nope, don't want to play it", but I had no other option so I joined in. I grabbed my cards, played first round and went "Hm, that ain't bad, why didn't I want to play this, again?". When another turn of mine came 5 minutes later I remembered "Oh, right, I didn't want to play with him".

I've talked with some people in my GCL and they confirmed - played with people who can play fast, it's fun. If not, not really fun.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
bryden
United States
Stow
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with your verdict on the game.

Each time I have played it I had the same reaction as samo. Why haven't I decided to buy this and then it goes on and on and on and then I remember why.

It's not the text that bothers me as much as the endless counting that goes on as players look back and forth between their cards and the count at each base etc. The tedium holds it back. Smaller player counts don't provide the same levels of interaction and so I have not found it good with any player counts.

Smash Up sounds interesting but the reality is quite different.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.