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Subject: Review Sniper, Quick and Clean: Smash Up rss

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T Sheffield
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Smash Up was born from kind of a wild idea of combining all kinds of fantastical and sci-fi theme and character types into a free-for-all power struggle. This is a card game in which you create a deck from two different sources of "minions" and use your personnel and special action cards to build up squads that will help conquer bases. Everyone competes for all the same bases, but you do get points for coming in second or third in support.

This game is very reminiscent of Dark Minions - a fun dice driven game in which you have much the same goal of conquering locations for victory points. In fact, you might make the argument that Smash Up is a simple kids' version of Dark Minion, but with the crazy world colliding twist. I wouldn't be surprised at all if there was some direct inspiration link there.

PROS:
->I think this is a good game for kids. The mechanics, simplicity, and theme make it fun for them.
->The deck creation thinking process is fun. The different minion groups do have specialties and weaknesses that mean you really can find large power variations in the resulting combinations.
->The artwork is nice.

CONS:
->Take That! And Take It Again! Direct surprise attacks run amok - not to my taste.
->Not much there in terms of strategy. Really just a tactical experience, and the cards you draw tell you what to do.

Initially I was skeptical about the 'smashing up' concept because I don't like my peas and carrots mixing(*). But surprisingly, this was the feature I actually enjoyed most about the game. It's kind of whimsical and fun.

*Note: at the dinner table, I DO like my peas and carrots mixing. What I dislike in general is my fantasy worlds stepping on each other. Like Batman or Superman co-existing or the Avengers sharing a world with X-Men (only when convenient, of course). What? Why can't they just operate cleanly and independently? But I digress.

However, what is disappointing about the gameplay is that it is not much more than a Take That fest. I find that to be a boring and frustrating mechanic that leaves way too much to luck. That being said, I still think this is a fun game for kids, who seem to usually be un-bothered by said mechanic. I would call the age range for this game 9 - 16ish.

EDIT: I will give Smash Up credit for being MUCH more fun than Munchkin or Give Me The Brain, a couple other Take That games.
 
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Chet C.
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Re: Reivew Sniper, Quick and Clean: Smash Up
If the current 42 factions, maybe 10 have "take that" mechanics, usually in the form of destruction. Most of the game is quite strategic, as you must always balance power, find your best move out of many options, outwit your opponent, and help yourself without helping others. My guess it's that you played a couple rounds with some friends who were also new to the game. I suggest you play or even speak with some experienced players and see if anyone else finds this game as simple as you described.
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Jay Young
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Re: Reivew Sniper, Quick and Clean: Smash Up
Cheddarific wrote:
If the current 42 factions, maybe 10 have "take that" mechanics, usually in the form of destruction. Most of the game is quite strategic, as you must always balance power, find your best move out of many options, outwit your opponent, and help yourself without helping others. My guess it's that you played a couple rounds with some friends who were also new to the game. I suggest you play or even speak with some experienced players and see if anyone else finds this game as simple as you described.


While I agree with you, if you play a 4 player game with just the base set, you can really feel the Take that game mechanic a lot.

I feel most reviews of this game really don't hit the nail on the head to what Smash Up really feels like since you need strategy and experience to really get a feel for it. It's more in the same category as a TCG where counters and really know your deck add's a lot to the game mechanic.

That and there are a TON of different way's to "play". I.E just for fun and randomly picking factions, or play to win and counter pick other users and picking the best factions for the game..
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Andre Oliveira
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Re: Reivew Sniper, Quick and Clean: Smash Up
It's noteworth that the game doesn't scale too well for 4 players.
You can get around this by making each pair of players across each other a team (and consider either either the sum of their scores or the lowest at the game end - i.e. anyone reaches 15+ points)

But you can't get around one thing: It is a take that kind of game.

That being said, harming others carelessly isn't the best way to win (even in 1x1). You need to ponder which targets, on which bases and how many times you can disrupt your opponent's.
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Timothy Goddard
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Re: Reivew Sniper, Quick and Clean: Smash Up
shefft wrote:

->Not much there in terms of strategy. Really just a tactical experience, and the cards you draw tell you what to do.
...
However, what is disappointing about the gameplay is that it is not much more than a Take That fest. I find that to be a boring and frustrating mechanic that leaves way too much to luck.


I suppose if you are playing with kids, this is probably going to be true. And, as you say, kids might not mind playing at that level. And as they get more familiar with the cards and factions, and get better at strategic thinking overall, hopefully they'll grow into the deeper aspects of the game.

The one thing that may limit that is the significant amount of quick arithmetic that's required, though in terms of an educational tool, that may be a positive.
 
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Dan Smith
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shefft wrote:
Smash Up was born from kind of a wild idea of combining all kinds of fantastical and sci-fi theme and character types into a free-for-all power struggle. This is a card game in which you create a deck from two different sources of "minions" and use your personnel and special action cards to build up squads that will help conquer bases. Everyone competes for all the same bases, but you do get points for coming in second or third in support.

This game is very reminiscent of Dark Minions - a fun dice driven game in which you have much the same goal of conquering locations for victory points. In fact, you might make the argument that Smash Up is a simple kids' version of Dark Minion, but with the crazy world colliding twist. I wouldn't be surprised at all if there was some direct inspiration link there.

PROS:
->I think this is a good game for kids. The mechanics, simplicity, and theme make it fun for them.
->The deck creation thinking process is fun. The different minion groups do have specialties and weaknesses that mean you really can find large power variations in the resulting combinations.
->The artwork is nice.

CONS:
->Take That! And Take It Again! Direct surprise attacks run amok - not to my taste.
->Not much there in terms of strategy. Really just a tactical experience, and the cards you draw tell you what to do.

Initially I was skeptical about the 'smashing up' concept because I don't like my peas and carrots mixing(*). But surprisingly, this was the feature I actually enjoyed most about the game. It's kind of whimsical and fun.

*Note: at the dinner table, I DO like my peas and carrots mixing. What I dislike in general is my fantasy worlds stepping on each other. Like Batman or Superman co-existing or the Avengers sharing a world with X-Men (only when convenient, of course). What? Why can't they just operate cleanly and independently? But I digress.

However, what is disappointing about the gameplay is that it is not much more than a Take That fest. I find that to be a boring and frustrating mechanic that leaves way too much to luck. That being said, I still think this is a fun game for kids, who seem to usually be un-bothered by said mechanic. I would call the age range for this game 9 - 16ish.

EDIT: I will give Smash Up credit for being MUCH more fun than Munchkin or Give Me The Brain, a couple other Take That games.


Direct surprise attack? What do you mean?
 
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T Sheffield
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Several of the factions have cards that cause trouble, such as removing attacking forces from a base location. This can be done to one specific player (Direct) and there's usually no way of anticipating or defending against a card played out of a player's secret hand (Surprise). Some people like this mechanic... I don't. Hope that clarifies.
 
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