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Subject: Water sliding fun on the kitchen table - The Board Game Family review rss

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Trent Howell
United States
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Ah, the joys of summer!

No school, no homework, and lots and lots of playing around.

What better way to enjoy a hot summer day than at a water park!

With various pools and lots of different water slides, water parks are a blast!

In Slide Blast, you get to build your own fun water slides. The longer the slide, the more points you’ll earn. You can also earn bonus points by helping other players extend their slide as well.

We’re big fans of tile-laying games and Slide Blast reminds us a lot of a couple games we really enjoy – Tsuro and Indigo.

So how will Slide Blast fare when stacked up against those great path-creating games?

It’s time to find out.

How to play Slide Blast

Slide Blast is a very simple game to learn and play.

The objective in Slide Blast is to score the most points from the length of your slide and from bonus tokens.

To begin, players select their Character/Color and place their wooden pawn on the center Starting Slide Tile in the matching color slide start.

The slide tiles are all shuffled and placed face down in piles around the table. Then each player draws 1 tile and they’re ready to start building slides.

On a player’s turn, they first draw 1 tile and then choose one of their 2 tiles in hand to play. There are only two rules to keep in mind when placing a tile. First, it must extend the player’s slide. And second, it cannot create a collision with another player.

Once placed, the player moves their pawn to the end of the now extended slide.

If the player places a tile that also extends another player’s slide at the same time, the active player gains a Bonus token.

There are also “High Speed” and “Special Action” tiles in the game.

The High Speed tiles are ones with straight lines slides that also have red marks on the sides of the slides. When a player places a High Speed tile, they immediate get to draw and place another tile.

Special Action tiles come in two types, Attraction Tiles and Tunnel Tiles, which are switched out when played. They’re like placeholder tiles.

To play a tile with an Attraction icon on it, the player simply discards the tile and replaces it with the corresponding large Attraction Tile. The player then chooses where to place the Attraction tile by following the regular placement rules.

Playing the Tunnel Entrance Tile (diving helmet) starts out like placing a normal slide tile. The player places it next to their pawn to extend their slide. However, they then take the Tunnel Exit tile (octopus) and connect it to anywhere they’d like. The only caveat is that it can only touch the side of one tile (connect to a single slide). Game pawns exit through the same number slide they entered.

Other players can also connect to Tunnel Entrance Tiles on subsequent turns and pop out the Tunnel Exit as well. Players just can’t slide into a Tunnel Exit tile.

The last type of tile is a Life Guard Tile. If a player cannot play any of the tiles from their hand, they trade in one of their tiles for a pair of Life Guard Tiles. These pair of tiles follow the same rules as the Tunnel tiles (the thickest of the pair is the Exit).

The game ends when all players have played their last slide tile.

Then all players place their pawns back on the Starting Slide Tile and take a full run down their completed slide. They count each segment that’s part of their slide path as 1 point. If a slide loops back over the same tile, that’s a second point since it’s covering a new segment of the slide.

Players then add in their Bonus points from Bonus tokens according to the following values (which are also printed on the back of the Character cards):
1 Bonus token = 1 point
2 Bonus tokens = 3 points
3 Bonus tokens = 6 points
4 Bonus tokens = 10 points
5 Bonus tokens = 15 points

The player with the highest score wins the game!

Can the whole family enjoy Slide Blast?

Slide Blast is a fun board game the whole family can enjoy playing together.

The rules are simple enough for players of all ages to understand. And the game theme is sure to appeal to players of all ages as well.

Kids will have a great time building their own water slides over and over. Like with most tile-laying games, whether you win or lose, in the end it’s so cool to see what you’ve built over the course of the game.

The resulting layout of water slides will be different in every game. And it’s fun to slide your pawn down your entire slide at the end of the game. It may sound silly to count slide segments that way, but it’s actually kind of rewarding. (And you can make as many swishing sounds as you’d like.)

The art style of the game is perfectly suited for the theme and will also appeal to family gamers everywhere. The Attraction tiles have great images and there are plenty of little images scattered on almost every tile that give the game a lot of flavor.

Slide Blast can also be played by up to 6 people!

We love family games that allow for more than 4 players because that means everyone in our family can be included. No one needs to sit out a game.

And in Slide Blast, the game is actually more fun with more players.

With only two players, the individual slides may be longer since each player will play a lot more tiles to extend their slide (there are 40 total tiles in the draw piles). But on the flip side, there tends to be a lot less interaction.

Whereas with a full 6 players, there’ll be more interaction as slides crisscross all over the place. And players will tend to gain more Bonus tokens because they’ll have more chances to extend other player’s slides at the same time as theirs.

One tip we’ll share when playing Slide Blast is similar to other tile-laying games. And that’s to draw your tiles at the end of your turn rather than at the beginning.

Rather than drawing 1 tile at the start of your turn like the rules state, draw your second tile at the end of your turns. That way you can better plan your next moves before your turn comes around. It also helps the game move along more quickly with less waiting time between turns.

Of course, turns don’t take very long anyway because there aren’t many choices to consider on your turns. You’ll have two tiles to choose from every turn, but the only place you’ll be able to play it is where you pawn is. So your choices are pretty focused.

Which leads right into our next consideration for Slide Blast…

Luck vs. Strategy

Slide Blast doesn’t bill itself as a strategic game at all. There are definitely choices to be made during the game, but they’re more tactical than strategic.

You’ll use your choices to position yourself for extending your slide as best you can in the immediate future. And if you can make a connection that twists you back around into a long connecting slide area, even better.

Which means a lot of the game comes down to the luck of the tile draw. As much as you may want to twist over to the side, if the 2 tiles you have in your hand don’t let you do so, you’ll just have to do the best you can with what you have.

Likewise, drawing the Tunnel Tile can give you the chance to set yourself up nicely for a big move. Although where you place the Tunnel Exit is restricted to connecting it to only one slide tile, it can allow you to move to other areas of the board with better future options.

Being a light family board game, it’s perfectly fine to have that amount of luck in the game. That way no one takes the game too seriously nor do they agonize over how to place their tiles. Players simply rattle through their turns and enjoy watching their water slides grow.

It’s quite a fun game.

Compared to Tsuro and Indigo

As I mentioned in the beginning, the first thing we thought of Slide Blast was how much it looked like a Tsuro and Indigo clone.

We haven’t posted a full review of Indigo, but it’s another great family tile-laying, path-building game. Though in Indigo, rather than having a pawn that moves down one particular route, players have exit areas on the board and they’re trying to route the paths so that gems slide out those particular exits for points.

As such, in Indigo there are a lot more options for players to choose from when playing tiles. Players can place tiles anywhere they want – either next to a gem to get it to move immediately or next to a tile without a gem to set up future pathways once gems arrive there.

Thus, while still simple to play, Indigo is much more strategic than Slide Blast.

Tsuro is one of our favorite family games because of how simple it is to play and because games don’t take very long (even with 8 players). The objective in Tsuro is to be the last player remaining on the board.

Like in Slide Blast, players move their pawn along the pathway they create. They must place tiles directly in front of their pawn and move them to the end of the end of that path. However, if that path leads to the edge of the board, that player is out of the game.

Players aren’t necessarily trying to build the longest route, but they do want to build in a way that leaves them open to future turns. Which also makes Tsuro a more strategic game than Slide Blast.

The board in Tsuro is also limited to a grid. So it’s a tight play area that forces players into areas where they’ll affect the route of other players. Interaction is a big part of the game. As such, players look for ways to force their opponents off the board.

In both Tsuro and Indigo, players can mess with their opponents by how they place their tiles.

However, in Slide Blast moving other players on your turn is encouraged for good!

Because players get bonuses for helping move opponents along, it encourages players to help each other out.

We don’t feel Slide Blast replaces either Tsuro or Indigo. Nor do we feel Slide Blast is unnecessary to keep in our game collection. Because each game has its own strengths and different methods of play, we now have 3 great options to choose from when looking for a tile-laying, path-building game.

Chances are that summer time game play will lean more towards Slide Blast than the others if for no other reason than the fun water slide theme.

How does Slide Blast score on our “Let’s Play Again” game meter?

Slide Blast scores high on our “Let’s play again” game meter because it’s just fun.

There’s hardly any set up required and games don’t last very long. So it’s easy to dive right back into playing again immediately after one game ends.

Since it also allows for up to 6 players, it’s also a game we’ll be able to pull out on many occasions for family gatherings. New players can be introduced to the game quickly and we’ll be off and sliding.

If you’re looking for a fun gamily board game to pick up this summer, we highly recommend Slide Blast!

We’d like to thank FoxMind for a review copy of Slide Blast.

Follow The Board Game Family:
A list of all our family board game and card game video reviews can also be found on BGG in this Family Video Reviews GeekList.

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