Chris Smith
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So I've not posted a review here before, but here goes.

I bought both Smash Up & it's Wonderful expansion Awesome Level 9000 at the same time. We are absolutely loving all the factions and combinations available and every game is an absolute blast! Taking 2 wildly different factions and smashing them together into Dinosaur Wizards is definitely a hit thing among myself and my friends!

You can find a great video review over on TheDiceTower right here. I'm completely unaffiliated but it's a great review & lets you see the kind cards you're getting, instead of just reading about them =)

Review
Smash up and it's expansion came to £38.50 for me, which included all 12 factions (20 cards each) and a number of bases. I found it a bit confusing that the 16 original bases are reprinted slightly differently, as I can't even work out which are supposed to be the updates (After putting them together, oops). The score tokens included in Awesome Level 9000 are very useful and I'm glad to have them, although it's a shame they don't have a proper place in the original box. The only thing I feel is missing is a 'face card' for each faction, just to make the selection phase easier.

Overall gameplay
The game play of Smash Up + awesome Level 9000 is brilliant. It's extremely easy to learn to play and it only takes one game to know exactly what you're doing, games are fairly quick at 30-45 minutes with 2 people. The basic premise is you choose 2 of the 8(+4 in AL9k) factions and shuffle them together, then play with them as your deck. It's great fun to explore the strength's and weaknesses of each faction, and how they combine, and when you start getting an idea of this the game only gets better! Each one feels unique from all out sneaky assassinations and switches (ninjas) to holding powerful actions that boost your minions (steampunks)

Awesome Level 9000
To cover some of the specific expansion additions:
The mechanics of the 4 additional choices are brilliant, and manage to maintain the variety shown in the other 8 factions.
- The steam-punks have powerful actions to boost bases, and superior mobility in moving units around by their mighty Zeppelins and other cards, as well as being able to retrieve lost actions and get the aggromotive rolling!
- The Bear Cavalry hold control over the battlefield, with units that are powerful alone to nab you a 2nd place on a base, cards to shift other players minions to where they suit you, and minions to wipe out the minions you forced to move!
- Plants are all about growth, and they really demonstrate this in the cards, with many advancing in power as time goes on. This combined with strong weakening abilities to others, such as putting them to sleep, makes them a very interest faction to play
- The ghosts have me the most confused of the lot, I'm not sure what to think of them. I played Ghost Pirates, and struggled to balance between discarding cards to power up my ghosts, and keeping strong pirate cards around to be able to do anything else. They feel a bit underpowered but I'm sure the right combination and they'll shine, but that's speculation.

To sum up
This game and expansion are fantastically fun, and I'm looking forward to my next opportunity to play even now! While I got them together, I can see how the expansion races are giving us huge variety in our choices over the base game, and I'm excited for future additions to the set later this year!

Thanks for your time,

Chris
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Bryan Stout
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Annandale
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Smoothsmith wrote:
I found it a bit confusing that the 16 original bases are reprinted slightly differently, as I can't even work out which are supposed to be the updates (After putting them together, oops).

The reprinted bases have a larger, easier-to-read font size for the ability text.

Thanks for your review!
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Chris Smith
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I think we put the ones with slightly bigger text into the play pile so that's good! They were fine to read before for me, although it's nice to see things like that put in for those whom might have more difficulty.

Can't decide if I should just throw the old ones away or not, seems like such a waste :S Decisions decisions
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Noel McLellan
United States
Somerville
MA
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good review. thanks. I am now considering this game a bit more. My fiance likes Dominion because of how you combine different cards to work together, perhaps Smash up would interest her as well.
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steven riola

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If she likes Dominion because of Card combos, I'm not sure this is the next step for you. While it definetly has some of that mechanic, there are other deck builders closer to it.

If she's ok with fantasy theme, check out Ascension before this one. With Smash Up you have a set of cards, with Ascension like Dominion, you'll buy cards that become available (more random than Dominion), so you can build a deck how you choose.

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Chris Smith
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I've not played Dominion, so I couldn't be sure, but as Steven says, they are not very alike.

The biggest different will be that in Smash Up, you take 2 factions at the start and shuffle them together, then that is your deck. As opposed to building it up through the game.

It's also a lot more silly in style! I do feel most people would appreciate it nonetheless and have fun, but if you're looking for something similar, I think there may be better options. (But then, it's fun to have variety instead of having lots of the same game with a different theme, so it's up to you ^^)
 
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richard pocklington
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California
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Where can we order the expansion?
Link pls.
 
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Chris Smith
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anthropos wrote:
Where can we order the expansion?
Link pls.


Kinda depends where you are in the world =P I got it from www.gameslore.com in the UK.
 
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Karl
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Coolstuffinc. has it listed as:
Expected release: April 22, 2013. Date subject to change.
 
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Fazeo Faz
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The expansion is now in stock at Coolstuffinc.

http://www.coolstuffinc.com/p/185699
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Brandon Aeschleman
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Smoothsmith wrote:
- The ghosts have me the most confused of the lot, I'm not sure what to think of them. I played Ghost Pirates, and struggled to balance between discarding cards to power up my ghosts, and keeping strong pirate cards around to be able to do anything else. They feel a bit underpowered but I'm sure the right combination and they'll shine, but that's speculation.



I played Ghost/Zombie the other day. The benifits of zombies coming back from the graveyard, really made it easy for me to sack them from my hands to power up the ghosts...I still lost, but only cause the other 3 players ganged up on me...because they were scared of Zombie Ghosts.
 
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