Blend Off! – Thunderworks Games – Review

Blend Off! - Thunderworks Games - Review 1

It is a purse sized game that can be played in a restaurant or other small location.  Keep the whole family off their phones for 15 minutes while engaging in a little bonding time.

Heather Swanson

7/10
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Theme and What is it?

8/10

It’s late, you want to go home.  As you start to close up shop busses drive up and release a mob of teenage girls into the shop.  Horrors!  They all want smoothies!

Your slave driving boss, Becca, starts barking out the girl’s orders.  Fruit rolls down hill so you start barking at Kevin, the stock room guy, to bring you what you need.

Now, Kevin isn’t the most attentive person you will ever meet.  In fact, he is pretty random at what he brings you.  You may want a banana but he brings blue berries three times in a row!  Geez!

Bottom line….take orders from Rebecca, tell Kevin what to bring you in the way of ingredients, and fill those orders.

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Gameplay Mechanics

7/10

Kevin is like a teenager.  You may tell him what to bring you but he only listens some of the time.  Yep, you guessed it.  Kevin is the dice!  Come on man, can’t you just give me an apple for once?

Becca gives the orders.  She gives them to you in the form of cards.  I think it’s funny they call it the Becca deck.  I have a bossy teenage Becca myself.  She gets a kick out of it as well.

Each Becca card lists a type of smoothie and the required ingredients.  Sometimes there is a special order where someone requests an ingredient left out or to add something else. 

As you fuss at Kevin and roll him on the table, you have the option of taking the fruit he gives you and popping into one of the two blenders in front of you or rejecting it.  You can just keep on rolling, taking, or rejecting until one of your blenders has the right ingredients.

As you can guess, be the first one to yell “BLEND” and smack the Becca card in order to earn it.  Each recipe has a number of stars that represent the amount of end of game points you receive.

There are a couple variants for the game.  One is a turn based version especially helpful for the younger audience.  Another speeds things up for even more intense competition.

Two advanced rules  are offered as well.  One allows for a longer type of game.  Another offers a handicap for younger players or someone who keeps losing.

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Initial Impressions

8/10

I was initially drawn to the game because of the backstory.  I have a teenager named Rebecca who can be a bit bossy and who loves smoothies.  I got it with her in mind.

The little wooden fruit also drew me in.  They are really cute and fun to play with.  It makes such a difference in a game when there are nice pieces.

I was also drawn to the dice.  I love all kinds of dice.  I especially like dice with unique images on the side.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever have enough dice!

I’m also appreciating games with well written rules.  I’ve seen some bad ones and they can really turn someone off a game early on.  Blend Off! rules are clearly organized, easy to read, and easy to reference.

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Game Build Quality

8/10

What a nice little box of wooden fruit pieces!  There are 41 of these little zingers.  Why the odd number?  Because, one of them is a durian fruit.  Yeah, I don’t know what it is either….might need to google that one.

The box is the right size and the cards are of good enough quality to get the job done.  The dice are a good size as well.

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Artistic Direction

8/10

There is not a great deal of art in Blend Off! but what there is fits the bill.  The colors are pleasant and clear.

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Fun Factor

7/10

Part of the fun of the game for me is handling the pieces.  It really makes the game when you grab a little wooden mango and throw it in your blender.

The speed aspect is okay though I don’t feel I do well at speed games.  I really appreciated the variant which allows for turn taking.  It affords time for some decision making as well.  It mitigates the complete dependence on the luck of the roll.

 

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Age Range & Weight

8/10

The game is recommended for age 6+ and I would say that is perfect.  The rules include enough variants and advanced rules to keep all ages engaged.  Or, in my case, those who stink at speed games, can get a leg up with spill cards.

It is a quick easy game to learn.  You are only held back on how fast your brain works and how quickly you can roll dice.

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Conclusions

7/10

This is a great little filler game that doesn’t require too much thought.  It can be played intensely with the speed element, or slowly with the turn taking variant.

It is a purse sized game that can be played in a restaurant or other small location.  Keep the whole family off their phones for 15 minutes while engaging in a little bonding time.  Go ahead, squish your fruits together!