71.1 F
Columbus
Friday, May 29, 2020
Board Game Reviews FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review

FLASHBACK FRIDAY – Smash Up – AEG – Review

-

- Advertisment -FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 126

-- is that a… zombie leprechaun? You barely have time to process what you’re seeing before a flying saucer streaks through the sky. It hovers above the valley and beams down an army of… Ninjas?

Jeremiah & Kara Clark

MeepleGamers

9.1/10
FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 49

Theme and What is it?

10/10

After a long trek you’ve finally reached your destination; the top of this mountain, overlooking a quiet valley. Movement below catches your eye. You squint and see a tiny creature clawing its way out of the ground. It’s humanoid in form, but incredibly small. 

When it’s finally unearthed, It brushes dirt from its green suit coat with a mangled, rotting hand. Wait, a second — is that a… zombie leprechaun? You barely have time to process what you’re seeing before a flying saucer streaks through the sky. It hovers above the valley and beams down an army of… Ninjas? 

What on earth is going on here? You watch as the strangest battle you’ve ever seen unfolds before you. The leprechaun bites and scratches at the pegged-leg of what appears to be a robot pirate, while a dinosaur in a pointy hat waves a sparkling wand at a group of alien ninjas. 

Smash up is a “take that” combat style card game full of quirky combinations. Players are in charge of leading a bizarre group of minions into battle against their opponents. Do you want to send an army of Robot Zombies to fight against some Leprechaun Ninjas? Or maybe you’ll create a conflagration of magically gifted Wizard-Dinos! The possibilities are *endless!

 

*For those of you who are math-savvy, you already know that there are actually only 28 combinations with the base game. But did you know that with expansion decks the possibilities reach almost 2,800 different combinations? It’s still not “endless” but it’s pretty close!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 50 FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 51

Gameplay Mechanics

10/10

As mentioned above, Smash Up is a “take that” combat style card game. Mechanically the game is super simple: Players choose two faction decks and shuffle them together to form their uniquely bizarre battle deck. Each player draws a hand of five cards. On their turn, a player can play one minion card and one action card, resolving any effects written on them. 

Minions are played on a “Base” card. Each base has a special rule and a “breakpoint” which is the amount of minion power that must be present on the base in order for it to score. When it scores, each player counts up their minion power. The players with the most, second-most, and third-most power get victory points. Once someone has earned 15 victory points, the game ends.

The heart of Smash Up comes from discovering how the different factions work together. Dinosaur Tricksters (Leprechauns) for instance, team up to create an annoyingly ruthless group of monsters. But pair Dinosaurs up with Zombies and what you get isn’t a merciless killing machine, but an endless swarm of unstoppable undead Dinos. 

Some combinations fit together perfectly, complimenting each other’s strengths as they dominate their opponents. Other combinations have good intentions but ultimately fail to work well together. So much of the fun to be had is in experimenting with new combinations and discovering favorites along the way.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 52

Initial Impressions

6/10

Smash Up was one of the first modern designer games I had ever played, and I chose “wizard pirates” which ended up being a terrible combination! I didn’t understand what was going on, my minions were weak, and my actions seemed useless. Jeremiah really liked it though, so we played it again and that’s when I discovered the cold-blooded combination of Dinosaur Tricksters. I absolutely destroyed my opponent and had a blast in doing so.

Because I had picked a poor combination during my first play, I really didn’t enjoy the game. In fact, if Jeremiah hadn’t liked it so much we probably wouldn’t have ever played it again. My advice to players new to Smash Up is to play it several times with different combinations. Really explore the different factions and don’t be afraid to accidentally put together a bad combination. Games only take 45 minutes, and you can try something else next time.

My advice to experienced players playing with newbies is to help the new players choose their decks. If they choose two decks by themselves that you think would go well together, that’s great! If they choose decks that you know will do poorly, mention it to them and suggest some alternatives. This could help them have a better experience overall. 

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 53

Game Build Quality

9/10

Smash Up comes with cards and point chips. That’s literally all there is (besides the rulebook). The point chips come in ones and fives, which is great because it makes it easy to keep track of how many points everyone has at any time during the game. The point chips are also thick enough to be easily picked up off the table. 

The cards aren’t linen-finished, but they still shuffle nicely and hold up surprisingly well over time. One thing that I really appreciate is that the box insert has enough card slots for the base game as well as a couple expansions. I thought that was a really nice thing for the designers to include, because if you like the game, you’re definitely going to get expansions.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 54

Artistic Direction

10/10

The artwork in Smash Up is every bit as unique and humorous as the game itself. Whenever we get a new expansion, the first thing I like to do is look through all the new cards because the illustrations and minion names are so clever and fun to look at. 

The cards are divided into two halves – a top and a bottom half. The upper half features the main picture and the title of the card, as well as the power value of each minion. The bottom half shows the card ability. 

One really nice touch is that each faction has a unique bottom-half background behind the ability, as well as a faction-specific symbol in the bottom right corner. This makes it really easy for players to separate their two decks at the end of the game. The text on the cards is large enough to easily read and describes the exact ability of each card which helps gameplay putter right along.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 55

Fun Factor

10/10

Smash Up is such an interesting game with so many unique factions, and nearly endless replayability. It’s so exciting to mash up two different factions (like grannies and werewolves if you have some expansions) and watch them play off of each other. There’s a palpable tension at the table when a base gets close to scoring– you just hope it holds out long enough to make it to your turn so you can play another minion on it and pull into first place. You will cheer when you pull off an amazing combo that helps you obliterate your opponent’s minions and beef up your own. Then you’ll groan with jealous admiration as your opponent does the same to you! 

This is a pretty cutthroat game. Your opponents will destroy your minions, and mess up your plans. This is definitely something to keep in mind if you don’t care for combative games. We generally don’t care for mean games, but there’s something about this one that we just love. 

Gameplay moves quickly and the mechanics are simple. Still, there’s quite a bit of strategy involved as you try to combo your cards off of each other to squeeze everything you can out of your turn. Each game only takes 30-45 minutes, and usually you’ve had so much fun that you’ll want to go for another round!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 56

Age Range & Weight

9/10

The manufacturer recommended age for Smash Up is 14+, though I could see younger players also enjoying the game. The minion and action abilities are literally spelled out on each card, which helps players to know exactly what each minion and action does. 

The trickiest part of the game is picking two complimenting decks in the beginning to form your battle deck and using your cards well to maximize each of your turns. Sometimes play will bog down as a player tries to decide what to do, but the fact that players are limited to one action and one minion each turn helps to mitigate this analysis paralysis.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 57

Conclusions

9.1/10

Smash Up is a massive amount of fun and replayability crammed into a small, streamlined package. The rules are easy to learn and understand; the theme is super unique, and games only take about 45 minutes. For anyone looking for a quick combat card game, definitely consider Smash Up!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 58

-- is that a… zombie leprechaun? You barely have time to process what you’re seeing before a flying saucer streaks through the sky. It hovers above the valley and beams down an army of… Ninjas?

Jeremiah & Kara Clark

MeepleGamers

9.1/10
FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 111

Theme and What is it?

10/10

After a long trek you’ve finally reached your destination; the top of this mountain, overlooking a quiet valley. Movement below catches your eye. You squint and see a tiny creature clawing its way out of the ground. It’s humanoid in form, but incredibly small. 

When it’s finally unearthed, It brushes dirt from its green suit coat with a mangled, rotting hand. Wait, a second — is that a… zombie leprechaun? You barely have time to process what you’re seeing before a flying saucer streaks through the sky. It hovers above the valley and beams down an army of… Ninjas? 

What on earth is going on here? You watch as the strangest battle you’ve ever seen unfolds before you. The leprechaun bites and scratches at the pegged-leg of what appears to be a robot pirate, while a dinosaur in a pointy hat waves a sparkling wand at a group of alien ninjas. 

Smash up is a “take that” combat style card game full of quirky combinations. Players are in charge of leading a bizarre group of minions into battle against their opponents. Do you want to send an army of Robot Zombies to fight against some Leprechaun Ninjas? Or maybe you’ll create a conflagration of magically gifted Wizard-Dinos! The possibilities are *endless!

 

*For those of you who are math-savvy, you already know that there are actually only 28 combinations with the base game. But did you know that with expansion decks the possibilities reach almost 2,800 different combinations? It’s still not “endless” but it’s pretty close!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 112 FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 113

Gameplay Mechanics

10/10

As mentioned above, Smash Up is a “take that” combat style card game. Mechanically the game is super simple: Players choose two faction decks and shuffle them together to form their uniquely bizarre battle deck. Each player draws a hand of five cards. On their turn, a player can play one minion card and one action card, resolving any effects written on them. 

Minions are played on a “Base” card. Each base has a special rule and a “breakpoint” which is the amount of minion power that must be present on the base in order for it to score. When it scores, each player counts up their minion power. The players with the most, second-most, and third-most power get victory points. Once someone has earned 15 victory points, the game ends.

The heart of Smash Up comes from discovering how the different factions work together. Dinosaur Tricksters (Leprechauns) for instance, team up to create an annoyingly ruthless group of monsters. But pair Dinosaurs up with Zombies and what you get isn’t a merciless killing machine, but an endless swarm of unstoppable undead Dinos. 

Some combinations fit together perfectly, complimenting each other’s strengths as they dominate their opponents. Other combinations have good intentions but ultimately fail to work well together. So much of the fun to be had is in experimenting with new combinations and discovering favorites along the way.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 114

Initial Impressions

6/10

Smash Up was one of the first modern designer games I had ever played, and I chose “wizard pirates” which ended up being a terrible combination! I didn’t understand what was going on, my minions were weak, and my actions seemed useless. Jeremiah really liked it though, so we played it again and that’s when I discovered the cold-blooded combination of Dinosaur Tricksters. I absolutely destroyed my opponent and had a blast in doing so.

Because I had picked a poor combination during my first play, I really didn’t enjoy the game. In fact, if Jeremiah hadn’t liked it so much we probably wouldn’t have ever played it again. My advice to players new to Smash Up is to play it several times with different combinations. Really explore the different factions and don’t be afraid to accidentally put together a bad combination. Games only take 45 minutes, and you can try something else next time.

My advice to experienced players playing with newbies is to help the new players choose their decks. If they choose two decks by themselves that you think would go well together, that’s great! If they choose decks that you know will do poorly, mention it to them and suggest some alternatives. This could help them have a better experience overall. 

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 115

Game Build Quality

9/10

Smash Up comes with cards and point chips. That’s literally all there is (besides the rulebook). The point chips come in ones and fives, which is great because it makes it easy to keep track of how many points everyone has at any time during the game. The point chips are also thick enough to be easily picked up off the table. 

The cards aren’t linen-finished, but they still shuffle nicely and hold up surprisingly well over time. One thing that I really appreciate is that the box insert has enough card slots for the base game as well as a couple expansions. I thought that was a really nice thing for the designers to include, because if you like the game, you’re definitely going to get expansions.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 116

Artistic Direction

10/10

The artwork in Smash Up is every bit as unique and humorous as the game itself. Whenever we get a new expansion, the first thing I like to do is look through all the new cards because the illustrations and minion names are so clever and fun to look at. 

The cards are divided into two halves – a top and a bottom half. The upper half features the main picture and the title of the card, as well as the power value of each minion. The bottom half shows the card ability. 

One really nice touch is that each faction has a unique bottom-half background behind the ability, as well as a faction-specific symbol in the bottom right corner. This makes it really easy for players to separate their two decks at the end of the game. The text on the cards is large enough to easily read and describes the exact ability of each card which helps gameplay putter right along.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 117

Fun Factor

10/10

Smash Up is such an interesting game with so many unique factions, and nearly endless replayability. It’s so exciting to mash up two different factions (like grannies and werewolves if you have some expansions) and watch them play off of each other. There’s a palpable tension at the table when a base gets close to scoring– you just hope it holds out long enough to make it to your turn so you can play another minion on it and pull into first place. You will cheer when you pull off an amazing combo that helps you obliterate your opponent’s minions and beef up your own. Then you’ll groan with jealous admiration as your opponent does the same to you! 

This is a pretty cutthroat game. Your opponents will destroy your minions, and mess up your plans. This is definitely something to keep in mind if you don’t care for combative games. We generally don’t care for mean games, but there’s something about this one that we just love. 

Gameplay moves quickly and the mechanics are simple. Still, there’s quite a bit of strategy involved as you try to combo your cards off of each other to squeeze everything you can out of your turn. Each game only takes 30-45 minutes, and usually you’ve had so much fun that you’ll want to go for another round!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 118

Age Range & Weight

9/10

The manufacturer recommended age for Smash Up is 14+, though I could see younger players also enjoying the game. The minion and action abilities are literally spelled out on each card, which helps players to know exactly what each minion and action does. 

The trickiest part of the game is picking two complimenting decks in the beginning to form your battle deck and using your cards well to maximize each of your turns. Sometimes play will bog down as a player tries to decide what to do, but the fact that players are limited to one action and one minion each turn helps to mitigate this analysis paralysis.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 119

Conclusions

9.1/10

Smash Up is a massive amount of fun and replayability crammed into a small, streamlined package. The rules are easy to learn and understand; the theme is super unique, and games only take about 45 minutes. For anyone looking for a quick combat card game, definitely consider Smash Up!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 120
FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 125
Jeremiah & Kara Clark
Shortly after we got married we were introduced by our next door neighbors to designer board games. And we were immediately hooked! Since then we’ve been able to play hundreds of different games over the years, and we still can’t get enough. It’s been great having a hobby that we can both share together, and it’s a blast to explore all the different types of games, especially since we each have our own unique tastes in games.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest news

Spies and Lies: A Stratego Story – Jumbo – Review

Spies and Lies: A Stratego Story is a nice little 2 player game.

Maximum Apocalypse RPG – Rock Manor Games – Preview

Facebook Twitter Instagram The real strength of this game is the systems used for character and world creation. Steve...

Bottom of the Ninth – Dice Hate Me – Review

Hey batter battter...There is no joy in Mudville Mighty Stacey has struck out. Since in this COVID-19...

Root: The Underworld Expansion – Leder Games – Review

Facebook Twitter Instagram Supremacist moles and murder birds? What's not to want? Jeremiah & Kara MeepleGamers  9.8/10 Publisher: Leder Games Designer: Patrick...
- Advertisement -FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 128FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 129

Quantum – Fun Forge – Review

Facebook Twitter Instagram Quantum is an abstract space game that will test the tactician in you Jordan Macnab MeepleGamers  10/10 Publisher: Funforge Designer: Eric Zimmerman Artist: Georges...

Rune Stones: Nocturnal Creatures Expansion – Queen Games – Review

Facebook Twitter Instagram Don’t miss out on a way to make a great game even better by adding...

Must read

Top 10 Player Pawns

One of those rare moments where we put on...

Top 10 games that did Roll and Move right

 no three words are spoken with more disdain than...
- Advertisement -FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 130FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Smash Up - AEG - Review 128

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you