We managed to fit in three different games tonight, starting off with a new game, Smash Up.
Smash Up is a “shufflebuilding” game that is easy to get into: Take the twenty-card decks of two factions, shuffle them into a forty-card deck, then compete to smash more Bases than your opponents. Each faction brings a different game mechanism into play – pirates move cards, zombies bring cards back from the discard pile, dinosaurs have huge power – and every combination of factions brings a different play experience.
During play, Base cards (each with their own difficulties and abilities) are in play. You attempt to have the most power on the Base from your minions when the Base is smashed. Sounds easy? How easy is it when an opponent’s Alien-Ninja decides to Beam Up your minions to other Bases – flat out Assassinate them? What about when the Pirate-Dinosaur player Full Sails in and releases King Rex to stomp your minions into the ground, or when the Wizard-Zombies use their Mystic Power to create an Outbreak, suddenly flooding minions onto the Base from the discard pile? Or what if you faced a Zombie-Dinosaur player instead and he created an Outbreak of massive beasts all at once?!?
When a Base is smashed, each player in first, second and third place scores points.
Smash Up proved to be an enjoyable, easy to get into game, that had just enough tactical play to keep things interesting, without over cumbering the games with complex rules. With 8 different factions, there is plenty of replay value as you can try different combinations of factions, and the random nature of the shuffled decks mean you can never predict where the game is going.
If I had one complaint, it would be that the game winning score of 15 seemed a little low for our first game and it was all over way too soon.
I’d happily play this again.