Smash Up is the 2012 “shufflebuilding game of total awesomeness” for 2 – 4 players. It is a pure card game filled with all sorts of goofy “factions” (from aliens to pirates to samurai and more) that you need to “smash” together to build a deck that is going to let you attack communal bases better than your opponents. This is our review of Smash Up board game.
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– CATEGORY BREAKDOWN –
Fun (5 out of 10)
The game and your cards come and go very fast and you are very much at the whim of what you are dealt, so that is a bit limiting. That being said, the game is figuring out how to make two different groups work together and doing that is where the unique fun of Smash Up lands. It might be a little light in how deep it goes, but that is by design to keep things light, fluid and fast-paced. We will gladly take it the way it is because it is special.
Replayability (8 out of 10)
While the base game of Smash Up only comes with 8 factions, after close to ten years they are up to 74. You could play Smash Up for hours and always have a completely new team and a brand new strategy from the beginning. This game was built to be played over and over again and the foresight to see that from day one has made the execution of that nearly perfect. Well done. Even the thing you need to attack, the bases, completely changes every game.
Player Interaction (8 out of 10)
The highest marks of this Smash Up review are in player interaction. The game is all player interaction. It is not just the fact that you are fighting over bases against the other players, but most cards manipulate where and how your opponent’s people are going to be. The way you are going to win is by the very strategic stacking of people and effects on a base to sneak into the higher attack power to score those big points. When you see some of these things work together, the genius in it will blow you away.
Quality (6 out of 10)
When you have a pure card game, it makes things easier, no crazy pieces or odd-shaped box trays needed. That being said, they produced solid cards, and they come in solid, not too wasteful box. The game itself is pretty well made, in order to build a shell that can take in over 70 different factions like a well-oiled machine is something special. Though nothing feels that deep or specific, it gets the job done well as far as this Smash Up review is concerned.
Art & Style (5 out of 10)
The whole schtick of this game is that you are always going to have a crazy team like gnomes and dinosaurs or wizards and pirates. It is goofy and the base box sells it so well. It is almost out of a comic book but still in a tone that is as silly as the characters in it. The factions all have basic characteristics and the game creators do a good job of making each card fit in with the faction well. It is just all buttoned up exactly where it should be. For this review of Smash Up we are not saying the art & style is bad, just lackluster.
– IN CLOSING –
Smash Up Review | Board Game Halv
The world that Smash Up has created and built upon is something special. With the thousands of pairing options, there is so much gameplay and it is on top of a well-constructed machine. If you want a combat strategy card game, this is an incredibly wonderful (and popular) choice to make. This has been our Smash Up review of the popular 2012 board game.
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See the full explanation of the judging criteria here.