Smash Up is a 2 to 4 player game for ages 12 and up that takes about 45 minutes to play.
Smash Up coins the term “shuffle-building” and it’s a pretty simple premise. You have two twenty-card decks from two different factions from Ninjas, Aliens, Robots, Dinosaurs, and Pirates to name a few. Shuffle both decks together to form your forty card deck to get a mixed faction such as Dinosaur-Smash Up. Ninjas, then try to score more points from Bases than your opponents. Each faction plays differently meaning every combination of factions brings more and more differences in each game.
During play, Base cards (each with their own quality) are in play. Players try to have the most power on each Base from their ‘minions’ when the Base is scored. On a players turn they can play a Minion and an Action card. Minions have a number representing it’s power printed on the card and are played on a base which needs a certain amount of power played on it in order to score. Actions cards will augment play by doing many various things from moving yours or others minions, removing them, adding power to minions, letting you take cards from your discard pile and so on.
The more minions that are played on a base the closer the base gets to scoring. When a base has enough minions on it to score the player with the most total power from their minions on that base scores the allotted points printed in the first spot out of three on the base (usually the highest). The person with the second highest amount of power receives the next, and for the third player the third respectively.
The game end as soon as one person has accumulated 15 points from scoring bases.
While I admittedly don’t play this as much as I once did it is of no fault to the game itself which is a fantastic little game. It’s quick and easy but gives you a lot of fun moments and strategy.
Because each player typically plays a minion and action card there aren’t very long turns. Some cards will add things that a player can do but because of the games simplicity it doesn’t take long to decide what you will be doing on your turn.
The game is already easy with it’s short concise rulebook and simple concept, but it’s made even easier with each card explaining exactly what it does printed on it. The cards are for the most part very clear, I think I’ve only run into one occasion where one might read a card differently than what is meant and thus had to read an FAQ online about it.
Because there are so many factions you will enjoy figuring out each of their play styles and strategies that work best for each. But you’ll never have to worry about it getting stale as each combination of factions means you will have to alter the strategies to work together. With somewhere close to 8 or 10 expansions for the game available you will have many chances to try something new.
Though I have not played it much lately it tells of it’s gameplay that it has stayed in my collection for years as others have been traded away or sold. I foresee this particular game sticking around for quite awhile.
For the Parents:
Violence: Nothing is portrayed though cartoonish weapons are depicted on the cards
Sexual Content: None.
Horror/Occult: Available factions in the base game include creatures such as Aliens, Zombies, and Wizards. Expansions include creatures such as Werewolves, Vampires, Cthulu and more