109 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2012
First of all, this is not a deck building game. They bill it as shufflebuilding. Basically, there are a number of 20 card decks.
The box contains the following decks:
Robots (who have ways to bring out more robots)
Aliens (who had a lot of ways to beam up other cards back to owner's hands)
Dinosaurs (who had a lot of high strength minions)
Zombies (who kept coming back from the discard pile)
Ninjas (who could sneak into a base right before it was scored)
Tricksters (who have minions that do things if they're attacked)
Wizards (who can summon more cards into play and use more actions)
Pirates (who can move and attack other minions at a base).
So, as you can see, each 20 card deck has a very strong theme, with good powers that are related.
You pick two and shuffle them together. So you have Ninja zombies, or alien pirates, etc. You play minions and actions to build up points at a base. Once you've accumulated the right number of points, the base breaks and people get points based on the value of their minions there. This continues to a certain score value.
That's it in a nutshell, and it's a ton of fun. It's really fast setup, it's really fast play (probably around 30 minutes). It's easy to pick up the rules (my 7 year old son won the game we played).
It's not super deep, but it's very fun, and very thematic.
97 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2013
So I recently purchased Smash Up and the Awesome expansion. My friends and I used to spend countless late nights playing card games and I was struggling to find a game that we all didn't have to poor $100s of dollars into to play. Smash Up gives you sweet variety from the 8 different decks included in the base set. Couple the base set with the Awesome expansion and you have many many nights of awesome game play.
Here's the kicker. The first day I got a chance to play with my buddies, we managed to drop a card from the Steampunks set onto the floor. Well, my wonderful dog being the Shiba Inu she is, decided she was going to chew up and destroy that card. Being the anal person that I am, I could not be short a single card in my set! I contacted Alderac about possibly purchasing a replacement card. The next day they replied saying "We would be happy to replace your card, please email us your address". Well guess what? Three days later I have a replacement card in a sleeve in a padded envelope. Great customer service Alderac. I will recommend your games to everyone I see.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2013
There's not much I can say that hasn't already been said. This is a very easy "deck building" style of game. There's no real set-up you just take all the cards out, pick two types of characters to Smash-up into one team and take all their cards. If you want to see a funny 20 minute video of it being played with all the rules, check out Wil Wheaton's YouTube show TableTop:
My only real addition to the reviews is that you should just go ahead and buy the expansion game at the same time. The expansion adds a few different characters and gives you tokens to keep track of scoring easier. The expansion also includes all the "base" cards you get in the original set and the new "bases" for the new characters. However, these base cards are written in a much larger font and make it so much easier to play.
I love this game, but wish they had just put both boxes together as one set. The main set comes with enough room / slot for all the cards for both sets and etc... The game is 100% playable and fun right out of the box. It's just frustrating to feel like I'm missing 33% of the whole game without the expansion.
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2012
I recently bought this game, and It is definitely fun. I play many board and card games and this game seems to have a rather unique feel. Unlike normal draft style games, each player "drafts" two of eight decks to shuffle together, so in a 4 player game, player a picks decks at time 1 and 8, player b at time 2 and 7, c at 3 and 6, and d at time 4 and 5. This can force player one (and sometimes 2) to get stuck with almost unworkable combinations of decks occasionally, although this will likely get fixed when the expansion comes out (and there are more to choose from). That being said, whoever picks first usually has a distinct advantage - One of the decks (the zombies) tend be leaps and bounds ahead of other decks. In the games I played, the player who chose this deck probably won 50% of the games. In that way, the game still lacks balance. The expansion, I have been told, will supposedly fix this problem, although the full details have yet to be released at this point so I cannot say for sure.
Besides this, though, the game is really great. Each deck requires a different strategy and, if you know the other decks' strategies, it can even lead to a meta-game of sorts, by trying to predict other players' actions and stop it. It really isn't just a kids game. To play only takes about an hour, and the rules are relatively simple, so it isnt hard to get into as a new player, but i have played upwards of 20 games of it in the past 2 weeks, and I have yet to get tired of playing. In fact, its quite the opposite - I feel kind of addicted.
The game itself is actually rather good quality. The box is very durable, more-so that any other game I have interacted with in a while. The cards themselves, though, are about average quality, not that its a bad thing. It just means you may want to get card protectors (as I did) to expand the life of your game. There are 8 20 card decks, and a small base deck, so 200 card sleeves would easily cover them all, and the cards are standard Dominion/magic card sized, so sleeves are easy to find.
Overall, the game is definitely worth buying, and for this price it is definitely worth adding to any game collection. This is one of the best games I have ever seen for under $25.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2013
We are avid board gamers. For your reference, we are especially enamored with Munchkin, Smallworld, Elder Sign, and the like. This game was wuick to pick up, and we haven't put it down in the two weeks since receiving it. The combinations in the base game are enough to keep you busy for awhile. And since there is a turn order to choosing decks, you won't necessarily get to pick the one you want, or are best at strategizing with. All this really extends the life and freshness of the game. We're just in danger of burning out from all the love.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2013
I got this game as an early Christmas present, and I have had a great time playing it!
I can attest that there isn't really an upper age limit, because the first time I played it was with my wife, my mom, and my wife's mom. Our parents wiped the floor with us!
The premise of the game is simple. You have several "base cards" out on the table, that have a breaking point and victory point rewards. Each player has action cards and minion cards, and each minion has a power level. Each player tries to get as much power as they can on a base by playing their minions there. When the combined power level of all the minions on a base surpasses the breakpoint, the base "breaks" and victory points are distributed to the first-place, second-place, and third-place players. You win the game by getting to 15 victory points.
Minions have different abilities, so that - along with the action cards - is where all the variety comes into this game.
Each player picks 2 decks, out of a total of 8 included with the game. Each deck has minions and actions for a specific faction.
Zombies - This is my personal favorite. You'll get cards that let you play minions from your discard pile, or retrieve cards from your discard and place them in your hand. You'll also sometimes be able to play extra zombie minions in a turn.
Robots - You'll be able to play many extra minions with this deck. There are also abilities that let you increase the power level of your minions.
Pirates - This deck is great if you want to move your minions from base to base, or attack other players' minions.
Ninjas - They are sneaky, as you might infer. You can often move your minions in at the last second, right before a base scores. Or you can play one minion, but then switch him out with a different one.
Tricksters - Place protections on your minions that prevent them from being destroyed, or penalize the players that destroy them. Prevent certain factions from playing on a base. A pretty powerful faction, if played wisely.
Dinosaurs - Power. Power. Did I mention power? The big strength of this deck is the power levels of its minions. I think it has the only power-level-7 card. And most of the actions and abilities deal with increasing the power levels of your minions. You'll also be able to attack other players' minions.
Aliens - The strength of this deck is abduction. Many abilities have to do with moving another player's minion back to his hand, deck, or discard pile, or to another base. There are also a few minions that will earn you a victory point just for playing the minion.
Wizards - This deck lets you play extra actions, draw extra cards, and sometimes manipulate other players' cards against them. It is a great deck to combine with other factions.
The game is for 2-4 players. Most of the time, I have just played with my wife, and we have a great time with the 2-player game. The more players you add, though, the more fun the game gets. When you add the third player, you suddenly have to consider which player to attack, and think more about which bases to focus your minions on. When you add the fourth player, you're no longer guaranteed victory points just for having a minion on a base, since only the top 3 players get points.
We just ordered the expansion, and can't wait to try out the new factions!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2013
My teenage boys and I play many different TCGs, as well as strategy and fantasy board games. Smash Up, however, is the most fun I've had in a long time with a card game. Why?
1. The mechanic is simple, but the way the cards modify the mechanic is rich and fun! This makes the focus of the game concentrating on using the best possible card combos to match the situation on the table. The combos are rich, interesting, and fun!
2. The theme of the game is not heavy, and the card art and characters really draw you in. The combos are crazy and fun: Alien Zombies, Steam Punk Magicians, etc..
3. Unlike some of what AEG has produced in the past, I think this game is WELL BALANCED and was clearly play-tested adequately before release. Some people cry "BROKEN" at the sight of the first powerful card--and there are some VERY powerful card combos. The thing is that each race has them, and once you understand each of the decks, you can easily counter these moves.
4. The game plays well in duel or multi-player, with short game times that keep the action crisp.
So why 4 stars?: Here is my only gripe. You WILL encounter many situations at first where the rules are not completely clear. We went online and found that the FAQ is pretty small, and doesn't address even half of our rule questions. We had to go to other game board sites to get consensus answers to deal with a number of situations. Once you start playing for a while though, it begins to make sense and some of these issues resolve. Still, it would be nice if the good folks at ALDERAC had been more clear in the rulebook, or at least kept tabs on the questions the game community is asking and updated their FAQ more often.
Still, it is my favorite card game right now, and I FULLY recommend it. It is well worth going through some of the documentation bumpiness to enjoy this great game.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2015
I really liked the concept of this game and figured I would be a huge fan because of all the positive reviews. Turns out that I really do not enjoy Smash Up; I've even tried a couple of the expansions. One of the biggest issues to me is that the thematic flavor I was hoping for really isn't there. I definitely expected more comedy. I had hoped that playing Ninja-Pirates, for example, would result in some wacky fun mix-ups (maybe pirates with katana-hands instead of hooks or peg-legged ninjas trying to sneak around). Instead it just feels like I'm playing squads of ninjas and pirates that are doing their own separate things. I've not yet played a mix that felt cohesively Smashed Up in an amusing manner. The other issue I have is that there are some serious balance problems with the game play. A lot of faction combinations just don't mix very well together.
The price is reasonable and the art is adequate, but I really do not enjoy the game play and my imagination was underwhelmed by faction crossovers that had a lot of potential conceptually.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2012
I play several board games and always look for more to add to my collection. This game is really fun with simple rules that dont scare away less experienced gamers. I also attend a board game group weekly and this is a favorite in between game or warm up[ game for our long games like betrayal, arkham horror small world etc.
I would recommend this to anyone for a fun simple game.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2015
I want to start by saying that the idea of this game is very clever and that I was excited to play it. Combining the different decks makes for a ton of variety and it should be infinity playable. However, after about a dozen plays we determined that the decks are not well balanced. For instance, the zombie deck is so over-powered that we spent an evening passing it from player to player and watching each one win without exception. That imbalance should have been addressed in the play testing stage and ruins the dynamic of the game.