Dec 16, 2015

[Games] Smash Up: Pretty Pretty Smash Up

So this should be the last Smash Up expansion that I'll review for a while - or at least that'll be true until we pick up another box. There are a few Smash Up projects announced for the coming months, so this is certainly not the last that we've heard of this clever card game.

Smash Up: Pretty Pretty Smash Up was an unexpected treat that certainly added a very different feel to the game. But the overall effect is quite brilliant and this set features some of my favorite factions in the game as a whole. Seriously, these cards can really kick some serious butt!

I love the fact that this seem seems to have been designed based on properties that are of interest to the stereotypical female, but the end resulting factions have nothing to do with such outdated notions of gender. So yeah, don't underestimate things that appear to be cute, cuddly or pretty. This set reminds you that anyone can kick ass in the right circumstances, and these cards really play ball.

Smash Up: Pretty Pretty Smash Up is another full expansion for the shuffle-building card game Smash Up as created by Paul Peterson. The set supports play for two players, but ultimately supports 2-4 players when combined with a base set.

Up front I will admit that this set is one of my favorite expansions for the game. I thought the cards would be fun just because of how silly they are, but seriously I love these factions given how well the play with other factions to create some killer combos.

The first new faction are the Mythic Horses, which are clearly a reference to My Little Pony. And like the Ponies, they clearly believe in the value of friendship and have a lot of card effects that help you gather your horses together or that provide bonuses when they're together with their friends.

The Fairies feel like an upgrade of the classic Tricksters faction from the first game, that always felt like one of the trickier factions to use effectively. Fairies fix that with a new approach to cards by giving you options for which ability will trigger.Thus you get to tailor your strategies real-time as opposed to hoping that the right combination of events happen for you to make the most of the cards that you have.

Princesses are pretty much Disney Princesses, and you'll at first be surprised that this faction has less Minions than others. But then the six Princess minions in this set are all of Power 5 and have special card Heirlooms that can provide additional bonuses. I find that they work well with factions like the Werewolves as they are all high Power cards and thus can help trigger certain other effects in the more bruiser-like factions out there.

And finally there are the Kitty Cats, who are all about card manipulation. Bringing their Minions into the game can directly affect enemy Minions and their Action cards do similarly. They make look cute, but these Cats are quick to steal away control of key bases and create advantages for themselves while you're distracted by their cuteness.

Each faction is pretty strong but I find that they work a lot better with prior expansions as opposed to just playing among themselves. the Princesses feel like an easy favorite given the richness of their flavor reference and how they really kick some serious butt in the game. But you don't want to underestimate the likes of the Fairies, whose more versatile magic can make them more useful than the Shapeshifters.

Or maybe the expansion helped me discover a latent desire to play with horses.

Smash Up: Pretty Pretty Smash Up is a fun and very well though-out expansion that opens up new doors for card strategies. This is an expansion that I feel is a must-have versus all others and it gets a full 5 dangerous Kitty Cat combos out of a possible 5.


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