Dec 9, 2015

[Games] Smash Up: Monster Smash

This particular Smash Up expansion is a bit more memorable for us since it took us so long to get it. It originally came out around the time when many local gaming stores like Gaming Library were still establishing themselves and so every now and then Tobie and I would still place orders for games with foreign retailers. We ordered this game from Amazon during the holiday season but didn't get it until some time this year as part of a larger shipment. But this time a lot of local stores already had copies of the game and so it felt a little silly to have waited so long.

But to be fair, Smash Up: Monster Smash is one of my favorite sets in the series. Sure, it's already a fun thing how the set features a lot of classic creatures from old horror movies and monster movies. But on top of all that, the set also features some rather interesting new game mechanics, which really add something interesting to your Smash Up games.

Plus monsters are always going to be cool, right? And this collection of savage creatures is quite memorable indeed.

Synopsis: Smash Up: Monster Smash is a full expansion for the Smash Up shufflebuilding game as designed by Paul Peterson. As before, the expansion adds 4 new factions to the game and can support two players on its on but will continue to support up to four players with the base set or frankly any other full expansion.

So let's get straight to the meat of things and talk about the four new factions introduced in this set.

First we have the Giant Ants who have walked right out of those old school b-movies. This whole set involves a lot of +1 tokens modifying the power of your Minions and the Ants have a clever way of making use of them. A lot of their cards involve moving those +1 tokens around, thus ensuring that the team is able to work together in a most efficient manner in order to shift their strength where it needs to be,

Then you have the Vampires, whose various cards celebrate all the different vampire movies that have come out over the years. They can gather +1 counters to themselves through various effects - although typically this means destroying other Minions in order to benefit themselves.

The Mad Scientists celebrate the Frankenstein in all of us. They can give +1 counters to others in order to boost other members of the teams working on various bases. And of course they have their own creations that become even more powerful when augmented by the Scientist abilities.

Lastly there's the Werewolves that are pretty strong to begin with and get additional benefits as long as they get to prove they're the strongest Minions around. They can gather quite quickly and manage a stellar job of overwhelming a base.

Usually I feel like these expansions have one big strength-based Faction and the others are more clever. In this case, it feels like all of these factions have some pretty strong Minions and have quite the potential to really beat up those bases. The fact that +1 counters play such a key role really makes for some scary Minions moving between bases.

And all the factions have some really great flavor to them ranging from the celebration of all the different movie vampires and the Giant Ants celebrating Queen songs. I love this sort of thing and it's part of the humor that really makes Smash Up work.

Thus the game gets a good 4 special +1 bonuses out of a possible 5.

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