Dec 2, 2015

[Games] Smash Up: Science Fiction Double Feature

We've already established that Smash Up expansions can be quite fun and sometimes more quirky than they need to be. But more cards means more options and more variations in play styles and all that good stuff. And this expansion actually comes with a bit more of a theme versus the first one that came out for the game.

Smash Up: Science Fiction Double Feature is another clever expansion for the series and one that introduces four new diverse factions to shake things up. If anything, I feel like these factions nicely complement some of the newer ones that had been introduced in the first one, thus continuing to drive things to new heights of geeky fun.

I wasn't quite expecting this set to come together the way it did, but for the most part it does work out. Of course things are a lot more interesting once you start to mix and match your factions and create new armies that will take on other players and bring them down. And you have a good roster of characters with crazy powers to expand your play options.

Smash Up: Science Fiction Double Feature is a 88 card expansion for Paul Peterson's Smash Up. With these four new factions, you can continue enjoy your 2-4 player games with more science involved. You could of course just have two players play with only the cards from this expansion for the heck of it but it's never quite the same really.

The first faction are the Shapeshifters, whose various Minions and Actions either act like copies of other factions or can actually copy powers during a game. If you already have a good amount of experience with the other factions, then Shapeshifters are a great way to utilize the sheer diversity of powers to win more victory points.

Then you have the Cyborg Apes, who are the big bruisers of this expansion. The apes get stronger as you attach more Actions to their Minions and you can end up with some pretty scary Minions given enough time.

Super Spies are a lot more cerebral versus other factions and allow you to glean intelligence on the cards and coming strategies of other players. They also have clever effects that allow them to potentially change the game right as you're about to score a base.

And finally there are the Time Travelers, who have a particular knack for coming back again. Don't be surprised to get a significant feeling of deja vu when facing a Time Traveler player as the same Minions seem to keep coming back in hand and get played once more.

The Apes are probably the easiest faction in this set to play given they're all about creating high power Minions and quickly overwhelming bases before other players can establish a firm presence. All the others require a bit more strategic thinking to make the most of, and this is especially true when it comes to the Super Spies. Their powers seem like fun but it's hard to immediately act on the intelligence they manage to steal for you.

In terms of flavor, I really enjoyed what they did with the Spies. Most cards are plays on titles of James Bond movies, and it totally works overall. The Shapeshifters feel like a scavenger hunt of picking and choosing powers from the different factions to come up with something amazing. If you're not careful you might get lost in the mix-up of diverse powers and abilities but you can really executive brilliant plays once you have a good idea of how to leverage the abilities of others against them.

Smash Up: Science Fiction Double Feature is a nice solid expansion to the game and one that encourages players to up their level of play to come up with more clever strategies. I really enjoy the factions they developed for this set. Thus the expansion gets a good 4 crazy ape card names out of a possible 5.

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