- For ages 12 and up
- For 2 players (or add to other expansions for more players)
- Approximately 45 minutes to complete
- Active Listening & Communication
- Counting & Math
- Logical & Critical Decision Making
- Strategy & Tactics
- Hand/Resource Management
- Bluffing and Misdirection
- Worker Placement & Area Control
- Child – Easy
- Adult – Easy
Theme & Narrative:
- Take on your opponents as Egyptian cowboys or viking samurai
- Gamer Geek approved!
- Parent Geek approved!
- Child Geek approved!
There are two types of people who go to buffets. Those who like variety and those who like bulk. We could argue that “more does not mean better”, but try having that conversation when presented with 12 feet of assorted desserts. But sometimes you just want a cookie. Is there a best of both worlds? For buffets, probably not. On your gaming table, certainly. This game can be used as a single serving or the first of many, many games to consume.
Smash Up: Oops, You Did It Again, designed by Paul Peterson and published by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG), is comprised of 80 Faction cards (20 per faction), eight Base cards, four card dividers, and 28 tokens. The cards are as thick and as durable as your standard playing card. The card dividers are made of thick plastic and are meant to be used in a customized box to contain the game cards or officially released storage solutions. The tokens are made of thick cardboard. The artwork is fantastic, featuring not only the factions in which the cards are meant to represent, but also previously released factions in a comedic way that keeps the game’s theme well in the forefront with a lot of tongue in cheek.
Smash Up: Oops, You Did It Again can be played as both a standalone game (for two players) or included with any of the previously released Smash Up expansions (where you could play with as many people as you have card sets to use). We will not be discussing how to play the game in this review (that has been covered here). We will instead focus on the game components, and what the new factions bring to the table.
Your Four New Best Friends
Smash Up: Oops, You Did It Again introduces four new factions to play with. Let’s get to know them, shall we?
This faction blends mystic arts and alien technology to create a highly dubious and not at all accurate depiction of the ancient Egyptian culture. Think Stargate, but with real animal headed gods. Mummies, pharaohs, and big stone structures don’t even begin to describe what this faction is all about. Of important note is the new “Bury” mechanism that allows the player to take cards out of their hand and place them face-down on the table to be used for later. The buried card is essentially “out of play”, but can be activated by the owning player as an extra card when the rules allow it. Not only does this new mechanism let players to put cards off to the side for safe keeping, it also acts as a great way to bluff your opponents into thinking you have the “KILLER CARD” just waiting to be flipped over to win the game. Which you might or might not really have.
This faction is all about big hats, big belt buckles, and quick guns. They make use of the “Duel” mechanism that allows the player to target an opponent and engage them in one-on-one combat. Both players place a single card face-down on the table and then flip them over simultaneously. All our players liked to say “Draw!” when they flipped it over, further emphasizing the thematic nature of the game mechanism. After the gun smoke clears, one of the two cards will be the winner. This might not sound like a great ability, but it allows a player to have a small skirmish with another opponent using just one card and nothing else. If you are playing against someone who likes to boost their cards, calling them out for a little single-card-combat gives you the ability to fight fair and dirty at the same time.
Warriors of honor and of great skill, this faction focuses fully on combat. They can also make use of the Duel mechanism and tend to get the job done without even cracking a smile. Death before dishonor and all that. Good enforcers at the table when mixed with another faction, taking their job very seriously.
Bearded and brave, these warriors like to raid, pillage, and have a good time. Using this faction means you enjoy taking advantage of opponent’s cards. Vikings are all about taking what others have and using them for their own benefit and pleasure. This is not the faction to use if you are looking to make friends.
New Bases to Control
The new Base cards included in the game represent the different areas the factions most likely call home. Visually thematic, but like all bases in Smash Up, they are cards to be won by everyone and are faction independent.
The tokens included in the game are used to record victory points and enhancements to card values. Handy and largely unnecessary, they do a great job of keeping track of small numbers, freeing up players to focus fully on the card playing. To be perfectly clear, you can play the game without the tokens, but why would you want to?
To learn more about Smash Up: Oops, You Did It Again, visit the game’s web page.
The Child Geeks enjoyed playing with the new factions. The game was introduced to new players who had heard of the game, but had not yet had a chance to try it. According to one of the new players, “I really like how you get to play as all these different gangs. Cowboys? Vikings? I never thought I would put them together, but it works!” And from the point of view of a “veteran” Child Geek who was no stranger to the wonderful world of colliding themes, “The expansion plays like all the others. Which means it is good.” All the Child Geeks, those who had never played and those who were long time fans, all agreed that Smash Up: Oops, You Did It Again was, again, well worth their time. All the Child Geeks voted to approve it.
I was unable to find any Parent Geeks who were not already familiar with the game. This meant I would be working with individuals who had already long since made up their minds regarding Smash Up. This is never a good thing from a reviewer’s point of view because it means the game itself is being evaluated with predefined assumptions. In this case, all the Parent Geeks who played with the new expansion enjoyed it, but they also said it was just more Smash Up. Not a bad thing, but not all together exciting either. According to one Parent Geek, “I like to see that there are more cards to play with, but at this point, I feel that there are more cards available to me than I will play with. It is starting to feel like the game is just too big to really enjoy.” Another Parent Geek said, “Adding this to my collection is already in the works, but what I think is more interesting is that the game can be played right out of the box. I don’t need to have the other cards to enjoy it. But you should. The game is more fun with more cards.” In this case, we have two different opinions regarding the amount of cards and the value it does or does not provide to the game. Regardless, both sides of this argument agreed that the game, Smash Up, is worth your time. The expansion was fully approved, as well, but the debate if it should be a necessary component is still being discussed.
The Gamer Geeks didn’t question the value of this expansion. From their perspective, it was a forgone conclusion that it should not only be purchased, but also added to the mix of many faction cards already available. According to one Gamer Geek, “The real fun of Smash Up is putting together different factions that simply don’t make sense. For example, dragons and teddy bears. This expansion adds to that, building upon the success of what makes the game enjoyable without adding more weight to the game, mechanically speaking.” And yes, dear reader, you can play with dragons and teddy bears if you buy the right expansions. Another Gamer Geek said, “If you like Smash Up, you’ll get this without even thinking twice. I like the new cards and the buried action is a fun way to mess with your opponents and launch a sneak attack.” All the Gamer Geeks voted to approve the expansion and got to work arguing how best to pair them with other factions for world domination. Yes, dinosaur riding cowboys was discussed in great detail.
Smash Up continues to be fun a the table for all who play it. The biggest challenge for the game is staying fresh. The different factions allow for many different combinations, providing players new strategies and tactics, but the game itself is always the same. Play a card, take a base, and score some points. Rinse. Repeat. The game does not feel heavy, but it does feel a bit overplayed. Adding cowboys and samurai makes me happy and I’ll play the game with glee. After a few games, however, the excitement has worn off and the new factions just become one more grouping of cards I can choose to use or not. Nothing about the game is improved upon. It is, as one of our reviewers stated, “just more cards”.
Which leads me to ask the following question: is this expansion worth it?
Not only does it expand it also introduces. This is a standalone game, after all. It’s also meant to be added to other factions in Smash Up. There is no right or wrong way to go about it. Just get this game and be happy, or go get some more and be happier (maybe). AEG did it right. Not only did they create a welcoming door for those who are interested in the game to walk through with as little commitment as possible, but they also added an expansion for those who already enjoy the game and want to add more options. A double hit!
If you are a fan of Smash Up, I’m fairly certain you are going to buy this expansion when you have the financial means to do so. Adding factions and options to the game is part of the fun and a necessary component to keep it interesting. If you are new to Smash Up and always wanted to give it a try, now is a great time to jump in. This expansion gives you everything you need to play and provides a solid foundation for you to build upon if you want to invest in the game further. Oddly enough, it’s perfectly reasonable to get this expansion first, and if you like, then buy the core game. Total reversal to the norm, but in the world of Smash Up, normal is not a consideration.
This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.