A Smashing Good Time With Smash Up
As a tutor, I'm constantly trying to find different ways to reinforce the lessons the kids learn in school. The last thing little Johnny wants to do is sit down and repetitively go over the same problems. To break up the structured lessons, I bring age appropriate games to play. A hit with many kids is a fun tabletop game called Smash Up.
Smash Up is best played with 2-4 players with an age range suggestion of 12 and up. There are two distinct types of cards: factions and bases. Bases are what the faction cards attach to during the game. Factions cards fall into certain groups: Tricksters, Zombies, Aliens, Dinosaurs, Magicians, Ninjas, Pirates, and Robots.
Each player picks two factions and shuffles them together to make one minion deck. Each base has victory points assigned to the players on the place and amount of minion points when the base gets smashed.
The objective of the game is to be the first player to with 15 victory points.
What skills are reinforced?
Basic math skills, like adding and subtracting, are needed to add up points to smash bases and calculate the overall points. Some bases and factions need slightly more calculations according to the directions stated on the cards.
Basic English reading skills are needed in order to understand the extra directions on the cards. Intermediate reading skills are a plus when deciding on the pros and cons of combining factions.
With younger children, I find that jumping in and playing the game with an adult as a guide is the best way for them to grasp the rules. Critical thinking skills are boosted by seeing cause and effect directly on the bases. Older children and adults can learn leadership skills by understanding the rules and employing strategies to win bases.
The first few times I played Smash Up, I was impressed by how easy this game was to understand. The rule book included is sufficient to start playing within 5-10 minutes of opening the game. Right out of the box, the cards impressed me with their artwork. The font, colors, and lettering are individualized for each faction. Everything is a good size and easy to read. Subsequent games were made more interesting with expansion faction decks. House rules can be set for time or point limitations.
In conclusion, I'd highly recommend this game for kids needing an extra boost or adults wanting a lighthearted game for an afternoon.