What do ninjas and zombies have in common? Absolutely nothing. I learned that playing Smash Up, by AEG. Pretty Pretty Smash Up, an expansion with cats, ponies, fairies, and princesses was released and of course Barb and our girl had to have it, thankfully there was a half-off sale on Amazon. I found myself facing off against Cats and Princesses (our girl), Steampunk and Ponies (Barb), Pirates and Plants (our boy), and me with Ninjas and Zombies. For those who have not played Smash Up, each person picks two factions pulls those decks and shuffles them together to form their deck which they use to capture bases for points. Simple sounding and on the surface, Smash Up is a simple game. Of course card text and faction interaction are where the depth come from. From this game I learned Pirates and Plants can be a lethal combo; Cats and Princesses is cute with an edge and ability to remain in play; Steampunk and Ponies had the ability to generate a lot of points quickly; and Ninjas and Zombies the best I can say is that I rarely had a creature or minion in my discard pile for long.
We cannot not game (was that a double negative?). Wiped out from Friday. Needing to get out of town yesterday and still feeling some lingering effects from Friday I was not in the mood for a long or involved game, but all of us wanted to game. Thankfully we have a lot of small and quick games, most gamers play these games while waiting to play the “big” game for the night.
Like to create twisting lines with the goal of staying on your line on the board? Tsuro by Calliope Games, may be up your alley. Allow me to state this upfront, Tsuro is one of the nicest looking games I have seen. Here is the game in a nutshell, using tiles with lines on them you have to create a path that your piece stays on. Your path cannot lead off the edged of the board and your path cannot cause your piece to collide with another player, either of those conditions causes you to lose. Be the last person on the board. Horrendously simple game to play. Like chess though, the strategy and depth comes from the limited number of tiles 19 playable and the actions of other players. You can only play a tile for your piece, but as tiles fill the board a tile of yours or another players can cause your piece to move in unexpected directions, including off the board. We played this three times in a row in under an hour before food was ready. Excellent game for ALL ages.
Lastly, but not leastly (is that a word, the red line says no, but I reject the red line) was Sushi GO! by Gamewright. Sushi Go is one of those card games in a metal tin and found everywhere (even up here). And I recommend that everyone who likes to play games get a copy. I don’t care if you don’t like sushi, you do not have to know anything about sushi, eat sushi, smell sushi, or touch sushi. You only have to enjoy the cute art and play a very engrossing and lightning quick game that anyone from 7 on up can play and play well. Here is the game, there are three rounds, I will be describing one round: deal out X number of cards based on the number of players, a four person game is 8 cards each. Set rest of the cards aside. Look at your hand, pick out one card and place down in front of you, everyone at the same time flips over their card, then take your hand and pass to the player to your left. Rinse and repeat: pick card, flip card, and pass hand. Continue doing this until all of the cards have been played. The goal to collect sushi to score points and do not forget the pudding. Each type of sushi is worth points when collected in the right amount. Three cards modify actions and points: chopsticks allow you to pick two cards, but you have to shout SUSHI GO! and you have to put the chopsticks in your hand before you pass the cards; wasabi triples the points from nigiri and only nigiri; and pudding is only scored after everything else-giving 6 points to the person with the most pudding or taking away 6 points from the person with the least. A single game took us a half-hour to play, if that. By the second game we were picking, flipping, passing, and shouting SUSHI GO! like pros. Sushi Go! is going in my bag with me to classes, it is that fun.