Although it seems to be flying under the radar a little, Smash City is looking to be a big hitter, LITERALLY. As in you literally have to hit things in order to gain points and win the game. You and three other players will take control of one Kaiju, pitted against each other you are let loose upon an unsuspecting city with the sole aim of causing as much havoc and destruction as possible.
To do this each player receives one massive die which individually represents their chosen Kaiju. Then you are let loose, taking it in turns to hurtle the dice at a game board built up by towering 3D cut out buildings. Knocking over buildings gains you Power Up tokens which not only track your success but also enables you to add more powers to your Kaiju through the use of Smash! Cards.
Battling is also done in the same way. If you roll your dice and it touches an opponent’s, then you can inflict damage upon their Kaiju using an array of unique attacks; crushing them into the concrete beneath the Colobster’s Quake Smash or slicing off limbs with the electrified blade of GigaShogun’s Power Katana.
If you land touching a car tile, you get to physically pick it up and launch it at an enemy die in order to deal damage. Knocking over buildings and throwing cars is not the only way to deal damage, simply landing in touch with a building, whether fallen or standing, means that the building then becomes infected with the Kaiju’s elemental power and inflicts damage when touched by an opponent.
In reality, humans probably wouldn’t take too kindly to watching billions of money crushed, burned, and ripped apart by Monsters left to wander happily amidst their own destruction. The game mimics this. After every round more and more Army Tiles fill the City Map; tanks and soldiers start flooding the streets, intent on bringing down the looming Kaiju by inflicting damage when they are landed upon.
A Game of Dexterity
To add to the madness in Smash City; no building is ever removed from the board and so as the chaos progresses, the game becomes a major test of dexterity: Fallen buildings remain as toppled piles of infected rubble, an ever growing army hunt the cities remains and all the while three other Kaiju rampage over the carnage with feral intent of ripping you limb from limb. Players must roll carefully to avoid sky scrapers burning beneath the Magmaloden’s insatiable flames, or to avoid ambush’s led by humanity firing rockets and machine guns in hurtling salvos of death.
One unique twist is that the winner is not the one who slays an opposing Kaiju but instead is the one who caused the most chaos, with the game ending when the first Kaiju is slain. When this happens the cities descent into entropy suddenly seizes. Presumably, the Kaiju have a sudden moment of existential dread; staring dauntingly at a the carcass of a fellow monster, slain amidst the ruins of a once peaceful civilisation, the consequences of their actions sinking in along with the realisation of their own mortality, and so they stroll away to sleep it off like a bad hangover until another rainy day. It simply becomes a matter of who collected the most Upgrade Tokens, by toppling buildings, destroying tanks and injuring enemy Kaiju that determines the winner.
There are a few notes in the negatives, for instance the smash cards don’t currently appear to have any artwork on them, unlike the ability cards used in King of Tokyo. Also, the replay-ability value maybe somewhat lacking to the more in depth gamer; this definitely is not one for campaign gamers or those looking for a more in-depth gaming experience. However the unique hands-on gameplay looks to provide a lot of fun and is to be expected from the WizKidz studio; most famous for flooding the world with the number one selling collectable miniatures game, HeroClix.
One worry with these sorts of games is the production value, however Smash City’s buildings appear solid and stable, the player boards look well illustrated like something straight out a Japanese Manga novel and the dice have been tested to provide difficulty when attempting to topple the city. What Smash City does seem to be is a quality over sized piece of fun, inviting you and friends to take on the role of a lumbering Kaiju, smashing stuff and battling one another simultaneously.
Smash City - Coming Soon
If you fancy a break from long campaigns, 1000-word rulebooks or, like in the introduction, your favoured alternative to work would be reducing a city to ruin; Smash City looks to be a quirky and unique experience and is sure to be a fun romp, welcome at any party table.
Smash City is available to pre-order now from the Zatu Store.