Useful For Storing Excess Air - Smash Up: The Big Geeky Box Review

Smash Up has been a fun game in my collection and being the completionist that I am, naturally I've gone and bought all the expansions for it. The problem with that is, despite being able to hold out for a while, eventually the base box isn't large enough to hold all the factions and bases, etc while all sleeved..........or even unsleeved really, that's how crazy the game has got.

So after much badgering by the fans, AEG have now seen fit to give us what we really needed most. A storage solution to house all the Smash Up expansions and future ones at that. But we don't just get a box, no we also get a bonus "Geeks" faction for use in the main game. But it's mostly a box with a price tag so is it worth forking out the cash for it?

"It's cool that it has all the current factions plastered on it. . . . how soon before it gets outdated?"

Designer: Paul Peterson
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
# of Players: 2-4
Ages: 12+
Play Time: 30-60 Minutes
BGG Rank/Rating: n/a / 7.77
Dice Tower 2014 People’s Choice Rank: n/a
Category: Storage Solution For Main Game
  
Foreshadowing Taken To A Whole New Level

If you have bought any expandable deck builder games you will know what it's like to buy a box with a ton of cards and loads of spare space for expansions. Well this is taking that notion to a whole new level. The whole point of this box is store all the Smash Up cards to date as well as prepare for future expansions and I mean "prepare" because it's actually quite scary how much space you get here. I own every expansion to date and there is still at least 60% of the box still spare not including tokens and I sleeve this game with premium sleeves. Just how far are they going with this game?

"Overhead view - this includes EVERY expansion AND bases AND madness ALL sleeved!

It's a little odd though that after giving us all this space for cards, there isn't any space for the rulebooks. You can argue that it's not exactly a difficult game to play but it's nice to have them around and each expansion adds new mechanics to the game. You place the rulebooks on top of the cards but no extra room was given to accommodate them and I'm not convinced the original rulebook was tested to fit. As a result you get a little bulge in the box but nothing drastic.

"You won't get much of a bulge currently, but remember, there will be more books to come"

The box is very large so make sure you have the shelf space for it. Check out the picture below for a size comparison to a standard square box. On my IKEA Expedit shelf this has to go in lengthways or not at all and it helps if you have a little bit of space between the shelf and the wall.

"Not as much depth, but considerably longer and taller than a standard sized game"

The best thing here though is without a doubt the new dividers. It annoys me in games like Legendary where the publishers don't make decent dividers to sort out the cards. Honestly Upper Deck, MAKE SOME DECENT DIVIDERS!! It takes a long time to print them off BGG and laminate and cut them, think of your customers, do you know how long it's going to take me to do this for Legendary Encounters?!!..................rant over! But these dividers are gorgeous, the best I've ever seen. They are sturdy, glossy plastic with full pictures depicting the faction and their unique name font and are considerably taller than the cards so you can easily spot them in a crowd. I hope that AEG continue to issue these with future expansions and I urge other publishers to take note here and start preparing similar for their deck building games, THIS is how you do good dividers.

"Take a look publishers..........look hard.......now DO THE SAME!!"

It's Good To Be A Geek

As well the box itself, you also get a new "Geeks" faction to add to the mix, however this is a mixed bag. On the one hand it adds some unique rules and twists by effectively saying "screw you" to the established rules keeping in theme. On the other hand it's very "meta" with its artwork and theme. All the pictures and minions depict celebrity gamers from real life like Felicia Day and Will Wheaton and it looks a little out of place when mixing with other factions. The artwork is also a little obscure for my liking, though not as bad as for example the Miskatonic University "Scooby Doo" style.

"Not a fan of the artwork and if you play Innsmouth, then FEAR the Banned List"

The faction itself plays well and you can create some very cool combos, but it never feels as fun or surreal as using other factions. Which would you rather have? Dinosaur Ninjas or Geeky Ninjas? It's a no-brainer really and I can't see the faction getting picked often.

Verdict

At first it seems a bit mad to spend £15 on what is mostly an empty box, but this is obviously just playing out to the Smash Up fans out there much like myself. If you own at least all but one of the expansions then you are probably most likely getting this box as your base box will be bulging at the seams trying to fit all of them in and you know you want more really! If however you have only acquired the base game and at most one or two expansions and are satisfied with that, then you can survive without this - this is a box for the fans, end of.

But if you are a fan, then this box is worth getting. This is about as future-proof a box as you can get for a game, there is so much room left in it that you just wonder how many more expansions are coming and that's even if you sleeve your cards, a consideration that so many publishers seem to forget about. The dividers are gorgeous quality and allow for easy sorting. The Geeks faction adds some interesting twists to other factions but is by no means essential as it's not particularly exciting and pretty much just a meta-faction for those involved in the gaming hobby.


You Will Like This Game If:

  • You have bought all the expansions and really need a better storage solution.
  • You are keen to have all the factions and thus need the Geek pack included.
  • ............you know what? There isn't a third reason, go figure! 

You Will Not Like This Game If:

  • You only own a little bit of Smash Up and don't see yourself going mad with it.
  • You don't like the idea of spending money on essentially a storage box
  • ...............you know what? Can't think of a third reason here either!

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