Friday, July 1, 2011

Slapshot arrives

Well, a quick first impression is that Slapshot isn't really a silly card game at all -- at least not in the same way as Munchkin or or Fluxx. The only thing silly are the names of the "players" (admittedly, those are truly silly: Moby Stick, Friar Puck and Snow Balls for example).

But the game, itself, is a Knizia-like hand-management card game and there's clearly some room for skill. It reminds me a little of Battle Line -- one could call it a sort of chaotic, multi-player Battle Line. The basic idea is the same, where players compare the opposing values of their cards with the higher total generally winning, but with some exceptions.

I'll have to try it a few times but it seems to have potential.

I should mention what's in the game.

First off, it comes in a smaller version of the standard Columbia slipcase style box, which means it comprises a black card-board inner box and a light card-board outer sleeve. So far as I know, this is new packaging for Columbia, but it could obviously be used for other smaller products. It's similar in size to the plastic VHS style box previously used for Wizard Kings and Victory expansions and it's possible this replaces those.

Inside the box are the rules, just four 5- by 8-inch pages, one of which is taken up the player roster. There's an 8.5 by 11-inch folded playing board and a plastic card tray with three bays. Six ordinary Columbia wooden blocks serve as player scoring tokens.

Finally there are the 54 player cards. I don't know how these compare to the Avalon Hill version, because I never owned it, but the cards are playing-card quality (although not expensive playing card quality).

Playing card games generally seem a bit over-packaged to me, because generally the heart of the game is just a deck of cards and rules and the other components are really ancillary. The larger box really seems just to primarily designed to win shelf space and justify a higher purchase price. That said, the presentation is nice and the overall price is still pretty much on the low side for what's available these days.

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