World Tour: Culture Shock Coming Soon

I can’t believe I missed this.

This blog could almost be called the Smash Up blog (especially after last week’s review of the first World Tour expansion) but yet somehow this news escaped me.

Yes, I already knew (and probably mentioned) that the next World Tour expansion would be called World Tour: Culture Shock, but May’s Smash Club newsletter actually had a brief preview of it!

I need to turn in my badge.


Anyway, apparently it’s looking like this will be out at GenCon, so in August.

Picture me salivating…ok, wait. Don’t do that. That’s gross.

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Expansion Review – Smash Up: International Incident

It’s hard to quantify just how much enjoyment Smash Up has given to me, especially in the middle of a long work day when it’s just fun to sit down with two co-workers and try (and usually fail) to kick their asses.

In a game, I mean.

There are laws against that otherwise.

Anyway, the interplay of all the different factions just makes Smash Up a satisfying use of an hour and never ceases to cause a lot of laughter.


The latest expansion (wow, this is actually current!) is Smash Up: International Incident and it has four new factions that all have an international flavour to them. It’s part of the “World Tour” series of expansions (Culture Shock is coming out later this year).

One of them being Canadian, and with me being Canadian (wow, who knew?), I was especially wanting to try this one as soon as I could.

Would it live up to all of that expectation?


Let’s take a look at it.

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New to Me – May 2019

It’s hard to believe we’re almost half-way done with 2019 already.

Where does the time go?

I know where my time didn’t go last month: playing new to me games. I only have three games to tell you about!

However, as the Cult of the New to Me bylaws go, if you play fewer new games, you have to make sure they’re old enough. I think 2007, 2005, and 2012 qualify!

Where did my time go in May?

I was attacked by assassins in an attempted coup!

Wick horse

Thankfully, I dealt with it.

I’m posting this two days early because I won’t be playing any more new games until Sunday. Besides, my father (or mother, or maybe just somebody I heard on the street, I can’t remember) always said that if you can’t do it better, do it early.

I live by that motto!

Anyway, without further adieu (all of my adieu was accidentally donated to a presidential campaign anyway), let’s get started!

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Terraforming Mars is in mobile beta – and it’s decent!

Something I’m way behind on is telling you that the Terraforming Mars app (that came out to mixed reviews on Steam but I mostly liked) has been in beta on mobile devices for a little while now.

The game is published and developed by Lucky Hammers and Asmodee Digital.

This isn’t a news post, unfortunately, because I think both Android and iOS is full, but I’d like to report back a little bit.

First, I want to say that while it is one of my favourite games, I’m not so well-versed in it that I can say that it definitively gets all the rules right (there have been some threads about these types of issues since the Steam app came out).

However, from what I can see, a number of things seem to be working better than they were on Steam (and maybe the Steam app now has these improvements as well).

First, they’ve added the draft variant! This also appeared on Steam and it is much-needed. I was so happy to play a few games against the AI with the draft variant.

Secondly, online multiplayer seems to be working pretty good, much better than the Steam app (though again, maybe the Steam app updated this as well because frankly I gave up after one game in frustration).

You actually can invite friends to a game without waiting around in the room.  (Like most Asmodee apps, if you just want to play online with people you don’t know, you have to keep the room open until everybody joins).

This was much needed!

TM - Mobile

If I was posting this a week or so ago, I would have been able to say that you even get notifications when it’s your turn!

Sadly, that seems to have crapped out, though. I haven’t received a notification in quite a while. Hopefully that can be fixed!

It still has a maximum of 15 days to finish a game, which works ok if you check fairly regularly. However, I can’t see that working with the draft variant. Each “turn” would be choosing a card. With 10-12 generations, you’re looking at another 30-36 logins!

They really need to add more time.

In addition to this, it really needs to tell you who’s who in your game. It’s not bad in a 2-player game (obviously the person who isn’t you is the other player), but in a 3 or 4-player game, it would be nice to know if Jim is Thorgate or if Bob is.

TM - Mobile 2
I love how the language of the game name is in the creator’s native language.

Finally, even when we did receive turn notifications, you had no idea which game the turn was from! Now, with no notifications, I have to check all three just to make sure I’m not missing something.

This, along with the notifications, really needs to change as well.

Overall, though, I’m liking the mobile version of the game. I like playing it on the go, and I hope that many of the issues that we’ve brought up are addressed before it goes into general release.

I haven’t had it crash yet, which is also a plus.

It looks really good on my phone and iPad.

Here’s hoping!

Are you in the beta? Maybe hit me up for a game!

App Review – Fort Sumter

When news hit a month or so ago that the wonderful 2-player game Fort Sumter was coming to digital via Playdek, I was…well, let’s just say excited and leave it at that (I don’t want to be embarrassed).

Now that day has finally arrived, with it dropping on all platforms (Steam, iOS, and Android) yesterday to a lot of fanfare.

Fort Sumter Screenshot

Needless to say, I jumped on it as soon as I could.

This 2-player card-driven game was designed by Mark Herman with artwork by Knut Grünitz and Rodger B. MacGowan and published by GMT Games. The app, as noted, comes from Playdek and it is up to the usual Playdek standards.

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Review – Arboretum

Imagine you really love trees, so much so that you want to build your own place to house them. To look at them. To love them.

Say you’re walking through your forest of trees, when you are suddenly attacked by a bunch of ninjas who also really love trees! In fact, they’re trying to tear down your trees because they want their trees to be more prestigious.

Who knew that growing trees was such a militant business?

Well, if you played Arboretum, the great card game originally published by Z-Man Games but now published with breath-taking art by Renegade Games Studios, you might know a little bit of that feeling.


The game was designed by Dan Cassar and the new edition has artwork from the immensely-talented Beth Sobel. Originally published in 2015, the new version came out in 2018. It didn’t have any rules revisions or anything, just different production quality and art work.

What’s this brutal card game like?

Let’s take a look.

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The Rival Networks Coming from Formal Ferret Games

Quick news post today (I promise a review is coming later this week).

Long-time readers know of my love for The Networks (designed by Gil Hova). Not only did I give it a glowing review, but it made it into my Top 5 games played of all-time.

Today’s email brought a welcome announcement from Gil (and Formal Ferret Games): The Rival Networks!

Rival Networks - Red Bloods
Artworks isn’t finalized and is from the announcement post

This is a 2-player quick-playing version of The Networks that will be a bit less complex than its parent game.

As Gil says in his post, these are prototypes so not only is the artwork not final, but neither are the rules necessarily!

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