Monday, May 19, 2008

Blast! - Review

My wife got Blast! from E-bay on the off chance it might work for the family. It's an old game and I imagine it's long out of print.

I played three games and then I'd had enough. Yet, even as I sit here typing I can hear the rest of family laughing as they continue to play!

What you get are two dice, one is a standard die the other is numbered normaly but on each face the spots are a different colour.

The rest of the game is made up two decks. The main deck is made up of cards that match the colours on the special die and are numbered from two to twelve. The second deck is smaller and each card gives you an instruction.

Basic game play is as follows. On your turn you roll the two dice. You then proclaim the total of the two dice and the colour from the special die. For example "Red 8". The player who has the Red 8 card then lays it in front of themselves face up. That player then takes their turn.

I'm sure that if you think about it for a minute you'll see the pitfall I saw, that within very short time you'll be rolling and not matching cards in anyones hands.

This eventuality has been catered for. If no one has the card you roll, or the card has been played face up already, then you take one of the instruction cards.

An instruction card tells you what to do. A sample instruction is "Pass the Dice" meaning you simply ignore your roll and pass the dice to the next player. Another example is "Take a Card", where you take a card from the face up selection on the table and put it in your hand. The last example I'll give you is the "Blast" instruction. With "Blast" you take a card from your hand and place it face down in front of another player.

The game continues until a player ends their turn with no cards in their hand. At that point you score points for each face up card in front of you and subtract points for each face down card, cards in your hand are ignored.

This game is rather dull, it does have a decision point, just one.

When you follow a "Blast" instruction you have to decide which card to play and against who. You have to weigh the points you'll be taking away from them against the odds of you being able to play the card to score points for yourself. So if your nearing the end of the game, Blast other players with high card numbers because its unlikely that high numbers will be rolled.

There is no other genuine decision to be made.

I expected this game to go on and on and on. It does not. As more and more numbers have already been played players start taking the instruction cards. As the "Blast" cards in here allow you to get rid of a card, we have a mechanism for shrinking the number of cards players have despite bad die rolls. So the game has a natural length.

The rules do suggest that if you want a longer game ( oh no, please no! ) you can play to 500 points. That would mean about 10 hands. No thanks one hand is enough for me. Yet the family are still playing in the other room, so I fear I'll be playing again.

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