Smash Up: World Tour: Culture Shock – AEG – Review


Theme and What is it?


Smash Up– World Tour: Culture Shock is another expansion to the popular card game, Smash Up. This expansion adds 5 new factions and 11 new bases. The theme of the new decks is something that everyone loves – tales! Folklore from West Africa to Russia, to the Brothers Grimm; Polynesian Voyagers, and Ancient Incas. 

Each deck comes with 20 beautifully illustrated cards and a fistful of new mechanics. Even though the factions in Smash Up are vastly different in their themes and artwork, they’re usually similar in their actions and abilities: Play an extra card, destroy someone’s minion, beef up your own minion, etc. 

However, the factions in Culture Shock have unique abilities that I haven’t seen in any other deck, and they build up the faction’s theme with a delicious precision that makes them extra fun to play.

What does it add?


The 5 decks included in this expansion are different from any I’ve played before. They add more strategy, more planning, and more player interaction.

The “Anansi Tales” player can place cards they play into the hands of other players. The Anansi Tales player gets special benefits when other players play or discard their cards. 

The “Grimms’ Fairy Tales” player has to deal with a bit of set collection. Their minions get benefits only when certain other minions are at the same base. 

The “Ancient Incas” deck revolves around playing actions on bases. 

The “Polynesian Voyagers” sail their minions around the other bases and become more powerful for every base where they have minions. They can also bring more bases into play for players to compete over.

The “Russian Fairytales” deck centers around transformation. They can often change one of their minions into a different one, or force other players to discard a minion in play and replace it with a random one from their deck.

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What does it fix/ break?


This expansion doesn’t really break or fix anything, it just brings more choices and more variety to an already spectacular game.

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Do I want this?


When I first heard about Smash Up – World Tour: Culture Shock, I thought, “What a mouthful.” Then I thought, “yuck, politics.” I had no clue what the expansion was about, but the title made it sound like an attempt to educate people about the problems of foreign countries. 

When I learned that it was actually themed around foreign folklore my excitement went from 0 to 10 immediately. Who doesn’t love fairytales? The new decks introduce some new mechanics that I would consider to be “advanced”. If you like smash up, but you’re looking for more of a strategic challenge, this expansion might be just the thing you’re looking for.

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Do I need this?


You don’t need this expansion, but if you were going to pick a few to add to your collection, I would definitely put this one on the list. The fairytale themed cards would be a great way to trick people into playing with you. Also, since the new decks are more difficult to work with, they could be a great way to handicap experienced players when playing against newbies.

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We own most of the Smash Up expansions, and I think this one might be my favorite so far. The new factions add a layer of strategy and planning that just wasn’t there before. This makes it the perfect addition for someone who loves Smash Up, but wants something a bit more complex.


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