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Smash or Trash: a good time, once convinced to play

We happened to be sent a copy of Smash or Trash courtesy of Fun Q Games (http://www.funqgames.com/) for the purpose of writing this review. We got the game in almost two weeks ago.  I was very excited to get my friends and family playing it so that I could write an informative review on it’s behalf.  Two weeks later, and I am just now writing the review.  Why?  Because I had a hard time convincing people to play this game.

My husband doesn’t like party games,  simple as that,  so I knew this would not be an easy sell to him.  However one of our good gaming buddies generally seems to like goofy games, especially since we don’t play them often, so they are a good change of pace for her.  That first night it was just the three of us, the minimum number of players for the game, and after some teeth pulling to get my husband to the gaming table we all settled in to play Smash or Trash.

The rules were pretty straight forward, which I always appreciate given that I am the one designated with the chore of figuring out the rules. Everyone gets a card with several song titles on it, then everyone gets a card with a word on it (ie. Roadkill, rubber ducks, air plane, etc).  You then have seven minutes to rewrite the lyrics to one of the songs on the first card using the theme given on the second card.  After that, each person performs that song and then points are awarded by each player.  The person with the most points at the end of the game wins.  Ta-da! Easy enough right?

When I first read these rules, I was worried.  What happens when someone doesn’t know the song?  We have a pretty large range of ages, with a large range of musical tastes.  Luckily the rules did allow for someone to dump a card they knew absolutely no songs on, and the range of artists and genres were pretty far reaching.  I clearly remember the Beatles (Eleanor Rigby) coming up on one of my cards, followed by Brittany Spears (One More Time).   Ultimately I was very pleased with how balanced this portion of the game was.

After roughly five rounds, we decided we had had enough.  It was starting to get late, so we tallied our points and declared our winner (I won!  Huzzah!). But I didn’t quite feel satisfied.  I wanted to try the game again with a couple other people.  Really take it for a proper spin.

A week later my oldest brother was around on a game night, he had missed the prior one.  This seemed like a good opportunity to break the game back out.  My friend who had played with us before was there, and she vetoed playing it again.  I simply couldn’t talk her into another round of it, and she usually really enjoys party games.  This kind of trend of simply not being able to talk people into playing it persisted for quite some time, and has led me to give up.

So what was my final impression of the game?  It was fun.  We laughed a lot while playing it, and I know I would be willing to play it again. My cohorts saw it differently.  I hate to use this phrase but:  “You have to play it with the right group of people”.  I hate to say it because it can be applied generically to almost any game.  With a creative playful group of people, this would go over swimmingly,  and even be a favorite smash hit. With a more reserved group, while funny, there were certainly moments of frustration which I believe led to an unwillingness to try it again.

In the end, Smash or Trash was neither.  It was fun.  I certainly wouldn’t trash it.  It’ll likely get pulled back out at some point.  However, it was sadly not a smash hit.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Monday, August 10th, 2009 at 8:00 am and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Party Games .
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