Review – Elemental Blast

What’s in the box

Elemental Blast is a card game that was kickstarted earlier this year. For 3-7 players (2 with possible alternate rules) it was designed by Gregory Hingle and published by The Game Crafter. It retails for about $20. The box includes 53 cards (7 of each element with 4 wilds) 7 reminder cards for what each element does and 3 rules cards (one of which is alternate rules) all in a poker style card stock/size.

In the game there are seven different elements, each with its own power, and a wild card that can be any one of the others. Players take turns drawing a card and then playing a card for its effect – if it matches the card the last player played on their turn they get a bonus effect such as doubling the number of cards drawn or attacking all players instead of just the next player. This continues until one player gets a “blast” – 5 copies of any one element in their hand.

In general this is a fun, light game of high luck. Great for a palate cleanse game or if you just want something quick while you’re eating. My main problem with it is the attacks feel too powerful as compared to the boosts: I’ve had multiple games where players chained the Fire card multiple times such that no one has any cards left. While an empty hand does let you have an extra draw, because you need 5 cards in hand (minimum) to win this leads to a slowing of the game as everyone needs many turns just to get back to interesting plays. The other big problem I have with the game play is lack of choice: with the attack cards you always hit the next player in rotation meaning someone can easily snowball if the player before them doesn’t attack often – and if you’re the next player you may be beat on more than others are.

If you’re looking for a light game this is a fine fit: the rules literally fit on a card (ok, two: one for the rules and one half for set up instructions) and each element does something interesting and different. The 2x chaining leads to interesting plays as often as it leads to uninteresting plays. My problems are all in expecting a more strategic game: if you’re looking for a high luck/ fun game then it can be fun to burn everyone to the ground or pick on your neighbor for a while.

Overall Rating: 5 elements.

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