The Joy of Blending Cats: Kittens in a Blender

Hello, Geeks.

Normally Kenny will be writing the board game reviews, but as I am Geek Collateral’s resident cat fanatic, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Kittens in a Blender. It’s a fairly simple, deeply twisted card game: pick a kitten colour. Save your kittens from being blended. Turn your opponents’ kitties into cat purée.

Kittens in a Blender

Kittens in a Blender

The deck includes kittens for each player, cards that enable you to move kittens, cards to blend kittens, cards to save kittens from being blended, and cards that cause each player to pass their hand along. You start with six cards in each player’s hand. Each turn, you must use two and then pick up two. You want your kittens safe in the box (or at least on the counter) and your opponents’ kitties preparing mewing piteously from the murderous kitchen appliance. Whether you play with subtle strategy or for maximum carnage is up to you.

The game is quick and violent. I played against our CEO, Devin Edwards (though you can play with up to 4 people), and he made horrible whirring sounds when kittens died. He also insisted on reading out the names of the blended kittens at the end of each round. Sadist.

Kittens in a Blender Cards

Kittens in a Blender cards

Devin contemplating the deaths of countless kittens.

Devin contemplating the deaths of countless kittens/trying to look cute like the innocent kittens he is about to murder.

I was surprised by how affected I was by the blending. Maybe if the kittens didn’t have names or such cute cartoon faces, I would find it less upsetting. I found myself apologizing to Devin’s cats while I placed them in the blender, and I decided which of my own kittens to save according to how adorable the cards were (Ninja is just too cute to let die, but I don’t have quite the same attachment to Chester). Emotional trauma aside, Kittens in a Blender is a fun, fast-paced game that’s perfect for those with limited time (or a short attention span) and a dark sense of humour.

4/5 meeples and/or severed kitten limbs
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Takes 30 minutes to play
From Closet Nerd and Redshift Games

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Superfight! Review

Greetings, Geeks.

You’ve waited long enough. Remember that game we played that we wouldn’t tell you anything about? If not, check out our intro to Kenny and his Board Game House to refresh your memories. The wait is over.

Take it away, Kenny.

Superfight! Review

I feel like every game collector has some games in their collection that they avoid playing at all costs; these games aren’t bad–after all, you kept them–but there is something about them that you want to deal with only on rare occasions. The obvious Monopoly aside, for me, two such games are Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity. Now, I want to make this very clear: I love these games. But they get really stale really quickly, when the shock value and surprises of the cards start to fade away. This call-and-response-style gameplay is great when you want to play games with anyone, but for those who play too many times, you will find the same jokes being made over and over again. So then, one may ask why I funded Superfight!, yet another judge based party game off Kickstarter, and then claim that it’s brilliant? Simply put, this game has solved stale.

Superfight!

Superfight!

Superfight! is an excellent departure for the ever-growing subgenre of party game I simply call judging games. The concept is simple: each round, the players construct combatants for a gladiator-style battle to the death against the judge’s champion. The winners of each round will be decided by the judge, and any player who has a winning combatant recieves one point. The judge changes each round so everyone has a chance to play both roles. Combatant creation is simply achieved through the use of two large decks of cards, black character cards, and white attribute cards. The judge will randomly create their champion by drawing one character card and two attribute cards off the top of the deck (for example, a samurai that is made of sand and can summon anything from a department store). Each other player builds their battler by playing one character card and one attribute card from a hand of cards they received at game start (someone may have played a T-Rex with a fire hose). After that, everyone gets a chance to place a second attribute card on someone else’s warrior before the battle begins (and now the T-rex is trapped in a giant hamster ball). Once everyone has a character with two attributes, the battle–and the hilarious debate–begins! Judges are encouraged to award multiple points if they feel people have earned it, or no points if they feel no one beat their champion. Of course this requires faith that your judge isn’t a jerk, but if they are, then why play games with them?

The problem that all judging games seem to have is that the entertainment comes from the cards alone. Superfight! solves this problem by having a good portion of the fun coming from the best use of the cards, and the discussion of the epic fights. The attribute cards are a slick addition, providing most of the hilarious chaos and giving the game far more life by reducing repetition. Unless you are really bad at shuffling cards, you will not see The Orb of Fire Marshall Sharptooth in a game again for a long time. When playing this for the first time, my guests kept commenting that they didn’t even care if they won or lost, as long as the battles kept being ridiculous and hilarious, which they did. Just like other games with no clear rules on when the game actually ends, setting some guidelines at the start of the game will save your group of players from having your friendly debates turn into actual arguments, or frustrated boredom as two people banter about their battlers endlessly. But these are mostly  matters of who you are playing with, rather than a flawed design.

In the end, if you are looking for a fun game that anyone can pick up and enjoy, that will entertain you every time you open it with a whole new set of hilarious conversations, Superfight! is worth your consideration. It’s great with a few friends and possibly a drink or two to unwind during the evening. Pretty much every major flaw this game has can be addressed by not playing the game with people who are jerks. It could use slightly more specific rules, but with its active encouragement of players to tweak and find new fun ways to play, Superfight! is far more concerned with having a good time than it is about the specific way to get there. I look forward to seeing what comes next with this game.

-Kenny

Rating: 4 out of 5 Meeples
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Board Games with Kenny Koberstadt

Another geek has joined the Geek Collateral Media team. Meet Kenny Koberstadt—board game expert, Pokémon trainer, and music lover. We went over to Board Game House (yes, that is his residence’s official title) recently to play a few games from his extensive collection, including a new game that Kenny helped to Kickstart (no, we’re not telling which game it is—you’ll have to wait for Kenny’s review).

While we were there, we took some photos of us playing and posing:

 

Stay tuned for Kenny’s board game review and a 4-part Pokemon trainer’s guide, coming soon.

We’ll be back,
Geek Collateral

Squander Scrabble

The Word 'Squander' on a scrabble board

During a game of Scrabble with Sarah, I managed a whopping 221 points in a single play with the word ‘Squander.’ This is a personal record for me, so I’m a bit excited about it.

If you’re wondering how I scored it:

The word is worth 19 points because A1 is on a double letter score, and the word falls across two triple word scores, which triples the points to 57 total and then re-triples them to 171 points. I also gained a 50-point bonus for using all seven tiles. Ergo: 221 points.

Not that I’m bragging or anything. Maybe a little.

Maybe a lot,

Devin Edwards