- Designer: Evan Song & Samgoo
- Publisher: FoxMind
- Players: 2-6
- Ages: 7 and up
- Time: 30 minutes
- Times Played: 5
- Game provided by the publisher for review purposes.
Slide Blast is a tile laying game in which players compete to build the longest slide. Players will ride those water slides to earn points and determine the best slider in the world. Bonus points are also scored for helping other players extend their slides. When the game is over, the players will have created a stunning water park together for everybody to enjoy.
This game debuted at Essen Spiel 2016 from Mandoo Games, and a new edition with rules in English and French is now being released by FoxMind.
The game includes the following components:
- 1 Starting tile
- 3 Attraction tiles
- 40 Blue Back tiles:
- 29 Slide tiles
- 7 High Speed tiles
- 3 Attraction Icon tiles
- 1 Tunnel Entrance tile
- 5 Yellow Back tiles:
- 1 Tunnel Exit tile
- 4 Lifeguard tiles
- 6 Character cards
- 6 game pawns
- 18 Bonus tokens
Playing the Game
Place the Starting tile in the middle of the play area. Each player chooses a Character card and places the matching pawn (based on color) on the corresponding colored space on the Starting tile. Find the five Yellow Back tiles and set them aside face-up along with the three larger Attraction tiles and Bonus tokens. Mix the remaining forty Blue Back tiles and create two face-down draw stacks of roughly equal sizes. All players draw one Slide tile from one of the draw stacks to form their starting hands. The player who most recently visited a theme park will play first.
On a turn, the active player draws a tile from one of the Slide tile draw stacks, adds it to his hand, and then chooses one of his two tiles to play. The player must place the tile to extend his own slide, but doing so cannot cause a collision with another player (i.e. two players end up on the same slide) or cause any player to go back up to the top of the slide on the Starting tile.
In addition to the regular Slide tiles that contain curves and straight segments (sometimes crossing over or under each other), there are several Special Action tiles that can be played:
- High Speed tiles – There are seven High Speed tiles that contain slide segments highlighted in red. After placing a High Speed tile, the player draws another tile from a stack and then immediately plays another tile. This can only be done once per turn, so the player cannot take a second extra turn even if a second High Speed tile is played on that turn.
- Attraction Icon tiles – There are three Attraction Icon tiles that have a picture depicting the associated Attraction tile. When playing the Attraction Icon tile, the player will discard it to the game box and then place the matching large Attraction tile (i.e., Dump Bucket, Pirate Ship, or Whirlpool) per the standard placement rules.
- Tunnel tiles – There is one Tunnel Entrance tile that has a diving bell helmet on it with six tunnel entrances. The player must place the Tunnel Entrance tile per the standard placement rules and then place the thicker Tunnel Exit tile (previously set aside). The Tunnel Exit tile cannot touch the Tunnel Entrance tile and must be placed so that only one side touches another tile on the board. Player pawns slide into one of the numbered Tunnel Entrances and out the corresponding Tunnel Exit number. Sliding INTO the Tunnel Exit tile is prohibited.
If it’s not possible for the active player to place either of their tiles because doing so would violate the placement rules, then the player can discard one of their tiles from the game and then take a matching pair of Lifeguard tiles (red or blue) that were previously set aside. Lifeguard tiles follow the same placement rules as the Tunnel tiles with the thinner Lifeguard tile being the entrance and the thicker Lifeguard tile of the matching color being the exit.
After placing a tile and resolving any Special Actions, the player moves his pawn to the bottom of his newly extended slide. If placing a tile extends other players’ slides, then those players also move their pawns down their newly extended slides and the active player earns one Bonus token for each player that was helped. The turn is then over and play proceeds clockwise to the next player.
The game will end after all Slide tiles from the draw stacks and all players’ hands have been played; then scoring can occur. Move all player pawns back to their corresponding slides on the Starting tile. Each player then moves their pawn down their slide and earns one point for each tile traversed. In addition, the player also earns extra points based on the number of Bonus tokens collected during the game: 1 point for 1 Bonus token, 3 point for 2 Bonus tokens, 6 points for 3 Bonus tokens, 10 points for 4 Bonus tokens, or 15 points for 5 or more Bonus tokens. The player with the most total points is the winner!
My Thoughts on the Game
Craig V: Slide Blast is good clean fun. The water slide theme is whimsical and different and fits with the tile-laying mechanism well. The rules are streamlined (only 3 pages!) and there are no complicated rules or confusing situations. The game can be set up and taught in just a few minutes, gameplay in intuitive and turns happen quickly, and competition is friendly. It encourages helping other players while helping yourself. The scoring system supports this as scores are generally close even for those that don’t have exceptionally long slides, but were able to earn the Bonus tokens for helping others.
The game is slightly different with various player counts. With fewer players, it’s sometimes a bit more difficult to place a tile to help another player extend their slide as well since that player might be on the opposite side of the board. It’s generally easier to help other players when there are more involved in the game and actively trying to do so can be very advantageous for scoring a lot of points. However, fewer players provides more opportunity for strategic slide building since there can be more open space and less chaotic interaction. This is especially useful when trying to layout the perfect slide to best utilize the Attraction tiles (I particularly like the results that can be achieved by placing the Pirate Ship Attraction just right). Even though this game isn’t deeply strategic, multiple plays will start to reveal that there is definitely more to it than just randomly placing tiles.
The production quality of Slide Blast is really good as well. When I first opened the game, I was surprised by the thick (and multi-thickness) pre-punched tiles, large wooden game pawns, colorful artwork, and custom insert to hold all of the components in place. Un-banding the Slide tile stacks and punching the Bonus tokens was all that was was necessary to starting playing the game. At the end of the game, it’s fun to see the crazy slide jungle that was created and the multi-thickness tiles add a nice flair of visual interest.
I like that the game supports 2-6 players since I am typically trying to find games that will play with six when visiting family or getting several couples together for gaming. The sweet spot for this game is probably family and casual gamers, but I found Slide Blast to be a quick, fun, and stressless filler for experienced gamers as well. The theme and uncomplicated nature of the game make it ideal for social situations with family and friends or as something to play with more experienced gamers at the start of a game night waiting for people to arrive, between longer intense games, or at the end of the night as something lighter to help unwind and relax a bit.
Overall, I have had a lot of fun playing Slide Blast with various groups of people. I have very few pure tile laying games in my collection because so many of them are either too complicated or don’t seem to click with my non-gamer friends and family. That wasn’t the case with Slide Blast, so it is a welcomed addition to my collection and will become a go-to game to play casually in social setting as well as to introduce others to board games.
Thoughts from Other Opinionated Gamers
Dale Y: This is a cute family game. The rules are simple to understand, and I think we got moving in under five minutes in our first game.Turns are quick and simple… you only have two tiles in your hand to choose from, and there are only so many ways that you can play it to the board and move your token forward. I like the way that the game rewards cooperation/assistance. It helps to make the game friendlier and less cut-throat.
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
- I love it!
- I like it. Craig V (and wife), Dale Y, John P
- Not for me…
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