Sugar Blast (Game Review by Brandon Kempf)

  • Designer: Leo Almeida, Matthew O’Malley & Ben Rossett
  • Artists: Gabriel Burghi, Hannah Cardosa, Julia Ferrari, Giovanna BC Guimaraes & Max Duarte
  • Publisher: CMON Games
  • Players: 1-4 
  • Time: 20
  • Times Played: 7

I don’t review many children’s games anymore, my kids have gotten older and the youngest one has never really been a fan of sitting at the table for prolonged periods of time playing a game, yes, anywhere from 5 minutes on is considered prolonged for her. That being said, Sugar Blast was one that popped onto my radar late in the Essen push as a possible game that she would enjoy enough to sit through so I picked it up via the CMON site and waited. 

Sugar Blast, is a board game implementation of the Match 3 genre of games that is so prolific on phones. Match 3 of the same and pop the items and more move down in hopes that you pop more. In Sugar Blast instead of trying to score as many points as possible though, you are simply racing to be the first player to complete the goal for the game. 

Sugar Blast starts with loading the plastic game tray with candies. There are tracks in the tray and the candies all have a guide on them so they will stay in their lane. Randomly pull candies and put them in the tray until it is filled. After that, randomly draw one of the six goal cards and that becomes the goal of the game. 

The goal cards will tell the players what they are shooting for to win the game, be it nine candies of any kind or four pair.

On a player’s turn they will swap two candies that are next to each other to make a blast. If everyone agrees that no blasts can be made on a player’s turn, the player will simply take a candy from the bag and replace one candy that is on the board in hopes to make a blast. 

After swapping candies, if the player makes a blast, they will remove the candies from the board and keep candies based on the type of blast made, discarding the rest next to the board. After removing those candies, the player will tilt the board in their direction, sliding all the candies that way, leaving empty spaces on the top. If any more blasts are made, repeat. When no more blasts are made, fill in the tray with candies from the draw bag and then place the discarded candies back in the bag. And yes, you can most certainly make more blasts as you refill the tray, but try to be as random as possible when filling the tray. We generally let another player fill the tray for us. 

If you make a blast of three, the player gets to keep one candy and discard the rest. If you make a blast of four, you will remove all candies from that row or column and keep one of the matching candies, plus one different candy from that row or column. When you make a five or six blast, you will remove all the candies of the matching color from the tray and keep two. There are other blasts you can make as well, within a “box”, like a T, or an L or a +. When you make one of these remove all the matching candies, as well as all the candies that form the “box” around it and keep one candy of the matched type and one different one. 

That’s it, be the first player to fulfill the goal card and you will be the winner. 

As you can tell, there isn’t a whole lot of “game” here, but it most definitely has been a bit of a fun time for my youngest and I to mess around with. The toy factor with the tilting board and the cute art on the candies really make it appealing to play. 

Some of the goal cards are a bit tougher than others, and I think they will lead to longer games than others, and that’s perfectly fine in a game that we rarely have to go over five minutes for two players. It does play a bit longer and can feel a bit more random with more players as the board will move a lot more in between your turns, but not so much to be game breaking. I mean, this isn’t meant to be played with those players that require zero randomness, so who cares, right? 

There is also a solo mode for Sugar Blast that I haven’t played, but it seems pretty straightforward. Instead of shooting for goal cards, you trying to collect six candies on the same turn in order to win. The trick is you don’t refill the bag with discarded candies, those are removed from the game after being collected. If the bag of candies runs out, you lose. 

Overall, playing this with the right crowd can create a fun, lightweight distraction. The toy factor and art make it a perfect game for younger children and their parents to play when you just want to kind of relax and play something. I don’t necessarily think that Sugar Blast is the next classic family style game like this, but I think that the folks at CMON did a wonderful job taking a super simple idea and making it a more fun and exciting family experience, so kudos to them for stepping a bit outside their comfort zone. 

Thoughts from the Opinionated Gamers:

Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers:

I love it.

I like it. Brandon (with my kids)

Neutral. Brandon (with my game group)

Not for me…

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