MAG BLAST, Third Edition

Zzzzt! Fweeeeee! P'ting, P'ting!

Well, what sounds would you make to simulate spaceships blasting each other? Self-made sound effects are just part of the fun of Mag Blast, a goofy card game of blowing up your opponent's ships.

Each player gets a command ship, which has 8 hull points, a colored zone on each side, and a special ability that's either ongoing or usable three times per game. Players then get six fleet ship cards and get to place four of them around their command ship, Ships have a speed (how many zones they can move), hull strength (how much damage they can take before blowing up) and turrets (that dictate what color(s) blasts that ship can fire); a few can sweep mines or launch squadrons. Then the game begins.

Each turn a player can discard as many cards as they want. Next they draw up to five cards, reinforce (turn in cards with three of the same symbol or one of each symbol to get a new fleet ship), and maneuver (move ships to protect exposed zones or target an opponent's zone). Then it's time to blast!

Each ship can fire a blast card, worth 1, 3, or 5 points, at another ship in its zone. You defeat an opponent by doing eight points of damage to their commnad ship; if a fleet ship is in that zone, though, you have to target the fleet ship before going after the command ship. Players may also play action cards (that do anything from give free fleet ships to dodge blasts), launch squadrons or fighters that temporarily inflict damage (if they don't destroy their target that turn the damage goes away) and return to the player's hand, or combine a successful blast with a Direct Hit and Direct Effect card that do anything from steal a ship to destroy the target immediately.
Mag Blast is a simple slugfest -- and a very fun one. While there's some strategy in terms of keeping or discarding cards (do you keep the Direct Hit and Direct Effect cards and wait for a clear shot, or do you discard to get more cards to use), most play consists of moving ships to your exposed zones and then shooting away at your opponents. The powers of each command ship are useful, but none are powerful enough to guarantee a win. The right action card can make the difference between victory and defeat. And goofy art from John Kovalic adds to the humorous element of this game. Mag Blast is quick, simple, and extremely enjoyable.

Oh yes, there is a rule that states you have to make a sound effect when firing a blast, or the blast misses and gets discarded. So get ready to make some pretty silly sounds!

Overall grade: B+

Reviewed by James Lynch

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