Since I'm reviewing an expansion, my normal format kinda goes to the wayside. With any expansion, the main question one has to ask is something along the lines of "does this offer enough extra things to warrant the price?" Now those extra things come in many shapes and sizes.
Awesome Level 9000, an expansion for Smash Up, offers 2 things - 4 new decks, and victory point tokens. First off, let me say thank-you for the victory point tokens. These were needed from the get go, and I'm glad the publisher saw the need for them and included them in this expansion. Those alone do not justify buying the expansion, but they don't hurt the cause. Let's talk about the 4 new decks - Plants, Ghosts, Steampunk, and Bear Cavalry. Yes, you can now have Plants versus Zombies, or even Plant-Zombie combo. Each of these 4 decks do bring something new to the table. Ghosts encourage small hands of cards and cycling to power up your minions. Steampunk use action cards to move around and do a lot of crazy things. Plants work to bring more minions out and then to take root where they are. Bear Cavalry are strong, they destroy minions with as much glee as Ninjas, and they have some actions which make them really hard to mess with.
These 4 new decks are a great addition to the game. It doesn't feel like there's a power creep, which is a good thing. Each deck certainly has their abilities, but it's up to each player to maximize their combinations. Ghosts are an expert level deck, while the rest feel medium to me. Maybe the Bear Cavalry is an easy deck to play, it all just really depends on your style.
So, the verdict on Awesome Level 9000 is that is a worthwhile expansion for Smash Up. Having 4 more decks offers a lot of new combinations to explore, and shakes up some of the strategies. Plus, you'll no longer see every faction in a 4 player game. If you like Smash Up and you're looking for something more, buy Awesome Level 9000.
Missed my review of the base game? You can read it here.
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