Pirates. Ninja. Robots. Zombies. Aliens. Dinosaurs. Wizards. Gnomes and other Tricksters. No, this is not the recipe for a Reddit fantasy game, this is the roster for Smash Up, an upcoming card game from AEG.
It's not just the multi-genre theme that makes Smash Up a noteworthy release, though. If you look at the box cover above, you'll see the tagline "the shufflebuilding game of total awesomeness!" But what the heck is shufflebuilding anyway?
First off, don't confuse shufflebuilding with today's big card game craze, the deckbuilding mechanic. They are definitely two different animals, which is why Smash Up chose to coin a new name for its unique style of play. All of the deckbuilding here is done during game setup, not during the actual game itself.
Each of the factions in this game comes with its own 20-card deck, so to play Smash Up, a player must pick two and shuffle them together. That means you'll be playing as Zombie-Dinosaurs, perhaps facing off against Robot-Ninjas and Pirate-Aliens. The hook here is that each combination of factions will provide a significantly different play style, giving Smash Up a long shelf life.
From there, a few Base cards are dealt out to represent the field of battle, and players must jockey to have the most power on a Base when scoring occurs. The rest of the details on Smash Up's gameplay have yet to be revealed, but AEG will be pulling back the curtain on their Smash Up blog as the publisher gears up for an August 2012 release.