First Impressions: Blend Off

A couple of weeks ago we got our Kickstarter copy of Blend Off from Thunderworks Games. I’ll admit, I wasn’t too sure about this when I backed it. The only reason I heard about it and even backed it was because it can be combined with another Kickstarter game I already backed called Cosmic Kaboom. I played Cosmic Kaboom at Origins 2015 and backed it twice (first campaign didn’t reach funding, second one did). Towards the end of the Blend Off campaign, an email went out from the Cosmic Kaboom backers saying you can combine the two. It looked like an interesting variant, and I didn’t own many dice based dexterity games, so it would fill a hole in my collection. Plus, at $19 for Blend Off, I was intrigued enough to back it.

It’s a small box game that comes with just a deck of cards, some fruit tokens (kind of like wooden Runts candy), and some dice. It’s played in real-time, and players roll dice and take the matching fruit from a center pile to put into their blenders. They’re doing this to complete order cards in the middle of the table from a shared supply. Once you have the fruit needed to complete an order, you shout, “Blend!” and take the order from the middle, replacing it with a new one, and dumping the fruit out of your blender. Once all the cards have been taken from the middle, the game ends. You count up the points from your completed orders and whoever has the most points wins the game.

We played three games of it. Two with the standard rules, and one with the race variant where each player completes only their color orders, then one shared final order in the middle to win the game. Games were quick, tense, and a lot of fun. Each game took no more than maybe 10 minutes to play. It also has a method built-in to keep players from hogging all of one kind of fruit. If one player goes to grab an orange, but there’s none left, they can toss the durian into someone’s blender to make them dump it all out and start again. There’s also a card that makes you want to take the durian for yourself in order to complete an order that’s just durian in the blender.

It’s a quick game, and I can see myself taking it with me places. But it’s small enough that I can easily toss it in my Quiver or in with some other games when going to visit family. Maybe I need to spend some more time with it, but I don’t quite know how often I’d bust it out. It’s fun, but it’s over just a little too quickly for my tastes. The benefit of that is I can just play another round of it. Is it the prize of my collection, no. But I’m certainly not sad that I backed it, and it’s got me looking more forward to getting Cosmic Kaboom when I’ll be able to mix the two together into one bigger game. Expect a follow-up to this post whenever Cosmic Kaboom arrives.