Friday , August 14 2020

Card Game Review: ‘Shaka Shredders’

Shaka Shredders from Sunslap Studios takes deck-building to the next level. Deck-building games have made a big splash by gamifying techniques in collectible card trading to make the best possible set of cards. The drive is to trim out the weaker cards and focus on the ones that make a powerful combination. In Shaka Shredders, the cards themselves change as players match skill sets to actions to school their opponent.

In Shaka Shredders, players each begin with a deck of twenty cards. The base rules are simple with each round having players drawing, playing, challenging, and, most importantly, swapping. The magnetized cards are made from two pieces: one that establishes a character with traits and a power, and another that gives powers. By swapping these, players can make strong characters with different moves to perform Tricks to win points, Diss to eliminate opponents’ cards, or act as an assist to boost the powers of other cards in play. With thousands of potential combinations, there is plenty of room for each player can develop their own style.

The mechanics in Shaka Shredders makes gameplay as flexible as the cards themselves. Players win by being the first to collect twenty Cheer points by defeating opponents in challenges. Going for quick and easy challenges works for a fast strategy, but players can build unstoppable teams by adding assisting characters with powerful combination potential. Having each of the three move types of Spin, Flip, and Grab will unlock abilities like extra draws, discards, and bonus points. Other special moves can pull from the discard or scoring points without a Challenge.

Building a strong team is the key to Shaka Shredders, but so is dismantling the opponent’s team. Diss actions allow a special “attack” that can knock an opponent’s played character to the discard pile. In an innovative mechanic, the Diss action is fueled through a player’s own discard pile. Disses must be “energized” by taking several cards of a certain type and placing them under the draw pile. This allows not only to activate the Diss attack but also to carry out special moves like extra draws or immediate bonus plays. Calculating players will note that this also controls restocking the draw pile so they will know just what to expect to come into their hands a few rounds later.

Shaka Shredders is a dueling card game for players aged 10 and up. Games take only fifteen or twenty minutes to play, a good time to test and retest combinations. Savvy players will keep an eye on what cards win and aim to rebuild their deck for the next game. Of course, there is no perfect deck since different styles of play can trump others. A strategy of high-powered tricks is strong, but it could be dissed out of existence. It serves well to have a good balance with plenty of flexibility since no one can know what to expect next.

A how-to-play video shows Shaka Shredders in action:

About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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