Slap Down! – The Unfriend Maker
Get to know Slap Down!, a fast-moving matching game built around 50 simple cards.
Let’s just be clear right from the start of this review: consider yourself warned. If you put this game on the table, you better really like who you’re playing with.
This is a palm-slapping, card-stealing romp for up to eight players that will have you either laughing or glaring at your best friends. In Slap Down!, each card has exactly one match. With the roll of the dice each turn, players compete to be the first to make a match. Once players claim all 25 pairs the game is over. The player with the most pairs wins! But beware, other players can steal your cards! This is a game that rewards quick reflexes, brazen thievery, and general shenanigans. Slap, pound, slam, and swipe your way to victory—or a strained friendship—whatever you want to call it.
Shuffle the deck of 50 cards and lay them face up in the center of the table. You’ll notice that each card has a symbol on it representing both a color and a shape, and that each symbol has a match (thus 25 total matches are possible). A large table is preferable, as you will most likely be on your feet, lunging and slapping all over the place. Place the dice next to the cards and choose a start player. You are now ready to begin.
Each turn, a player rolls the dice. One die represents the color, and the other die represents the shape. Each die has a “wild” side, which can be any color or shape. Players now try to find the matching pair as quickly as possible.
To claim a pair, players must slap, pound, or simply touch both cards simultaneously. The first player to do this claims the pair. Then, the turn ends.
Place claimed cards in front of the player who won them. If a player rolls color and shape combination that is already claimed, players may steal pairs from an opponent’s collection. Not all is lost, however; players can defend themselves. If a player slaps their own pair first, they keep them. Think fast! Players must remember what they have in front of them, or they may end up losing their pairs to quick opponents.
The game ends once players have claimed every pair. The player with the most pairs is the winner!
Needless to say this is a fast-paced party game without the typical word scrambles or clue guessing. It’s a perfect blend of both mental and physical reaction—something I’ve never really seen before. What’s not to like, right? It’s the kind of game that engages people right from the start and brings out a competitive spirit rather quickly.
I generally enjoy strategic games that give me a hot minute to think about my turn. This is not that game—but I still like it! I put it on the table with eight adults and we had a blast, probably the most energetic game we played during the night. The more the merrier with this game, it plays best with a lot of people.
Playing with the kiddos is just as fun, but age is a factor here. The younger ones will probably struggle to compete with their quicker older siblings. Cut them a little slack and you’ll be just fine. Bottom line—this little game will get your family laughing and moving around, a good “appetizer” to a longer game you plan to follow up with.
I think this is my favorite title from the Wild East Game Company. It’s fast, fun, and perfect for large groups. My only quibble is that the colors on the color die are represented by circular shapes, which is easy to confuse with the shape die. It’s easy to think you’re supposed to slap red circles when in truth you need to be slapping red squares (for example). An extra brain-teaser twist thrown in just for us, perhaps?
Slap Down! was the 2018 Boston Festival of Indie Games Audience Choice award winner. You can choose to pick up a copy yourself at their website!
The Family Gamers received a copy of Slap Down! from Wild East Games for this review.
Slap Down! The Unfriend Maker
Number of Players: 2-8
Age Range: 8+
Playtime: 10-15 minutes