Maximum Throwdown - A Single-Take Review

"You're just mad... 'cause tonight you suckas got served!"

-You Got Served

 Today we're taking a look at the dexterity game full of boasting, challenging, trash talking--Maximum Throwdown, by Jason Tagmire. It's published by Alderac Entertainment Group and features a fair amount of throwing-down--in fact, you could say it's the maximum amount of throwing-down found in a game.

So is Maximum Throwdown worthy of claiming supremacy in the throwdown department? It's time to find out! 

Components

We're talking about cards here. Each of the 2-6 players gets a faction with 15 cards. The cool thing is all of the factions are from the AEG universe. So the aliens are from Smash Up, for instance. And each faction has a certain ability that is its specialty. I'll talk about those a little more later.

The only other type of card in the game--aside from some player aids--is a Base for each faction, which is usuable by anyone and has no special abilities, they just look cool. 

So you simply draw one card and then play...errrrr... THROW one card. All you have to do is make sure your hand doesn't cross into the airspace of the table or surface you're playing on, and make sure that when the card lands it's touching another card in play. For the first turn/s you have to aim for the bases--you put one base out for each person in the game.

There isn't much more that I can say about the components and game mechanics. The card backs look cool and the fronts are all the same across the factions with the exception of color. I will say that I usually don't play with the Demon faction, since I'm not really into demons, so we typically leave them in the box unless we have a full 6 people playing. While the factions have certain abilities they use more than others, they ALL have the same abilities, so it's not like the demons have a "posses" power while the Pirates have a "swashbuckle" ability. As for the game play, this is a dexterity game; the rules are easy to learn, but it definitely takes a certain touch to make the cards fall where you want them to.

So each card has any number of icons in colored circles, arranged in many different ways on its face. When your turn comes around again, if any part of any circle is covered by another card, then you don't get to use that ability. If it gets uncovered in some way when your turn comes around again, you get that ability. So there's your basic strategy: Throw cards so they stay in play, and your icons are usable, and also hopefully cover other players' cards to negate their abilities.

Speaking of the abilities, they include:
Break - You don't have to make contact with another card in play.
Draw - Draw an extra card into your hand.
Throw - Throw an extra card from your hand or re-throw a card that missed.
Steal - Steal another player's card and throw it--I usually do this and throw them facedown on to another players card. Mwaaahaahaaaa!!!!
Attack - Force a player to discard a card.
Points - These are random amounts of pips within the circle, you score a point on your turn for each 6 pips that are visible at the start of your turn.

As the game progresses, there's a mess of cards out on the table, with abilities being used left and right, and lots of cards being tossed per turn--it gets pretty wild and crazy. Now a game usually lasts about 15 minutes-ish, but what typically happens is whoever wins and starts trash talking, and then before you know it another 3 or 4 games have been played, and by then there are some ridiculous house rules being enforced--such as, "Keep your head and your butt on the wall!!!" 

You learn this game really quickly, but the game is almost impossible to predict and master. You can play it ANYWHERE. I've played it in a retreat center with a bunch of teenagers tossing cards onto a bunk bed. I've played it on my sweet Quiver Gaming Mat, on coffee tables, dining room tables, etc. Each surface is a different shape, size, and has a different amount of drag so the cards slide a little more or less--it keeps the playing field level. Obviously if you play a lot, you'll probably develop a technique so you can throw a little better, but this game is pretty light, and I don't suggest spending hours upon hours developing your card tossing technique... seriously don't do that.

 It looks like a giant mess, but that was one fun game!

It looks like a giant mess, but that was one fun game!

Jeremiah's Final Verdict-- I'm not typically a dexterity game guy--I like co-op games, strategic euro games, dice rollers and so on--but Maximum Throwdown is a lot of fun! You could easily use this as a filler game, but I've never not played it more than once. I'll typically bust out Maximum Throwdown at the beginning of a game night to warm everyone up--especially with casual gamers--and then move onto the main event for the night. Whatever you call it: filler, tournament title, dexterity game, I call it fun! This one gets my recommendation: Maximum Throwdown is maximum fun!

Thanks for reading! Have you played Maximum Throwdown? Do you agree with Jeremiah? Sound off in the comments!