PAX East 2017: Smack Talk Showdown Is Our Indie Card Game Of Show

It all started when we walked by a guy dressed as Macho Man Randy Savage on the PAX East 2017 show floor. The man, while thin, had all the trappings and aesthetic of the late, great savage himself. He even had a fistful of XL Slim Jim’s, ready to shout “SNAP INTO A SLEEEEM JEEEEEM” at anyone who walked past… Including us.

It was only after a few minutes of dueling Randy Savage impersonations did we find out that not only was this man a god walking amongst mere mortals, he was at the show to promote Smack Talk Showdown, a brand new card/party game from the good guys over at Double Turn Games. Literally without any delay, I sprinted over to the Gemhammer booth, grabbed Joe by the scruff of his neck, and we booked it over to the Smack Talk Showdown table in the Indie Tabletop section.

What ensued was literally a show-stopping, throat-raking, crowd-electryfying 15 minute session of dueling promos, as Joe and I literally stopped the flow of traffic and amassed a crowd of passerby who couldn’t help but wonder what in the actual fuck we were shouting at each other for. The reason? It’s just a part of the game. Smack Talk Showdown is a wrestling game, but it focuses on the pre-match promos of yore, where a pair of buff, flashy, sweaty wrestlers would vividly describe the pain they were about to inflict on their opponent to hype up the crowd for the impending match. For example, here’s the best promo of all time from the Nature Boy, Ric Flair.

Smack Talk Showdown is a game of dueling wits, improvisational insults, and quick-thinking. In short, there are two “wrestlers”, each who draw a pair of name cards and one “gimmick” card to determine their moniker and type of wrestler they are. For example, Joe drew his two name cards – “Slammer” and “Master”, and his gimmick card, and assembled “The Master Slammer” a wrestling instructor who slammed just as many Pogs as he did candy-ass wrestlers.

The game is judged by a Producer, a third player who is in charge of keeping time (45 seconds per promo) and administering “Smack cards”, which add extra effects or rules in the middle of the promos to keep things interesting. For example, the producer of our game gave me a card that required me to flip my opponents insults on them… But as compliments. He then gave me another card that required me to incorporate the “head, shoulders, knees and toes” nursery rhyme. I did my best, but I was out-promo’d by the Master Slammer himself – Joe from Gemhammer & Sons Gaming.

We had an absolute blast with Smack Talk Showdown, which you can find over at Kickstarter right now. For a measly $25, you can net yourself a copy of the game as soon as possible, and support Wicked Good Gaming’s 2017 PAX East Indie Game of the Show – Smack Talk Showdown.

We’ve got a great interview coming all about Smack Talk Showdown this week on Not Another Gaming Podcast, so stay tuned for that. Also, follow us on Twitter for more PAX East coverage!


Papa Dom

Co-founder, lead blogger, graphic designer, and manager of WGG's writing team - Dom has been writing about video games for over ten years. Dom's work has been featured on some of the world's biggest gaming news outlets - including Dexerto, GameInformer, and IGN.