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Subject: first Impression rss

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Andrea Ligabue
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I want to post also here my first impression about SnakeLake, the new game from Piero Cioni published by tenkiGames.

The game is about snakes wandering in a grassland, trying to eat apples and other snakes and avoiding mushrooms, trees and being eaten.

Each player get a deck of 7 movement cards (2 move left, 2 move right, 2 move ahead and 1 stop), a small board and a snake (a wooden head and 5 wooden body pieces; 3 pieces are kept aside for later events!). In the grassland (a classic 8x8 square grid) are placed two trees and then one tree for each player and then are placed the heads (at not less then 3 squares from each other).

Before starting the game each player selects 3 movement cards and programs his 3 next moves (something like RoboRally). Then the game starts and proceeds in clockwise order.

Every time a snake moves you place a new piece of body on the board until all the pieces (5 to 8) are on the board: in that case you simply remove the tail (last piece) and place it in the new empty square! During his turn a player moves his snake according to the first movement card and collect points (1 or 2): if the snake is still not stunned he gets and resolves an event card, shift ahead his two left movement cards and program the third (in this way you always have to think where your snake will move 3 turns ahead ... and you are never allowed to look the already placed cards!).

During your movement a lot of things could happen; if you move into a tree or into yours (or other snakes) body you are stunned ... your snake is moved off the board and you have to start again. If you eat mushrooms you lose points, if you eat apples or other snakes (going on the head) you get points.

Finally, if you go out of the board when your snake is complete (all the body pieces on the board) you get points! The games end when the first player reaches a fixed amount of points.

The event cards are really funny: you can place or remove apples (in a square close to a tree), place mushrooms, make your body longer (add 1 piece to the maximum length) or shorter (remove 1 piece) or cause an opponent’s (or your) snake to miss a turn sleeping.

The game seems to run well and fast. It is a light game but not without strategy and there is not too much luck in the game. We had 6 players so the board was really crowded and there was a lot of interaction. The components are really of good quality and the illustrations really nice.

I have played the game several times after this first impression and I still find it funny and nice: there is a little downtime problem if you play with more than 4 players, unless you ask the players to play really quickly.
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