Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Sneaks & Snitches» Forums » Reviews

Subject: I wish someone had snitched on me so that I didn't buy this game... rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Adam Kazimierczak
United States
Falmouth
Maine
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The world of filler games has become quite a competitive market lately, what with the smash hit microgame Love Letter, the speedy civ-lite 7 Wonders, the excellent auction game For Sale and the paranoid traitor argue-fest The Resistance to name just a few.

So with rising star Vlaada Chvátil at the helm, Sneaks & Snitches was poised to take its place among the lightweight greats in my collection and put all the other fillers to shame. I researched meticulously, combing reputable reviews on BGG and elsewhere. Yep, I needed this game.

But then why did this Vlaada design stink up the room with its badness? yuk

The primary problem we had with it was frustration. Sneaks & Snitches is just an exercise in frustration. Now I know that Vlaada likes punishing his players with sadistic game mechanics like the pressure cooker timers of Space Alert and Galaxy Trucker as well as the dungeon stomping heroes in Dungeon Lords, but this is not frustrating in that way. If the ship blows up in Space Alert everyone has a big laugh and moves on. Sneaks & Snitches is frustrating without any of the zany fun.

In Sneaks & Snitches, you play competing master thieves who are robbing museums, banks and other important loot centers. The game hinges on a very simple mechanic:


1. Everyone secretly picks a location to steal from and a location to snitch on.

2. Simultaneously reveal your choices.

3. Get really pissed off because some other guy picked the same place as you.

4. Rinse & repeat.


The goal is set collection, but the mechanic reminded me most of Pirate's Cove, where the entire crux of the game is not picking the same islands as other players. Sure some players will channel their inner Sicilian and enjoy this game of double and triple think guesswork, but ultimately that is all there is. This is not so much a game as telepathy training.

Sour grapes, you say? Not really.

I actually won this game pretty handily our first time out, but it was a bittersweet victory at best. That's because players who are not adept at this mind reading exercise really, really suck at this game. Even worse, they tend to groupthink themselves into a non-scoring rut that is painful to watch. And since other players are blocking them and not some faceless game mechanic, there is a fair amount of "Argh! Why did you have to go there?!?"

To be fair, a lot of games have some form of this guesswork inherent in their designs. Many worker placement games require you to anticipate optimal future moves which might be blocked. However, in those games if something is blocked you can always execute a Plan B. In Sneaks & Snitches you just take the hit while others cash in. There are a few twists like wild cards and secret documents that devalue one color (lose half your cubes in that color), but they didn't really add much to the guesswork gameplay.

It would be like making Agricola into a simultaneous action/reveal game and never being able to get wood. Ok, that would actually be more fun than Sneaks & Snitches (at least I could make "Got wood?" jokes ad nauseum).


Pros:

-nice cards and clear cubes
-small box


Cons:

-frustrating guesswork mechanic
-more random the more players you add
-overstays its welcome (should be 20 minutes but clocks in at longer than that)


Final Word: If Space Alert was a competitive game with secret simultaneous actions then it would be similar to Sneaks & Snitches. This is simply not fun. On a fun meter I grade it somewhere between a telemarketer call and a root canal.


Verdict: (Time for another BGG Marketplace listing.)




3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mann Munoz
Canada
St. Catharines
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I haven't played it yet... So I'm not sure I agree.

But thanks for the negative review. I prefer a balanced look at a game before purchasing it. You've given me something to think about.

I should probably try this out before I commit to buying it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Just Lucky
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
I see that you are more an Ameritrash lover than a eurogame lover. This game has many of the elements that eurogame lovers enjoy: the rules are simple; you have to out-think the opponents (not just get a lucky deal or know the rules better); you are not sure until the end who has won; it can be played with a variety of skill levels (ie a family) without it being unfair to those with lower skill levels, and it has no player elimination.

Ok, it is not going to be enjoyed by someone who likes Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) so I would have to say that Ameritrash devotees should steer clear.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G W M
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales
flag msg tools
badge
Don't play in the street....
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review Adam. I agree this one isn't for everyone.

My only comment would be that I rather enjoy the psychology of the game, it can often be quite funny trying to outthink your opponents but it can also be a bit random which does annoy some.

I have seen some purist gamers simply choose spots purely at random which I also derived some humor value from. GM
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam H
United Kingdom
Glasgow
Scotland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just_Lucky wrote:


Ok, it is not going to be enjoyed by someone who likes Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) so I would have to say that Ameritrash devotees should steer clear.


That's a rather wild and careless assertion, in my opinion. Do you really mean to say that anyone who likes TI3 will not enjoy S&S? I don't think you can conclude that from the OP alone. Unless you've done further research, in which case I apologise.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fred Shugars
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This game clearly requires a different skill set than some others, so I can see why some may not like that challenge. But in my experience everyone that I've shown this game to has absolutely loved it.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.