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Snakesss

Which country has over 400 words for snow? What is Ronald McDonald called in Japan? Discuss the solution with the other players but don’t believe everything you hear, because it’s not in the best interests of everyone to find the correct answer.

Snakesss is a new party game from Big Potato Games that blends light social deduction with trivia. Find the right answers without being fooled by the snakes in your midst, but remember: only one player can win.

Gameplay

Each player takes four answer tokens: A, B, C, and snake. Next, you take character tiles equal to the number of players. One tile is always the mongoose. The exact number of humans and snakes varies based on player count, but there are always at least two snakes in the game. These tiles are shuffled and one is dealt face-down to each player. The player who receives the mongoose tile reveals it, takes the mongoose token, and places it in front of himself. You always know that you can trust the mongoose.

A question card is then drawn and read aloud, along with the three possible answers. All players then close their eyes and the question card is flipped to reveal the answer. All snake players look at the correct answer before the card is flipped back over again and everyone opens their eyes. A two-minute timer is then started, and players discuss what they believe the answer to be. The goal of the humans and the mongoose is to guess the correct answer, while the goal of the snakes is to mislead everyone.

After the timer runs out, the snakes secretly select their snake answer token and the other players select the letter answer token they believe corresponds to the correct answer. Everyone reveals their tokens at once, and the correct answer is revealed.

If you are the mongoose or a human, and got the answer right, you get one point for each player who got it right, including yourself; while if you got it wrong, you get no points. A player who is a snake earns one point for each player who got the question wrong.

You then take back all the character tiles and reshuffle them for the next round. The player with the most points at the end of six rounds wins the game.

Snakesss Components

Review

Snakesss is a unique twist to the classic trivia game genre. Throwing in a social deduction mechanism is different and refreshing. The questions are aimed to be obscure and unusual facts, so there’s room for fun discussion and social interactions as you debate the answer, and you also learn some quirky trivia as you play.

Debating the answer can be a lot of fun, and a snake that’s particularly good at bluffing can pull off some clever bluffs and really muddy the waters. There is always the chance that you just happen to draw a card that the mongoose actually knows the answer to (obscure and random as the facts are, people are occasionally going to know the answers), but for the most part you’re going to be trying to deduce ridiculous facts, trying to persuade each other, and (if you’re a snake) coming up with perfectly logical-sounding reasons why the wrong answer must be right.

This is a party game that very much depends on having the right group and the right player count. The box says you can play with as few as four, but at this count two players are the snakes, meaning the human player knows for a fact who can’t be trusted. The human still has to convince the mongoose, but it changes the whole tone of the discussion phase when all three other players are simply trying to persuade the mongoose. The scoring of the game also scales nicely for more players.

Because the game works best at the larger player counts, and so much of the fun lies in the discussion portion, you need players who feel comfortable and enjoy contributing in large group conversations. It is, however, quite nice to have a party game that works well with seven or eight players, as this can be a tricky player count to find something for.

The components are all solid, and the mongoose player token is quite adorable. There are also plenty of question cards included. The only drawback in the production is the lack of a timer, an increasingly common component to leave out in games even when they’re required for play.

If you enjoy light social deduction games, Snakesss is a fun one and something a little different. It’s not only about how well you can stay hidden but also how convincing you can bluff, and it’s great that the roles get shuffled every round.

Pros: Unique blend of mechanics, room for really fun player interaction, roles change every round

Cons: No timer included, needs the right group to really shine

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.