WDYPTW: Snail Sprint! Review
When the Origins 2019 preview list came out, there were quite a few games I wanted to check out. They also added an option to order some games in advance. HABA’s Snail Sprint! was the only game I pre-purchased, and one of the few I took home.
Just a clarification here — HABA is best known for children’s games, and here I am a 50 year-old gamer with a son away at college that is most excited about picking up a game from their booth. I visited my friend T. at the booth and picked up my copy to play with my wife when I got home from the convention. I will probably play it with kids sometime — I have a stock of HABA games for that reason, right?
Snail Sprint! is a race game. Each player is given a card with three snails they are hoping will make it to the finish line. This card is a secret. Nobody owns any of the snails.
The snails each have a color and symbol to make the game color-blind friendly. The players take turns rolling a pair of dice to determine how to move the snails.
On the roll seen in the photo below, the blue square snail can move to the next orange triangle or the orange triangle snail can move to the next blue square space. The board has a simple mode with single colors and advanced mode with multiple colors/symbols per space to choose from.
One interesting twist is that a snail covers up the space it is on and becomes the next available space of that color/symbol for the snail behind it. When a different snail lands on it, the snail underneath can’t move until the other snail moves off. Perhaps you have figured out your opponent is trying to score a snail and you can block it from moving for a little while?
The other twist is that the game box is metal and the pieces have magnets on the bottom. This is part of the game board and the snails have to go up and over and down the outside of the box.
The box design is quite clever. The symbols are duplicated on both sides so you can see from both sides of the table. You can see below on the outside of the box the purple snail star snail is on the green clover with the orange two spaces below it. On the inside of the box you can see the green clover and the orange triangle two spaces below.
The game ends when three snails have made it to the first, second, and third place scoring spaces, with players getting points for their snails that made it to the scoring area. The child-like grown up with the most points wins.
My only issue with the game was the glue on the magnetic tape for the snails was a bit weak and I ended up reinforcing it with a few drops of superglue.
We found Snail Sprint! to be a fun game to play, and I can easily recommend it. I can’t speak for how it works for the lower age range of 5 noted on the game box.However, I’m only 49 years from the upper age limit of 99, so I have plenty of plays of Snail Sprint ahead of me.