A Card Game Providing Winter Recreation All Year Long
It is the dead of winter. The freshly fallen snow is on the ground, and the world is so very peaceful. This idyllic is the heart of the winter season that residents of Hawaii and Florida, for example, may dream about but complain if they actually receive.
This is when the northern children rise from their beds and proceed to go out into the world, dressed in their warmest clothes, to see their friends in the street. Then all hell breaks loose when they build fortifications out of the snow and ice and stockpile snowballs to throw into each other’s forts and perhaps pelt a nearby parent.
These are the snow days that children from warmer climes, or at least some of them, dream about. Snowball Fight! from KatnipzGamez gives those poor, neglected sunshine children the ability to participate in the national childhood pastime of snowball fighting.
According to the publisher, “Snowball Fight! is a whimsical war zone. A winter wonderland battlefield. A snowy barrage…you get the idea. Compete against friends, family, neighbors, or random people you pull in from the street to the be the last person standing in this fast-paced snowball onslaught.”
This is a card game that the entire family along with friends can play.
A Simple but Effective Story
The card game story is simple. Players are kids, there is snow, and you are going to have a snowball fight. Who you fight with may be up to you. In the alternative, you may get whacked upside the head with a snowball and get into a war that you did not want or were not prepared for.
When this happens, you can “feel” the icy dribble running down the back of your neck as one of your “friends” thought you needed a snowball to decorate the back of your head. This is a fun little story that immerses the players in the game. Snow-state players know this feeling, and sunny state players should know this feeling. Snowball Fight gets a 6.5 out of 10 for story, i.e., for capturing the semblance of a real snowball fight.
Superior Artistic Design
Snowball Fight has the privilege of being designed by artist Kat Thompson, which gives it a unique edge. There are a number of well-drawn cartoon cards that make kids want to play the game and also take time to filter through the deck looking at the pictures.
The wording on the cards is simple enough that my niece can play, but there are words on the cards that kids need to learn (especially in the north). The graphics have a unilateral line that runs through them, which is rare in pure card games. This earns snowball fight a 8.5 on art, perhaps as one of the best cartoon-style games we have seen.
The mechanics are straightforward, which is desirable for a family game. There are two types of cards: snowmen (your forts) and events (your attacks). For simplicity, let’s call them attack and defense cards. Players take turns playing event cards in front of them until someone plays a snowman, which challenges another player to a snowball fight.
In the fight, you can use the cards in front of you to attack an opponent. Whoever has the lower score at the end of the fight loses a level. Once you lose five levels, you’ve lost the game. A feature prevents players from ganging up on one person (which we know happens in real snowball fights), but it does make the game more fun. The score for mechanics is an above average 5.5 out of 10.
The strategy of the game is uncomplicated, which is normal with most family games. Your choices are to build up your stockpile or go after random opponents. This limits the planning element of the game.
One rule that we disliked the first play-through but loved after the second game: You can’t keep event cards on the table after a snowball fight, even if they are unused. We realized later that this prevented a player from sitting back and just hiding in a fort (we all know the kid that did that). This results in good planning for a simple game and brings forth a score of 5 out of 10.
Novelty Is Suitable for all Ages
We conclude with the novelty rating. As far as I know, there is only one other card game out there with a snowball theme, and that one is completely different from Snowball Fight! This means that this is a novel game for children and the entire family to play.
While the draw and play mechanics are simple, they have enough unique elements that Snowball Fight! is not an “off-the-shelf” game. Instead, it is unique unto itself. Seasoned gamers may find it is limited in strategy, but it is a great way to teach children planning and preparation (just like in actual snowball fights). In short, Snowball Fight! is novel in this sense and earns a score of 7 out 10.
Overall, this is a great family game to play quickly and is suitable for all ages. Adults can battle it out and see what they can do within a world of limited strategy. The overall score for Snowball Fight! is 32.5, which makes it an appropriate recreational activity on your shelf for a quick game with friends and kids. One of the excellent features of Snowball Fight! is that KatnipzGamez left the game open for expansions.
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