Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de

The Snitch


Ally Steven Severi

Jumping Turtle Games

No. of Players:
4 - 6



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

The Snitch is a social deduction game like all the Werwolf games out there or the great The Resistance. It's a game about a jailbreak. And it's a game in which you must identify a snitch among the other players. Or maybe you are the snitch yourself? The problem is that you cannot know at the beginning of the game. You can't even be sure that there is a snitch at all. But while the game is processing you must draw cards from a draw pile, and by this you might draw the snitch card from that pile too. However, at setup a part of the cards are shuffled together with the snitch. And after that two cards are set aside. So it might be the snitch, or it isn't. No one knows for sure.

If there is a snitch, the card is taken in the hand like any other card. And from now on, the player who has drawn the snith plays against the other players. Of course, the snitch card is never played, because that would identify the snitch immediately. Instead the player with the snitch tries to sabotage schemes of the other players.

Five of those schemes we have to successfully complete, before we come to the end game, the jailbreak itself. For that's our aim: to escape from prison and live a life in freedom again. Let's see how that works. A scheme is simply a card from the hand of a player that is played face up on the table. A small icon in a corner tells us how many helpers in form of cards are needed to fulfil the scheme. Now, on their turns players play exactly one card face down from their hand underneath the scheme of one of their direct neighbours, and say the name of the person on this card, or to be more precisely a prison contact, on the card. They can give hints to other player, spread rumours about the snitch and even lie about the name. Of course, this makes only sense, if the player is the snitch in person, as you will see.

When there are enough helpers, another card is drawn from the supply, all cards are shuffled and then one by one the cards are revealed. The scheme is fulfilled, if there are not two cards with the same person among the cards played. Additionally there is a maximum of one backstab, an icon on part of all cards. So backstabs can also be found on the cards, but in contrary to the name of the persons, the players aren't allowed to talk about it.

If the scheme was a failure, the players got caught, and the owner of the failed scheme take the scheme as an item. You see the cards are multifunctional. Items can be quite useful for the further play, for example there is an item you can play for preventing adding a random card to the completed scheme. In that case it might be possible to identify the snitch, because in case of a failure it should be one of the neighbours of the owner of the scheme (because no one else can play cards underneath that scheme and only the snitch would have an interest in that). However, if the scheme failed because of too many backstabs, it's even harder to identify the snitch, because you aren't allowed to talk about it. And even if there are two cards with the same name, it might be a mistake, because it is difficult to keep all names and cards you have played in your mind.

In the end game, there is a countdown in which it might be possible to keep off the snitch from sabotage. But what might happen, if it isn't the snitch? If you play cleverly, you'll never know for sure. The Snitch is slightly more complex than The Resistance. There are more rules you have to learn (and the rulebook isn't the best, I must admit). And there are definetly more hints to identify the snitch. But still the game is balanced. Especially for the schemes that demand many helpers, it is difficult not to make a mistake. I personally find it hard to remember all those names I and the other players have played under all those schemes. It's kind of memory game in this aspect. So the snitch always has a good chance to survive. And if you are shooting the wrong player in the end game (yes you can choose one player) it should better not be the wrong one...

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Copyright © 2019 Ralf Togler & Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany