Goldilocks Was Framed
Goldilocks Was Framed: A Review of Smuggles and Snuggles
- # of Players: 2
- Playtime: about 12 minutes
- Ages: 13+
- Designer: Jonathan Ahnert
- Publisher: Smug n’ Snug Games
Smuggle you bears into your opponent’s turf… Snuggle the competition… Don’t get Snuggled yourself, cause these bears play for keeps.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this game to review.
Snuggles and Smuggles is a strategic card game where you are trying to invade, and capture, your rival’s territory. To do so you will have to find a way to smuggle your bears in while keeping their bears pinned in a snuggling move.
- Short play time
- Very easy to learn…
- Not so easy to win
- The game does take up a little bit of space
Smuggles and Snuggles is played on a 3×5 grid. Each player Shuffles their deck. Players then place 3 stacks of 2 cards face down on their back row, and one stack of two cards on the next row, also face down. Players then turn over the top card of each stack, and the player with the smallest numbered bear closest to the center row plays first.
Playing the Game
Players move two of their bears per turn, trying to occupy their opponents back 3 spaces with one of their bears. Typically players can only move their bears one space, in any direction, per turn…
Here’s where it gets interesting
Except that larger bears can smuggle smaller ones. A player can move a smaller numbered bear, say 3, through any of their adjoining bears that are of a higher number, say 4-8. This gives smaller bears a lot of mobility, which can make up for their lack of stopping power…
And that brings us to snuggling. When a player moves a bear onto an opponent’s bear, that is of equal or lesser numerical value, they pin that bear in place, and also block any movement by their opponent through that space. Unless the opponent just happens to have a bigger bear, then they can do some snuggling themselves.
Smuggles and Snuggles is a lot like chess or checkers, in that every move matters. You can, if you want, move randomly but that will not get you a win… unless your opponent is doing the same thing. Both players have the exact same resources, and both have their cards randomly assigned to a location at the beginning of the game. This means that winning or losing rests solely on the moves you make during the game.
Just like in other strategy games it is vital that you pay attention to your opponent and try to figure out why they just moved their 5 next to your 7. Maybe it is so they can snuggle your 7 with their eight, or maybe so you will snuggle their 5… opening a path for their 1 to get smuggled through another card they have yet to move into position.
I found Smuggles and Snuggles to be a fantastic game. I loved just how much was done with a game that can be played with 16 cards, 8 per player, and the depth of play that was possible. As I said above, every move matters in Smuggles and Snuggles, and I found myself often trying to figure out how to get myself out of a bind I had put myself into, or how to put my opponent into a bind…
Smuggles and Snuggles is a game that is simple to play, at least on paper. Start playing against another player and it gets a lot trickier. You can learn it in 5 minutes, which belies just how nuanced this game really is. Add to this a play time of about 12 minutes, and I honestly cannot recommend this game highly enough.
- Overall Fun - 9/109/10
- Ease of Play - 9/109/10
- Replayablity - 9/109/10
- Downtime - 9/109/10
- Game Length - 9/109/10
- Bang For Your Buck - 9/109/10
- Engagment - 9/109/10