Ever looked back on the many foes you have conquered throughout your board gaming escapades? Countless Zombies? Frenzied Goblins? Possessed Demons? How about the South Pole set in 1910? No, this isn’t a review on a Black Sabbath classic, this is a review on the suitably epic Snowblind.
Snowblind is a man vs the elements adventure game, pitting up to four players against one another in a quest to successfully explore the South Pole and return to tell the tale. Players are given a Captain, Scientists, Sailors and the all important supply crates which will allow the team to plan out their ascent (and descent) in the best way possible.
As a massive fan of Ancient Terrible Things, opening Snowblind was a relatively similar experience in terms of a sublime build quality and unique artwork. The board and playing cards beautifully portray a sense of struggle and dire weather conditions which, in my opinion, deserve massive recognition. The many tokens included look great while the gaming pieces themselves are made from wood. Naturally, these are pretty straightforward with the board and accompanying artwork providing the narrative. The rulebook is short and visually appealing, while I did have a few questions regarding particular rules after my first read through.
Players and their teams of explorers essentially compete in a shared pool of six and eight-sided dice that decides on how their team will progress through the South Pole. Once a movement is made using one of these dice, players must roll to see if the harsh elements of their surroundings will be forgiving or suitably dangerous for our explorers. In short, progressing with supplies and setting up camps, for example, help your team withstand these elements but this more paced approach could cost you the game.
The mechanics in Snowblind feel spot on in terms of theme and overall tone. You find yourself pacing your ascent with a genuine sense of logistics that would naturally be involved in such a feat. Your journey back down the mountain also needs to be considered as this is equally dangerous. As mentioned in other reviews, a slightly lacklustre moment can occur, in that when you have safely returned to your base camp, you would essentially need to wait for the other players to return before the game comes to a close. It’s here that your victory points would be totalled, which are achieved through how high you planted your flag, how many survivors you have left at basecamp and a whole host of other goals and achievements.
When you combine the mechanic of Snowblind and its accompanying artwork, the guys at Pleasant Company Games in my opinion have successfully pulled off what is a very difficult theme to realise. Through planning your moves and accessing the risks, it feels like a do or die decision all while your team are getting literally battered by the extreme weather conditions throughout Snowblind. As a parent, I also find this game particularly gratifying in not only its narrative, but the need for forward planning and warranted pace. Excellent lessons for a seven-year-old. If you are looking for an alternative challenge in your next board game purchase and fancy taking on the great outdoors over hordes of miniatures, then this game will not disappoint.
“An excellent game that will hold its own in any board game collection.”
- Release: 2016
- Players: 1-4
- Age: 10+
- Playtime: 20 minutes per player
- Setup Time: Quick