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SNAPSHOT - Wildlife Photographer of the Year!

Updated: Jan 15

Players: 1 -4 Ages: 7+ Game Time: 15-45 minutes

Hello my Geeks and Geekettes!

I hope everyone is staying safe and well now that we’re all allowed to go outside again. I am so excited for this week’s review! This time around we have once again been very privileged to review a prototype copy of a game ahead of its Kickstarter launch date. I swear I feel like I’ve had the best games to review thus far!

Snapshot, by Paper Boat Games, is a fabulous family-fun game where you travel out into the wilds of nature to try and Snap the best photos for the local nature magazine. The more lucrative the animal, the higher the points value you can score. The person with the highest score at the end wins!

Some characters are well known, like the ever cheeky and loveable Meerkat, others are more obscure like the beautiful Hoatzin, a fabulously coloured bird from the Amazon (a particular favourite of mine as they still have small claws on their wings as a remnant of their dinosaur ancestry – of course).

The Snapshot Game box with all the game components laid out in front of it

The game consists of 6 x 6-sided die (D6) and four habitats that you can “explore”, they are:

  • Shoreline

  • Savannah

  • Mountain

  • Rainforest

Each area costs the roll of a die to enter. But what are you going to photograph once you get there?

Any good explorer knows that the first thing you need to do to take photographs of animals is to research them.

At the start of a player's turn a player may “research” potential animals to photograph by drawing up any number of animal cards they choose, whilst adding them to the relevant habitats. But be careful, there are some very powerful animals in the wild and if you draw a weaker animal from the deck you risk spooking it away and loosing your turn. Research is necessary, but risky.

Once you have researched as many animals as you can (earning a point token for every animal successfully researched) you can now place your die in an attempt to photograph them.

The Snapshot box with a game in progress, and animal plushies (article writer's own)

The first step is to decide which habitat you are going to try and enter. Each habitat has a difficulty rating that you must reach in order to reach the animals that live there, think of it as the perils of the exhibition, climbing mountains, wading through overgrown tree roots . . . ahhh smells like adventure!

In order to meet the criteria you need to place a die (or more if you have terrible luck like me!) on the habitat you choose. For example, if I want to try and photograph the graceful and shy Lowland Gorilla I will need to roll a five on my die. Now I don’t have much luck with dice rolling, so I usually like to put two or three dice on the card. To enter I need to roll a five or a six on at least one of those die, so it’s pretty tough. The shoreline however is much easier, there I only need to roll a two or above to reach the habitat.

The Lowland Gorilla card leant against a gorilla plushie

Once I’m in the jungle my next step is to use the rest of my dice to attempt to take a photograph; I need to be careful though, if I fail I could spook the animal. Gorillas are exceptionally shy animals, and their locations are kept secret by many organisations to help protect them from poachers.

To take my picture I need to roll a nine or above. Unlike the die needed to enter the habitat I can actually add up the total of my dice. But what if I’m the unluckiest person on the planet?

Do you remember the points tokens I mentioned before for your excellent research? Well, now it’s time to trade them in. Before I take my roll I have three dice left, my chances of reaching a nine are pretty good on 3 dice, but to be safe I’ll spend 3 of my point tokens on the Gorilla. Now I only need to roll a six . . .

. . . I roll 5 . . .

Of course I do, because it’s me, and I have awful luck! The Gorilla spooks and runs away . . . I shall try for something a bit easier next time . . .

The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog card leant against a plushie of the same animal

Each player takes their turn to roll dice and capture photographs of as many animals as they can. Each player also has a hidden agenda. Real wildlife photographers are hired to photograph particular animals, and they gain funding from museums, research stations, or the BBC to go out into the wild and photograph particular species. So each player is given a random “Assignments” card. This gives you two animals that the magazine or museum wants you to photograph, such as Coquerel’s Sifaka (a type of lemur from Madagascar). If you’re successful in your search then you gain additional points.

The Coquerel's Sifaka card leant up against a plushie of the same animal

You can also secure more points by being the first person to photograph three of the same kind of animal, or being the first to photograph one animal from each habitat, and your assignment may also give you extra points for every Apex (top) predator that you photograph

At the end of the game you total up your points based on the animals you have photographed, and the bonuses you have managed to achieve

The player with the most points wins!

I seriously have fallen in love with this game!

First off let me tell you about the fantastic artwork the game has to offer. We are a nation of animal lovers, where David Attenborough is regarded as a National Treasure. The animals chosen for the game, and the stunning photographs taken to represent them really are beautiful and varied. The photograph selection is of animals at their most adorable, and we have every kind of creature imaginable. We have Poison Dart Frogs to Polar Bears, Marine Iguanas to Flamingos!

The Snapshot game box and components of a game in progress

There are numerous ways to earn points through the different photos you can take, to meeting your assignments. Since the assignments are kept secret it’s really hard to tell who is going to win until all the points are collected. If you’re daring enough you can attempt multiple habitats on each round, so long as you have the dice available.

A player's successfully photographed animals, Assignment card and collected rewards in a game of Snapshot

This game is due to be released on Kickstarter on the 28th of September 2021. Most, if not all now that I think about it, of the DoaLG crew are backing this game; it comes with very high praise from each of us that have played it.

We love every aspect. It has beautiful artwork, replay, hidden agendas, luck of the dice rolls, and it made us fall in love with the wonders of the animal kingdom all over again. We even got in the mood to go exploring to take some pics of our own . . . what do you think?

A selection of animal plushies behind Snapshot game components

This gets a huge SIX on the die from me, a sentiment I know is shared with my fellow DoaLG members. We hope you'll love it as much as we do!

Take care


Also featured in

As a recommended gift for the wildlife photographer in your life!

Assuming you've not already run off to follow it or back it on Kickstarter already ... if you'd like to know more, Martin Daine of Paperboat Games appeared on our live show Let's Talk Board Games

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1 Comment

Dec 29, 2021

Hello my lovely Geeks and Geekettes!

Just to let you know that SnapShot has arrived following the very successful Kickstarter page

I didn’t think it was possible but it is even cuter than the original prototype! The box has been reduced in size to fit the cards snuggly (and save packaging as well as the environment) and for kickstarter backers there was also an adorable red panda meeple to indicate first player AND the flora expansion with cards showing beautiful plants you can photograph in each habitat

Such a fabulous game!

Keep an eye out on the paperboat games website for when copies are released for general sale!

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