Before publishers discovered that word games sell better when they’re stuffed in a fruit, US Games Systems published Snatch-It. Snatch-It is a simple game, sold in a simple plastic tube, but that doesn’t mean it lacks a competitive challenge when you go head to head against your friends.
One hundred letter tiles are laid face down in the center of the table. Each player takes turns flipping a letter over, and any player can claim a word as soon as they can form it. If a player can make a new word by adding and rearranging letters to another player’s word, they can snatch it. It sounds a lot like Scrabble Apple, although Snatch-It released years ago. The major difference between Snatch-It and Scrabble Apple is that individual letters have different point values in Scrabble. Snatch-it only gives one point a letter for the third letter of a word and on.
Snatch-It’s gameplay is better suited for those who think fast. I constantly lost words because I took too long to study the pile of letters. Snatch-It is played more impulsively than a game like the regular Scrabble where you could think ahead. I played a two player game with my wife who floored me because she could put words together faster than me. It didn’t matter, though, because the game is over to quickly to resent it. The game plays faster than most of its kind, since analysis paralysis is penalized.
The game is stored in a tall plastic tube that has all the rules printed inside. There is also an instruction sheet stuffed inside the package. The tiles are made of a glossy plastic, which makes them feel nice to flip over and slide around the table. Snatch-It won’t fit in your purse like Banagrams, but it is still more compact than most games in your closet. The tube is also distinctive, so it is difficult to ignore it when you see it on the shelf.
Snatch-It is a fun game, and I appreciate that it requires mental quickness as well as a rich vocabulary. The production is great, but the game itself struggles to be unique. I always find word games to be more similar to each other than most genres, so it is hard to recommend this game to casual Banagrams fans. If your weekly Scrabble games go on too long, however, then Snatch-It would be a fine diversion.
This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher, US Games Systems.