Snail’s Pace Race: Basic Board Gaming

  by Andrew Wolgemuth

Snail’s Pace Race is a *super* simple game, but for that reason it’s a great way to teach and practice the fundies of gaming. Taking turns … check. Rolling die … check. Moving pieces … check. Identifying which resource will be rare and therefore extra valuable for trading … nope.

Bonus: the little snail game pieces only have to move eight spaces to finish so game play isn’t too long.

Double bonus: you and kids can make predictions about the race’s outcome to add a little spice to things.

The most basic way to play is to take turns rolling the die, moving the snails accordingly, and cheering for the different colored creepers (again, this game is just about learning the fundies!).

A little competition can be added by starting gameplay off with some predictions. Each player chooses the snail that they think will reach the destination most quickly and which snail they think will be the slowest (e.g. “Blue will be fastest, and … yellow will come in last.”). Our family eventually progressed to needing to calculate who was the best (read: luckiest) predictor and two point scales were developed:

  • six points for predicting the fastest snail; five points if your prediction for the fastest snail came in second; four points for third; etc.
  • six points for predicting the slowest snail; five points if your prediction for the slowest snail came in second to last; four for third to last; etc.

This means the top point total possible is 12 and the lowest is 2. 6.5 points is about average (so now you know how to evaluate your own predictions). Since it’s all just luck, within a few games everyone has predicted brilliantly at least once, everyone has predicted terribly at least once, and most of the time at least one of your predictions is in the mix.

And there’s another dadcraft fundie in the mix here: hype. That is, your engagement and energy level will set the tone for your crew’s fun. Make sure your voice is heard in cheering the snails on (and encouraging your little predictors, too).

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We like games, and we’ve shared a few thoughts on some good ones: Yahtzee and Pass the Pigs. And also about Candyland.

Photo by Chrissy Wolgemuth. Amazon links are affiliate links.