Game review: Smugglers: roll to victory
Posted November 24, 2016
A smuggling gang is looking for new members in the game Smugglers by Kosmos Games. Players are recruited to join the gang, but they must prove their skills. A person who smuggles the right treats using the art of bluffing will win.
For ages 8 and up, Smugglers is easy to understand and play with games lasting no more than about 45 minutes. The sequence of play is divided into three phases: a skill test, ranking and inspection.
In addition to a board, this game has a cool plastic and cardboard component that looks like a fence. The fence is filled with several holes and a chute goes down off of a hill through each hole in the fence. After determining which hole will be the active one for the round, the first phase begins.
Each player has three types of contraband gems in his or her possession representing sweet treats (red), sour treats (yellow) or stink bombs (purple). Using an innovative kind of clay, players secretly place one of their gems in a lump of clay and then try to roll it down a chute and through the fence. If it doesn't pass through, players can make a second attempt.
In the ranking phase, all the players who were able to pass a ball of clay through the fence now compare the size of those balls of clay. A cool cartoonish-looking board represents the office of the boss. The two biggest balls of clay get placed in order of size and the rest are placed in a junk room.
Players then get to guess which gems might be inside the lumps of clay. If the guess is correct, smuggling tokens are scored which can help win the game. If the guess is wrong, the smuggler gets to take tokens based on what he or she smuggled.
Rounds are repeated until a person collects seven sweet treat tokens, seven sour treat tokens or five of each treat. There are even rules to help shorten the game.
Smugglers is a unique game, and it's great for families with tons of interaction, laughs and fun tactile play. Rolling the balls of clay and guessing what an opponent may have hidden in his or her ball of clay is exciting. There is really not another game on the market similar to this one. Find out more about the game by visiting the Kosmos website.