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Snowball Slide

Snowball Slide is a game disguised as a Christmas card! What on first glance appears to be cute mountain toboggan scene for elves is in fact a two-player snowball race.

Snowball Slide is the eighth instalment in a series of greeting cards from Jessica Metheringham and the team at Dissent Games – a non-profit organisation specialising in re-imagining classic games and games that promote and provoke political or ethical conversation. That said, Snowball Slide is purely fantasy fun to add joy into anyone’s wintertime.

The premise of the game is simple: two teams of elves having a challenge of who can get the most snowballs to the bottom of the slide. Balls are slid by the roll of dice (two standard six-sided dice provided by the players from some other game or dusty drawer they have in their home). One die can be used to start the ball rolling, the other to tilt a cog of the corresponding number to direct the ball down the slides (or use both die to move two cogs). If at any point the snowballs collide they 'explode' (and return to the supply).

Whilst there is a degree of agency and competition in the game, most of our wins came down to who rolled the right number at the right time: once those cogs are locked in advantageous position for one player, it can be frustrating to not roll any numbers that can influence the direction of travel. This is slightly balanced, however, by the satisfying ‘take-that’ action of sending a second roll into your opponent's carefully placed snowball and blowing it into icy oblivion.

Essentially then this is a simple game of lucky back-and-forth that was only slightly hampered by the finickity hurdle of actually getting it to the table: aside from providing dice, players are required to cut out the pieces from the supplement. For me this was a small but tangible vexation; I would’ve preferred a pre-cut punchboard, or at least have the pieces lined up so that cutting was a smoother experience, or use a larger template (the supplement was 1/3 smaller than the card itself, so plenty of room for more). I’m aware that this sounds picky but for what I think would be a short fun experience, the cutting/crafting time dulled my excitement.

Ultimately tho' this is a fun and novel take on a traditional part of Christmas gifting. The card inside is blank for your own message (or call to challenge!), and will do a better job of entertaining family and friends during those ‘times between’ which we would usually fill with cracker toys.

You can order Christmas cards and other greeting cards that incorporate board games direct from Dissent at

(Review by Michael Harrowing)

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