Sneaking Mission - Solo
Teaching Time: 10 mins
Playing Time: 20 mins
Setup Time: 1 mins
Value For Money: High
Price: Print and Play
Solo Play Review
Sneaking Mission includes one page of counters so its a fairly simple build, but then I didn't bother backing mine. It asks you to provide a coin (for flipping) and a handful of counters (flat ones such as tiddlywinks). Other than that it has a five page rule book. On the subject of Print and Play rule books, can designers with a Print and Play game that fits into a single small zip lock bag please stop producing rule books that need their own box?
Game play involves laying down tiles representing the rooms of a non-specific location. Some will have guards and cameras, some will have weapons or hiding places, you move through the rooms as you lay them down. If you hit a camera or a guard's line of sight you need to find a hiding spot within five turns or you lose, unless you kill the guard. You carry on until you find a room full of secret information or lose. Killing a guard is done by flipping a coin.
The game works fine, its quite simple but full price games have sold much the same concepts just with fancier components. There are two game play issues, first is the theme, the game is far more about murdering unsuspecting guards than sneaking past them. The game is full of visual references to the Metal Gear Solid series, specifically upturned cardboard boxes forming hiding spots, sadly they can't be used to sneak past anyone. Frankly, nothing lets you actually sneak past anything. Secondly, the hiding spots are too powerful in game play, since you can try to murder a guard, fail and so long as you hide within five turns you can try again and everything is fine it means every guard within five spaces of a hiding spot is dead meat. It boils down to if you pull hiding spots victory is inevitable, and if you don't failure is unavoidable.
Had there been more actual sneaking to allow tactics and value to doubling back, possibly by the existing items and icons having different abilities or by a different alert mechanic, this could have been a very worth while entry. As it is its a free 10 minute build for a 20 minute time killer that you can play then chuck in the recycling and which you might actually enjoy enough to replay once or twice.