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Snorta is even simpler than the rules make it out to be. And more fun. There's a deck of 100 animal cards. The deck is divided equally between 4-8 players. Players take turns exposing the top card in their pile. When cards match, the first player to make the sound of the other player's animal wins.

Other player's animal? Well, see, there's a bag full of plastic animals. Really nicely sculpted and painted cartoonishly funny-looking animals that live in a cloth drawstring bag. Each player picks, and that becomes the player's animal. And that animal gets hidden in a similarly nicely sculpted barn-like, doghouse-looking thing. So you have to remember everybody's animal. Which isn't so easy - especially when you're looking at cards with other animals printed on them.

If you lose, you have to pick up all the cards that the other player has already turned over. Depending on how long it's been since a match has been drawn, that pile can get punishingly large. So the tension builds. And the excitement mounts. And the laughter frequently turns into something approximating hysteria.

And then there's these occasional "swap" cards hidden in the animal card deck, which let you draw a different animal from the animal sack. Just in case people actually get too good at remembering the animal you used to be.

The mechanics of the game are subtle enough to make you want to play again and again. Even though a match can only involve two players at a time, all players are engaged. If you're not one of the players involved in a match, your pile just grows one card larger - making the possibility of success next round even that much more enticing. If you have a match fight with someone with a large pile, and you lose, it makes the loss that much more punishing. Combine the visual and memory challenge with the sheer silliness of people making animal noises at each other, and you get Snorta - a Major FUN Award-winning party game that's competitive enough to take seriously, and silly enough not to care. Snorta is an ideal family game - one that adults can enjoy (our Tasting group ranged in age from 7-63, including a couple of advanced teens) as much as their kids.

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