The 90s Toys & Games


Snardvark was an electronic board game for ages 5 and up made by the gaming company Parker Brothers. It was released in 1992 and was designed for 2-4 players. The commercial for Snardvark (below) explains the scenario leading up to the events of the game; two creatures called Snardvarks are sitting in their home when one begins to collapse from exhaustion. An older female Snardvark (presumably the other’s mother) soothes it by producing a box of Snards, which are evidently snacks for these beings. She then sprinkles Snards upon her offspring’s tongue, where they spring to life and panic, as they do not wish to be eaten. Players then take the role of individual Snards attempting to escape the hungry Snardvark’s retracting tongue.

Each player’s Snard begins on a dot upon the Snardvark’s tongue, with each subsequent dot representing a move that must be made to escape. Moves are made not by dice or a spinner, as with traditional board games, but according to the Snardvark’s constantly changing eye colors (not explained in the commercial’s backstory). The Snards are colored blue, red, green, and yellow; when the Snardvark’s eyes match a player’s Snard color, that player moves their Snard ahead one space. If they are unable to move to the next space because it is blocked by another player’s Snard, they “leapfrog” over that player to the next available space, simulating the mad scramble to be the first Snard to reach the end of the tongue. Should a player’s color not come up, they are in danger of being eaten by the Snardvark as its tongue retreats inexorably into its mouth. Once a player is eaten, he or she is out of the game.

Snardvark failed to catch on substantially with most children, and was later discontinued by Parker Brothers. Though not especially rare, complete sets of the game can be difficult to acquire, and are valued at up to $35 by some online retailers for a copy in excellent condition.



Featured image via Etsy

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