Snatch is a brand new mobile app that’s gaining traction fast in the UK. The developers claim that players can earn real cash prizes by collecting parcels scattered around an augmented reality map.
I wanted to investigate further to find out how Snatch works and what kind of prizes are really on the table.
How Snatch Works
If you were anywhere near the internet last summer, then you probably heard a lot about Pokemon Go. Released by Niantic Labs, Pokemon Go quickly became one of the top-grossing mobile apps of 2016.
With Pokemon Go you can move around in real life and see your avatar move around a map of your local area, mimicking your real life location. As you travel you’ll be able to collect items and encounter creatures called Pokemon.
Snatch offers a similar experience - the main game screen shows off a map of your local area and your avatar represents your current real world position. Scattered around the map in Snatch are collectible parcels, as opposed to Pokemon.
Once your avatar is standing next to a parcel, you can collect it. You can hold a total of 10 parcels at once, and they all have prizes waiting inside.
Unfortunately, you can’t just open up your parcels right away. Once you’ve picked up a parcel, you have to wait a total of 6 hours before the parcel is ready to open.
Waiting 6 hours for a potential cash prize doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, the challenging part about Snatch is that other nearby players can snatch your parcels straight out of your inventory. If they successfully snatch your parcel, you’ll lose it and the other player will take ownership of it and the current time left on the parcel will be given to that player. The snatching element of Snatch is something that actually makes the game enjoyable outside of the potential thrill to earn real prizes, but it makes reaching for those advertised rewards frustrating at times.
Snatch has a number of gameplay mechanics in place to make the snatching feature interesting. Firstly, if a player wants to snatch a parcel from another nearby player, they must have 25 coins to spend. Secondly, coins can only be earned through opening other parcels, inviting friends to the game or purchasing them via in-app purchases.
This creates a bit of an issue for new players. I found it disheartening during my first few hours - every time I picked up a parcel, I had it stolen from me within minutes. I wasn’t ready to spend real life money on a system like this, but I hadn’t quite given up on the concept completely.
It turns out, if you capture a total of 10 parcels, you’ll have a much higher chance to hold onto more parcels whilst you’re waiting for them to open. Going out for a 30 minute walk in the morning easily gave me 10 parcels. Because I caught the parcels early in the morning before work, I was able to wait through the 6 hour waiting time whilst most other players were at work at school.
The 500 coins you get from inviting a friend can help massively, too. With coins, you can defend your parcels or hide your avatar from the map temporarily. There are plenty of tools and abilities which you can buy with coins to keep your parcels safe for the 6 hour waiting period. Once you’re able to open the parcels, you’ll most likely have plenty more coins coming your way to keep the gameplay rolling.
Opening Your Parcels
This is certainly the most exciting part about Snatch - A small animation is played each time you open up a parcel and your prize is then revealed. In most cases, you’ll walk away with a small boost to your coins.
Although my end goal was to win something awesome from my parcels, I was actually happy to see big coin drops because it meant I had more coins to invest in defending my parcels or snatching other players’ parcels.
Chance to Win Cash Prizes in Snatch
After playing Snatch, I can confirm that it is everything it claims to be and it’s also a fun gameplay experience as well. The first day or two of playing can be painful, but if you can get some friends on board you’ll have enough coins to buy yourself through your first baby steps in the virtual Snatch world.
The one question I’m sure you’re all wondering at this point is what’s the actual chance to win cash prizes in Snatch? Unfortunately, my experience for this is anecdotal at best, from what I’ve seen in-game myself and from other players’ experiences on YouTube.
It is possible to win real cash prizes, but they only appear in golden parcels, which the Snatch development team periodically sprinkle across the virtual world - you’ll often get phone notifications when the development team is about to drop these. If you get hold of a golden parcel, hold onto it with your life because there will be a guaranteed cash prize of up to £1,000 (but as low as £1) inside.
Unfortunately, I have yet to even see a golden parcel, so the chances of grabbing one and holding onto it for more than six hours are slim. The standard parcels are seen everywhere, but most often drop in-game coins. The standard parcels do have a chance to drop a real prize, too - you can receive vouchers for shops, restaurants, plane tickets and more. I’ve yet to see any real rewards besides a 2 month NOW TV pass.
Summary - Snatch is a very fun game that’ll get you outside. - I found the gameplay addictive and the chance to win prizes made it exciting. The real cash prizes are in the game, but the chances of getting something other than a Now TV pass are slim, so keep that in mind before jumping in.
If I were to change anything about Snatch, I’d make it a little easier to hold onto parcels or earn coins. Even if they kept the difficulty up for earning real prizes, players shouldn’t have such difficulty using the basic game mechanics when first starting.