We are a family that loves our board games! There are a few of us who have a bit more of a competitive streak than others, ahem, so there is always someone eager to play a good game.
So, it was a great pleasure to get the opportunity to review an item from Out of the Box Games--Snake Oil.
Out of the Box Games has been around since 1998, and they believe in creating games that are easy to learn, quick and enjoyable to play, and cause players to have exciting interaction with one another. We actually had never played an Out of the Box Game before, so this was our first experience with this company.
Snake Oil ($19.99) is listed as for ages 10-adult, and can be played with 3-10 players. Opening the box for the first time, you will find four large wrapped decks of cards, one smaller wrapped deck of cards, and the instructions. The larger decks are the purple Word Cards, and each card has one word on it. The words are innocent enough to start, "pillow", "garbage", "monkey". It's the combinations of the words that you later make that start all of the trouble! The smaller decks are the Customer Cards, and each card has a "profession" written on either side of it. The professions are things like "caveman", "super hero", or "alien".
When the game begins, each player gets dealt six word cards, and one of the players chooses a Customer Card. That player is now the customer for the round. Each of the other players then have to select two word cards from their hands that they can combine to create an object to sell to the Customer. The player with the most creative, most successful, or, in our case, funniest sales pitch / item wins the Customer Card. Play moves along so the next player in line can become the Customer. Once each player has been the Customer once, the game is over and the player with the most Customer Cards wins!
We had a blast with this game! I played it regularly with my 11 year-old, but also my newly 8 year-old. Even though he was "technically" under the age limit, he played just as well as the rest of us. Being able to read, I think, would be the biggest skill you would need in order to play successfully. For the three of us, playing with each of us having one turn to be the Customer, the game was over pretty quickly. Most often, we set different limits, such as having three turns each. When we would do that, the game usually lasted about fifteen minutes or so. (Occasionally, fits of giggles would extend the length of the rounds...)
|This is the best picture I got that wasn't too blurry, when we were in a giggle fit. It was the word "diaper".|
All in all, I wouldn't say this is the most educational game we've ever played, but it was definitely a lot of fun! The kiddos had fun coming up with new inventions (which is harder than you would think), and pitching them to me and to each other. They were practicing their vocabulary, and their quick-thinking, problem solving skills. Bug, especially, wanted to play over and over again!
The instruction card also gives several variations on the original game, including classroom play. We tried one or two, but mainly stuck to the game the way we started using it. There are a few word cards that we have taken out as we've gone along--just not quite things we want to use in a family game--words like "bra" or "murder". The game is still completely play-able without those few cards. This one's going to be a hit for a very long time, I think!
What Did My Kiddos Think?
"It was fun! I loved it and it was fun and it had very funny parts. And sometimes I even came up with very funny inventions, like the Baby Diaper!" (Bug, age 8)
"I liked it. It was a creative idea for a game, and I thought that it could really help you when you wanted to do something fun. I would really like to keep playing it!" (Firefly, age 11)
Find Out More About Out of the Box Games:
You can find a video demonstration of how to play Snake Oil on the website.
Also, my Crew Mates reviewed Snake Oil and Snake Oil Party Potion. Make sure to see what they thought: