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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Snake Oil - Party Potion - Review

Okay, all you game lovers, listen up!  Here is one that is NOT just for homeschoolers!  We got a chance to play (and review) a game from Out of the Box Games, called Snake Oil, the Party Potion edition.

If you know us, or pay attention to my blog, you will know that we LOVE games at our house.  I know games annoy and irritate some people (I don't understand those people), but all 8 of us love games.  This game is designed for ages 8+, or younger, if they can read.

 (It has won all sorts of awards from organizations like Dr. Toy, The Old Schoolhouse - also known as TOS, and Mensa....yes, that Mensa!)

This was one of those games that once we got started, nobody wanted to stop.  I will say that D-man and A-girl weren't chomping at the bit to play the first time.  But, like any good parents would do, we forced them.  Emoji I will tell you how that went over later.

Here is how you play this game/what the premise is:

Back in the Old West, there were men that were "Snake Oil Salesmen" that could get people to buy even the unlikeliest of potions and elixers.  So, in this game, you take turns being the Snake Oil Salesman...AND the unsuspecting customer.  The Snake Oil Salesmen make their pitch about why their product is best.  The customer chooses and whoever has the most Customer cards at the end of the game wins!

We used the Party Potion version of this game, which is just the version for slightly younger kids.  Snake Oil is for ages 10+ and Snake Oil Party Potion is for ages 8+.

Here is how you play:  You can play with anywhere from 3 to 6 players (Again, all 8 of us played, but we played as a team).  You take turns being the "customer".  The customer chooses a card that says who they are, like, Fisherman, Grandma, School Bus Driver, Janitor, or Robot, for some examples.  The rest of the players have 6 snake oil cards in their hands.  They pick 2 of those cards to put together to create their "product" .

So, you could have cards in your hand that say:  Lantern, Coat, Butt, Spider, Curse, and Rug.  You would look at those and decide....."I am going to sell a Butt Lantern"  (That one actually happened at our house.  Yes, Rainman is really a 4th grade boy trapped in a grown up body!)

All of the Snake Oil salesmen present their product to the customer.  When everyone has taken their turn, the customer picks what they think was the best product and the Snake Oil salesman keeps the customer  card.  Then, someone new gets to be the customer and you repeat the whole thing.  The person or team that has the most customer cards at the end of the game wins.  Each game should take 20-30 minutes (ours usually last longer....see.....giggling....see long sales presentations, etc.)

It only takes a few minutes to explain how the game works to everyone.  Our littler ones were a bit confused during our explanation.  But, all we had to do was give them one example and show them how to create a product to pitch,and they were good to go!

(D-man, not excited to be playing....yet!)

We played as teams because then V-girl who is a brand new reader could play.  It didn't take her long to get into the swing of things and understand what she needs to do.

(Yes, as usual, ignore my mess!  Emoji Our desktop computer heats up and turns itself off if it is on my new it is sitting on my dining room table where it can get plenty of air, since we aren't eating there right has become the dumping ground....for pretty much everything!)

Back to Snake Oil Party Potion, S-girl is 7 is already a good reader, so in that aspect, she could have played by herself, but the concept of "selling" or persuading someone to buy her product was a strange one....because it sort of went against her personality.  She was very shy and tentative at first, but warmed up to it quickly.

The people that surprised me with selling their product to the customer were Rainman, A-man, and D-man.  Oh, my word! 

D-man was very good at outrageous, off the wall descriptions.  I wish I had video of him absolutely giggling his way through most of his sales pitches.  They were outrageous, off-the-wall, and hysterical most of the time.

(This was a good one.  He was selling the concept of a Pimple Forest to a Toddler!)

A-man had a very smooth delivery that had you believing every word.  Not sure what I think about him being able to wax poetic about just about anything.  He was also the reason that we started timing our sales pitches, because, if we let him, he would have just kept going on and on and on about why you needed whatever he was selling!

But, Rainman, was absolutely fantastic at both.  He always came up with a great concept/product and sold it to you like you had to have it or you would be crazy!  He may have missed his call when he became a Meteorologist!  Seriously!  Who knew he had such a creative mind hidden beneath his scientist exterior?!?!  I refer you to his salesmanship of the aforementioned "Butt Lantern" as my example.  He made it seem like a great idea for you to have on a dark and stormy night traveling in the woods.Emoji

These games are great family games.  They would make a great family gift at Christmas.  They would be great to bring to a party.  (That was one comment Rainman made.... this would be a great party game.)  Snake Oil Party Potion for younger players to get started, costs $14.99.  The Original Snake Oil game for slightly older players, costs $19.99.

We loved this game.  All of us.  Even the teenagers!  I am sure that this is teaching my children all kinds of life skills.  Ha!  I actually said that as sort of a joke, but really, it is teaching them public speaking skills, vocabulary words, and even marketing skills.  But, even if it didn't, it is still loads of fun.  Remember, it had my 16 year old giggling and all of us laughing.  Rainman can sell a Butt Lantern, and  V-girl asks almost everyday if we can play Snake Oil.  (She puts the emphasis on the second word, which is adorable).  So, it is most definitely a winner in our book!

See what other TOS Reviewers thought of their Snake Oil games!

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