We received an awesome game called Snake Oil - Party Potion to review from Out of the Box Games. We're featuring it as our Game of the Month choice for a handful of reasons. Due to the highly fun nature of the game, it became an instant favorite, for both adults and children. Actually, the first time we tried it out, it was played by adults who all agreed that this game was amazing and incredibly fun. Since then we have tried it out with a couple of our cousins and my own children, who paired up with one of their older cousins to play.
Snake Oil - Party Potion can be played by children as young as 6, if they are reading, but is recommended for children ages 8 and up. This game is meant to be played by 3-6 players and each game lasts 20-30 minutes. Snake Oil only takes five minutes to learn to play and is easy to set up! You can add Party Potion to the original Snake Oil game to add more cards or play it by itself as a standalone game. Snake Oil - Elixir is the next expansion and will be released in 2015. Party Potion comes with 112 Word Cards and 14 Customer Cards (they are double-sided, so there are 28 Customers total). It's a great game to bring to a party, to play at home on a game night or to give as a gift.
The cards come in a nifty plastic tray that keep the cards organized. Remove the tray from the box and pick up the Word Cards that have the snake oil bottle on the back. These cards have rounded corners to help distinguish them from the Customer Cards. Shuffle the cards and place them in a stack on the table in reach of the other players. Do the same with the Customer Cards.
Each player draws a hand of Six Word Cards.
Decide who will be the first customer and have them draw the top Customer Card. They can look at both sides of the card and decide which customer they want to be.
How to Play
The first Customer announces their Customer Card and places it on the table in front of them.
The other players have to look at their cards and choose two, which will create a unique product specially made for the Customer. It could be something completely normal, like a Stress Test, or it could be weird, like a Ghost Massage. Who knows, perhaps your Customer really craves some Bacon Milk.
Go ahead and pitch your product to the Customer.
Once one player finishes their pitch, another player can jump in and pitch their product to the Customer. A Customer can cut off any pitch that lasts longer than 30 seconds, if they aren't sold or wish to know more.
After all the players are done with their pitches, the Customer picks the best item and gives their Customer Card to that player, which scores them a point.
Discard all of the Word Cards used that round and place them in the card tray. Each player, except the person who played the Customer, draws back up to six cards.
The player to the left of the current Customer is the new Customer and picks up the top card of the Customer deck and chooses their role.
Continue play until each player has played the Customer once. The player with the most Customer Cards wins! If there is a tie, play one more round with only those players choosing Word Cards. They will pitch their product to the other players and those players will vote to determine the winner. That player wins the game!
Feel free to role play the characters if you wish, it only adds more fun. Talk in funny voices or act silly. Kids really get into it (adults do too).
If a younger player does not know the meaning of one of their cards, they can switch it out for a new card.
Here's what the first round might look like: The Customer Card is a Mad Scientist and one player has a hand of six Word Cards: Sled, Gorilla, Shampoo, Galaxy, Plunger and Pimple.
That player now has to decide what kind of product a Mad Scientist would want to buy. Disregard price, as it doesn't matter. What would a Mad Scientist absolutely HAVE to get their hands on? Choose two cards from your hand and prepare to sell the Mad Scientist your best product. In this case, it's a Galaxy Plunger! Seriously, what kind of Mad Scientist Would toss up a Galaxy Plunger? It's just too cool!
Another Customer might be a Toddler. Look at your options and choose which two cards would create a unique product that would appeal to a toddler.
The players chose "Dairy Rescue" (perhaps it's a product that stops bottles from hitting the floor or a super bottle that never leaks) and "Magic Nap" (which could be a one-time use of a perfect nap or maybe it's an outfit that the child wears to make sure they always have Magic Naps). The Customer will choose their favorite.
Who will be the best Snake Oil Salesperson? It will be a fun game to find out!
Besides being a fun game for casual play, you can also use it for fun educational activities. You can use this game to practice vocabulary (purchase the expansions for more word options). This game promotes creative learning and your child will enjoy practicing their communication skills while playing. Homeschoolers will especially love playing this educational game to work on linguistic skills!
We personally loved playing Snake Oil and can't wait to pick up the base game and the second expansion when it comes out! My kids haven't played it too much yet, apart from when they paired up to play it with their cousins, but I know it is a game they will love in a few years. They enjoy playing board games and are very entertained when they play Snake Oil with us. It's good practice to watch and learn. We highly recommend this game!
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