Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Schoolhouse Crew Review: Out of the Box Games

Out of the Box Games Review
We love to play games at our house.  I had honestly never heard of Out of the Box Games before, but am always excited to have something new to play with the children.  We were given Snake Oil to use and review.  
Out of the Box Games Review
Snake Oil ($19.99) is a game for 3-10 players with the recommended age of 10 and up.  It is very easy to learn and a game can be played in 20-30 minutes.  To play the game, you choose one person to be the first customer and he takes a customer card.  The customer card is double sided and the customer can choose either side and takes on the role of their choice.  On the cards you can find everything from a pirate to a hunter to a senior citizen or a vampire.  There are 28 different customer cards with 56 different customer choices.  Each player gets 6 word cards.  The other players combine any two cards in their hand to create an item to sell to the customer.  There are 336 word cards to choose from making combinations such as:  Energy Belt, Diamond Grenade, Love Cream, Snow Gum, Pocket Umbrella, and many many more.  The players then pitch their product to the customer.  After each player has given their pitch, the customer selects the one he likes the best and awards the customer card to that player.  Used word cards are discarded and players draw new ones to replace them.  Play continues to the left of the first customer and the game continues until all players have been the customer once.  The winner is the player who has the most customer cards.

I used Snake Oil with my 5,7,9, and 10 year olds.  I mentioned above that we love to play games.  I was a little worried though about how the younger children would be able to play this game.  The age recommendation for the game is 10 and up and I knew my 9 and 10 year old would be fine, but I was not sure that the younger children would even get the concept of the game.  When the game came and they saw the box, they kept asking me what Snake Oil was.  I explained the concept of a "Snake Oil Salesmen" but still didn't think they understood.  They didn't want to be left out though and really wanted to play.  I thought I'd probably have to do a lot of explaining as we went along but wanted them to feel included, so they all played.


It turned out that I shouldn't have worried.  They understood completely and did a great job trying to sell their products to the customer.  They did so good getting into character both as the customer and the salesmen.

We loved that it was very easy to set up and learn and besides the cards were no pieces to lose (not that we ever lose game pieces!)  It was great to have a new game they could play together.  It was a lot of fun listening to the kids pitch their products to the customer and seeing them get into the persona as the customer.  

I did take a few cards out of the stack because they were not things that I wanted the children making up products for.  A few of the ones I took out were things like: murder, hell, blood, revenge, corpse, alcohol, vomit, and bra.  A parent can easily go through the stacks before playing the game and remove any cards they do not want in the game and they will not be missed.  

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