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Product Links: Snake Oil – Party Potion (Ages 8 and up)
Vendor Information Link: Out of the Box Games
Age Appeal: 8 and up
Format: physical game with cards and instruction
Does your family need a fun to game to play, but do you want it to be educational at the same time? Snake Oil from Out of the Box Games is that game!
Snake Oil is based on the snake oil introduced by the Chinese who worked on the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1860’s. They shared the snake oil with the Americans, who made outrageous claims with it. The salesmen who sold these products (which did not contain much snake oil) were called Snake Oil Salesmen.
This game is based on that history. This game is played by three to six people at a time and it should take 20-30 minutes to complete. Each person takes 6 word cards and they take turns being the customer, like a magician or Olympic Athlete. The people who are not the customer take two of their cards and present a sale pitch to the customer. One phrase could be gravity coat. The customer picks the product they want and the customer card goes to that player. Each player will draw two more cards, each player should always have six cards. The winner of the game is the person who has the most cards at the end of the round. This video does an excellent job of showing how the game is played.
We have seen Snake Oil Salesmen at different forts and events we have been to in the West. The children had fun watching and learning from them, so I thought this game would be perfect for them. I also thought it would be good for C, so she could work on her creative thinking, quick thinking, and public speaking skills. B is really good with those skills, so I wanted him to hone them.
They were so excited when the game came in the mail, that we opened the package and played a game. It was a lot of fun. C was doing much better than I thought she would and B had some excellent sales pitches.
We have played Snake Oil many times since then, but C has had a harder time trying to make things up than she did the first time. She must be putting too much pressure on herself. I will have to help her overcome it. B has been doing a good job, but he has had a couple of rounds where he has gotten some hard cards to use. They were cards like grave, nightmare, butt, and curse. We do not actively use some of those words at our home (especially when trying to combine the words into a product), so I am going to go through the deck and pick out the ones that do not work with our family. It should be much easier for the children to build products after that.
We have been having fun with this game. I plan on using it weekly in school so B and C can continue to improve their skills.
- I really liked this game. It was the perfect game to help C with her creative thinking and public speaking skills. I was proud of her. She needs to become confident of her creative thinking. I think it will come with our encouragement and time spent playing this game.
- B is a very creative young man, so this game was made for him. He won many cards, because of his ability to think quickly and deliver good sales pitches.
- There were words that I personally do not approve of saying or were not appropriate for them, so they will be set aside until they are older. I thought they made hard word combinations to be proper when I was trying to be appropriate with my children.
- I thought the cards themselves were neat with the snake on them. It really did make it a Snake Oil game.
- We enjoyed the different customer cards. After we had played the game several times I think that both B and C were trying really hard to make their product suite the customer. I realized in the last game we played that not only should I make the card fit the customer, but I needed to make it something that B or C would like to have if they were that customer. I need to remember to share that with them the next time we play. It might help C to more easily think of her products.
B’s Thoughts (boy, age 10, officially in fifth grade):
I liked Snake Oil. There were some very unique cards though, like snot, butt, skull, curse, and ghost. Other than that it was very fun. I liked that it really encouraged imagination and creative skills, plus sales pitch. I thought that the selection of customer cards was nice. I liked how each of them included a snake (or more) in the picture on the card.
I would recommend this product.
C’s Thoughts (girl, age 8, officially in third grade):
I really liked Snake Oil. It was fun to be a customer and chose who would get the card. It was also fun selling the customer a product.
I did not really like some of the cards, like butt and snot. They are words we do not use.
It is good for good for people six years and older.
I enjoyed the Snake Oil game. It required being creative with the cards in your hand. You have to be a bit of a fast thinker but that's part of the fun. The length of each round is good. It's short enough to keep younger kids entertained and also to move on to something else if they want to. Or you can keep playing and enjoying the products players come up with. I liked the Snake Oil game.
Mama really recommends this!
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