Schoolhouse Review ~ Out of the Box Games #hsreviews

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We had the opportunity to review Snake Oil – Party Potion by Out of the Box Games. This game is recommended for ages 8 and up consisting of 3 – 6 players. Approximate game time is 20 – 30 minutes. It has a recommended sale price of $14.99.

So…first of all…let’s discuss the name “Snake Oil” so we can move beyond that small part. *grin* Yes, we all agree that this is a VERY UNUSUAL NAME for a kids game (or ANY game for that matter). So I’m sure you are wondering, as my family did, how they came up with such an interesting name. Although I am not completely sure how exactly the name came about, here is a little of what the company has to share about ‘The True History of Snake Oil’: It acutally did exist and was first introduced in the US in the 1860’s by Chinese laborers. It was rubbed on sore muscles. It is still used today by some herbalists. Then in 1917, a sample of Clark Stanley’s Snake Oil Liniment was tested and found to contain no actual snake oil. As a result of swindlers making false product claims and using misleading labels, the phrase “Snake Oil Salesman” was born. So, now that we have discussed that…let’s move on to the actual game (after you have read my entire review…the name will make more sense…so keep on reading…).

This game comes with a plastic three section card holder, 14 Customer Cards (28 Customers) and 112 Word Cards.

Game Set up: put out tray then everyone draws six of the “Word Cards”.

Step One: Choose one player to be “the customer”. Anyone can be the customer. They then choose one of the “customer cards” and look at both the front and the back and choose which of the two customers they want to be. (Some examples are: Waitress, Fisherman, Dog, Snowman, Robot, Wizard, Doctor.)

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Step Two: All the other players choose two of their six cards as their item to “sell” to the customer. For us, we decided everyone needed to pick their two cards before anyone started selling. (The game just says that whoever is ready first can go.) This is the most hilarious part of the game! Our six year old LOVES games like this (and actually does quite well) so I knew this game would be a hit with him when I saw it came up for review). This is where you get to see people’s personalities shine (and it can be a “communication learning tool” for those who aren’t so good at sharing their thoughts with others).

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Below is a sample of cards one of us had during one of the games we played.

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Step Three: After all the players have pitched their item they are selling, the customer picks which one they liked the best. (Sometimes if we had a hard time deciding we would take one of each of the ones we liked the best and would just randomly pick one – that one then became the winner.) Whoever wins the sales pitch gets the customer card – this way you know who is winning.

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Below is just a picture of us playing one of our games…it shows the tray and some of the cards.

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Our family really enjoyed this game and the time and laughs it brought as we spent time together. Our only suggestion to the makers of this game would be to add more customer cards…which actually they do say you can combine this game with the regular (first) Snake Oil game they made (recommended for ages 10 and up) which would provide additional customer cards.

So I guess we can put “two and two” together and understand from this where the name Snake Oil comes from. Closure is good. *grin*

You can watch this short YouTube video which creatively explains how to play the game. (Which is actually where I got some of my pictures from.)

Out of the Box Games offers MANY other games as well, hop over and check out what all they have to offer!

If you are curious about how some of their games match Common Core Standards, click HERE.

Other ways to stay up with what is going on with Out of the Box Games:


Read more Out of the Box Games reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew!

Here’s praying you have fun learning!




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