14 Nov, 2013
Something new for family game night
This is a game called Snake Oil. It arrived on my doorstep the other day. The eldest (who is very keen on board games) asked if we could play. And so we did.
Happily for me, Snake Oil isn’t one of those games that requires an in-depth study of lengthy rules or “warm up” rounds (both of which are things I do not enjoy). The rules are brief. In fact, they’re printed right on the side of the box.
“In the Old West, sly snake oil salesmen had the special talent of getting even the most skeptical customer to buy the most dubious product. In Snake Oil, that’s exactly what the players get to do! One player draws a card and becomes the Customer while the other players each select two Word Cards from their hands to create a product to pitch to the Customer. Laughter erupts as each player attempts to persuade the Customer that their item is the best! The Customer picks their favorite item and that player is awarded the Customer Card. The player with the most Customer Cards wins!”
I don’t like it when games promise gales of laughter right on the box. It always seems suspect, if you know what I mean. It’s as if the marketing department is trying too hard; and what makes me laugh may not make someone else laugh. But you know what, we DID laugh.
This game is ultimately about selling skills. It’s about who’s got the best sales pitch for some really odd sounding products (this is where the word cards came in). And the kids dug deep into their imaginations with some very funny results.
Snake oil is very easy to play, and it’s fast too. There’s no score card and you play as many rounds as you want before bedtime rolls around.
My only beef with this game is that it comes unnecessarily overpackaged. It’s really just a bunch of cards, and it truly doesn’t need to come in a big box with a plastic insert. They could have packaged them like our other favourite card games: UNO and S’Quarrels.
That being said, I am happy about this new addition to our board game collection!