Instead, a double-sided customer card is drawn from the pile and the player may choose between the two. There are some really fun and interesting customer cards, including a School Bus Driver, a Fisherman, a Dog, a Waitress, a Treasure Hunter, an Olympic Athlete, and a Robot.
As you can tell, this is where the creativity and communication skills come in. There are times the word cards in your hands do not combine to make the greatest of products for the designated customer. You have to use your imagination to make the best product you can and then you need to figure out your "pitch." How are you going to get the customer to want to choose your product over the other products?
According to the rules, as soon as one person is ready they can take their turn pitching to the customer. The remaining players then take their turns. So far, we have just been going around the table in order, which has worked well for us in keeping down the stress in who is going to be first and the disappointment in having to go last. (Of course, there are those who prefer to go last as they feel they have the advantage because they have already heard the previous pitches.)
Daddy is very persuasive in his pitches and really knows how to capture the customer's attention and Tabitha is taking after him. Amelia and I have a bit of work to do on our communication skills. Tabitha has always had a great imagination though, which is clearly needed if you want to sell a "Flame Forest" to a Pop Singer.
Speaking of which, I would love to share with you a few of the combinations we created.
In addition to the Flame Forest, a Jewel Robe and a Ribbon Spray were pitched to the Pop Singer.
We tried to convince a Camper that she wanted Lake Parrot, a Bacon Bus, and a Mosquito Locker.
The Fisherman had to decide if she wanted a Gorilla Bib, a Bubble Curtain, or a Sponge Torch.
We also tried to sell Radio Pants, a Trumpet Satellite, a Soup Coat, and a Video Boy to a High School Student.
Once the customer has heard all the pitches, it is time for that player to choose the best product. The customer card then goes to the player who created that product. The word cards played in that round are discarded and new cards are drawn so everyone has 6 again. Play is to continue until everyone has been the customer once. We enjoy playing so much, we usually keep going until everyone has had a second turn. The winner is the player with the most customer cards. Instructions are also given on how to break a tie. So far we haven't needed to worry about that though.
Snake Oil - Party Potion is an easy-to-learn party game which helps improve communication and social skills. You really do have to think quickly and be able to clearly express your ideas. We have allowed the customer to ask questions about the products, though I am not sure if that is supposed to be allowed. We have found that the children benefit from having a chance to have specifics clarified. I believe as they get older we will insist that they learn how to pitch a product succinctly, as I feel that is the goal of this game, to be able to catch the customer's attention quickly and pull them in.
Not only is Snake Oil a party game, it is also an educational tool that is played in classrooms due to all the beneficial skills it develops. You can see a full list of these skills by checking out the "Educational" tab on the product page. For example, it is important to me that Snake Oil promotes creativity and improvisation skills while building vocabulary, but there are so many more skills that will be worked on. In fact, there is even a chart that illustrates how each of the games from Out of the Box match up with Common Core Standards for those who are interested.
Snake Oil - Party Potion is geared toward children ages 8 and up, though it can easily be played by children as young as 6, as long as they can read. In fact, Hannah joins in with our games and she is only 4 (she does have to play with a partner though). As I was playing with younger children, there were several word cards that I decided to remove from game play. These included such words as curse, skull, nightmare, grave, and butt. Removing these cards did not adversely affect the game, it just ensured that my young children weren't exposed to things I felt were not appropriate at this age.
Though my children are on the young side of the age range, I am going to be having a chance to play the game with children who are in grades 4-7 during our January session of our homeschool co-op. The website has a page dedicated to classroom activities where I found 3 different suggestions for classroom use that I am going to implement. We are going to be making posters or brochures and working on our writing skills. I can't tell you how excited I am for this opportunity.
Snake Oil - Party Potion is a game that I highly recommend. It definitely meets the goals the company has for their games. It is easy to learn and is a blast to play. It can be played in about 30 minutes, though if others are like us, they will want to play again and again. We are loving the fun, colorful illustrations on the customer cards. All in all, a wonderful and educational game.
You can purchase Snake Oil - Party Potion for $14.99. There are also two other related games, the original Snake Oil and Snake Oil - Elixir, which can be played alone or combined to create even more game-time fun.
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