Thursday, July 18, 2013

Out of the Box Games Review: "Snake Oil" and "7 Ate 9"


Out of the Box Publishing, INC. was founded in 1998 and currently operates out of Windsor, WI. They are the creators of many entertaining board and card games that have won them prestigious awards. Out of the Box has created every type of game -- from party, to strategy, to quick, to family. They are proud to manufacture games that are easy to learn, can be played in less than an hour, are well-illustrated, fun to play, have smart packaging, and are engaging and interactive. Out of the Box truly has a game for everyone!




Here are the other fun games that Out of the Box offers which are not featured in this review:
  • Faux●Cabulary - First, a crazy definition is read to the group. Next, players use the wacky word parts to create wildly funny new words to fit the definition. Each new word is read out loud, and the “Wordmeister” picks the best one! Faux•Cabulary—it’s where new words come from! This game is for three to seven players and is for ages 13 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $29.99.
  • Squint Junior - Squint Junior brings the creative fun of Squint to the entire family. The 42 simple Shape Cards are used to build pictures. The 168 Squint Junior Cards show the name of an item and give an example of one way of building the picture. Entertaining and educational! This game is for three to eight players, ages 8 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $22.99.
  • Squint - In Squint, players use a variety of shapes to build pictures. Other players guess what the picture might be. Players earn points by successfully building, or correctly identifying, the picture. Squint is an innovative fast moving party game for three to eight players. Everyone plays every turn…the fun never stops! Players use the 72 Shape Cards to build pictures of items listed on the Squint Cards. The Squint Cards include over 1000 different items providing hundreds of hours of fun! This game is for three to eight players, ages 12 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $27.99. 
  • Shake 'N Take - Aliens are on the loose and it’s up to you to capture them! Everybody’s got aliens, but there are only two capture markers. Catch as many aliens as you can, before the next player grabs the capture marker right out of your hand. Be the first to capture all of your aliens and win! This game is for two to ten players, ages 8 and up. It takes 10-20 minutes to play and retails for $22.99.
  • Word on the Street - On each turn, one team flips over a category card. Team members frantically brainstorm words that fit the category while the opposition tries to sidetrack them. The team must agree on a word and pull each letter of that word one lane closer to their side of the street, all before the time runs out. Word on the Street will have you in the fast lane to fun! This game is for two to ten players, ages 10 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $29.99.
  • Word on the Street Junior - Word on the Street Junior brings the excitement of Word on the Street to the entire family! Each turn, one team flips over a category card and team members quickly brainstorm words that fit the category. The team agrees on a word before the time runs out and then pulls each letter in that word one lane closer to their side of the street. The first team to pull eight letters off the street wins! This game is for two to eight players, ages 8 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $22.99. 
  • Run Wild - Players race to get rid of the cards in their hands by creating sets and runs in the middle of the table. Don’t have the right cards? No problem— grab from a set or run already on the table, or play your cards on any existing set or run! This game is for two to four players, ages 8 and up. It takes 2-5 minutes to play and retails for $9.99.
  • Bug Out  - Bug Cards are scattered all over your table or even your living room floor! Players race to capture the bugs by covering each Bug Card with a matching Leaf Card–It’s a wild scramble to find each bug! Be the first player to cover all of your matching Bug Cards and Bug Out! This game is for two to six players, ages 5 and up. It takes 2-5 minutes to play and retails for $9.99.
  • Super Circles - 4…3…2…1…Blast off! Players race to play all their cards by matching colored rings on the previously played card. Quick minds and fast fingers will triumph! This game is for two to four players, ages 8 and up. It takes 2-5 minutes to play and retails for $9.99. 
  • My Word - My Word!® is the first word game that plays like a party game! Quickly search for words while single and double letter cards are dealt on to the table. The first player to call out a word using at least three cards wins those cards. Fast and fun, My Word! appeals to fans of word games and party games alike! This game is for two to six players, ages 7 and up. It takes 2-5 minutes to play and retails for $9.99.
  • Rock - Sharpen your skills with Rock! A fast and furious version of an old favorite. Using the traditional rules of Rock, Paper, Scissors, players flip over cards and race to name the winning card. Each card is different so it takes a sharp eye and quick wit. This game is for two to four players, ages 7 and up. It takes 2-5 minutes to play and retails for $9.99.
  • 10 Days in Europe - You have 10 DAYS IN EUROPE – Chart your course from start to finish using destination and transportation tiles. With a little luck and clever planning, you just might outwit your fellow travelers. This game is for two to four players, ages 10 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $27.99.
  • 10 Days in the USA - Another destination in the 10-Days Travel Series. You have 10 Days in the USA – Travel the country by jet, car, and on foot. Plan your trip from start to finish using destination and transportation tiles. With a little luck and clever planning, you just might outwit your fellow travelers.  The first traveler to make connections for their 10 day journey wins the game. This game is for two to four players, ages 10 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $27.99. 
  • 10 Days in Asia - You have 10 DAYS in ASIA - touring by train, airplane, ship, or on foot. Chart your course from start to finish using destination and transportation tiles. With a little luck and clever planning, you just might outmaneuver your fellow travelers. This game is for two to four players, ages 10 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $27.99.
  • 10 Days in Africa - You have 10 DAYS IN AFRICA – touring by plane, car, and on foot. Chart your course from start to finish using destination and transportation tiles. With a little luck and clever planning, you just might outwit your fellow travelers. The first traveler to make connections for a ten day journey wins the game. This game is for two to four players, ages 10 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $27.99. 
  • 10 Days in the Americans - Gather your sunglasses, snowshoes and mosquito spray – it’s time to travel to new destinations with the 10 Days Series – the Americas!  Players use destination and transportation tiles to chart a course through North, Central and South America and the Caribbean — touring by airplane, cruise ship or on foot. With a little luck and clever planning, you just might outmaneuver your fellow travelers and be the first to make connections for a complete ten day journey! This game is for two to four players, ages 10 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $27.99.
  • Ninja Versus Ninja - Your Ninjas must defend the honor of their dōjō against a rival dōjō. Victory hinges on eliminating Ninjas and skillfully venturing into the opponent’s dōjō. But how far do your Ninjas dare to go…and will they return? Every move is critical as you position your Ninjas for defense and ready them for their mission! Prove yourself to be a worthy master with Ninja versus Ninja! This game is for two players ages 8 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $27.99.
  • Cloud 9 - CLOUD 9® will take you straight up through the clouds! The higher the balloon rises, the more points you can score. But watch out, the balloon can fall at anytime. How long are you willing to stay on and risk losing it all? Reach new heights with CLOUD 9! This game is for three to six players, ages 8 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $27.99.
  • Pirate Versus Pirate - Three bands of pirates have discovered an island brimming with treasure. Conquer the island by capturing the gold and silver, or by eliminating the enemy pirates. Position your pirates carefully, enemies are all around and they are hungry for treasure! This game is for two to three players ages 8 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $27.99. 
  • Letter Roll - Roll the special dice and flip the timer. Players race to list words containing the three letters shown on the dice. Only words listed by a single player score points so players are rewarded for their speed and creative thinking! This game is for two to eight players, ages 8 and up. It takes 20-30 minutes to play and retails for $27.99.



Out of the Box Games was kind enough to send me a review copy of their board game "Snake Oil" and a copy of their card game, "7 Ate 9".



 

Snake Oil is a party game in which you try to "sell" inventions that you make from word cards in order to come up with the highest amount of points. This game is for ages ten and up, and for three to ten players. It takes five minutes to learn, 20-30 minutes to play, and it retails for $19.99. Snake Oil has received several awards, including: Major Fun Keeper, Mensa Select, Dr. Toy Winner (Best Children's Vacation Product), 2013 Traditional Games 100, and the Best Literacy Game Bronze Award.

To win Snake Oil, you have to have the highest number of Customer cards collected by the end of the game. To begin, each player takes six Word Cards from the box. One player gets to be the "Customer" first, and they pick a Customer Card from the center of the box - this is the role they will be playing for the round. For example, you might pick the "Last Person on Earth" card, and that is your role as the "Customer". The other players have 30-40 seconds to pick two Word cards that they are holding to make an invention for the "Customer". For example, two word cards are "Freedom" and "Ball", so you might have to combine them to make a Freedom Ball. Then, you have to try to "pitch" your invention to the Customer. The Customer needs to pick their favorite invention, and that player gets to keep the Customer card. The words used in that round are discarded and new word cards are picked up for the next round. Each player gets to be the Customer once, and at the end, the person with the most Customer cards wins. If there is a tie, you can play one more round, where the tied players pitch to the other players. There are also two variations of the game that you can play - "Fire When Ready", in which you don't have to wait your turn to pitch, and "The More the Merrier", in which you get to decide on a greater number of cards to be held in players' hands for the game.

Why is the game called Snake Oil anyway? Well, Snake Oil was a product made in China that was brought to the US in the 1860's, when the Chinese were working on the Transcontinental Railroad. Real snake oil (mixed with water) would help relieve the aching in their sore muscles. Many years later, companies were producing "snake oil" that didn't actually contain any snake oil at all! Since the labels and the products were falsified, the term "Snake Oil Salesman" was coined, and today it describes anyone who exaggerates the truth...isn't it a perfect fit for this game?

 Here, someone put down the "Trucker" card. We tried to sell them "Fart Cream" and "War Tape". The "Fart Cream" was supposed to help them from having a gassy stomach on the road and the "War Tape" was really, really strong tape to patch anything up. The War Tape won.


Here, someone put down the Grave Robber card. We tried to sell them a "Horse Dress" and a "Rain Shadow". The "Horse Dress" was an expensive print dress found on a body and the "Rain Shadow" was a shadowy disguise from other people while you rob graves. The "Rain Shadow" won.




Here someone put down the Nurse card. We tried to sell them a "Slime Vest" and an "Insect Cannon". The Slime Vest was to ward off all puke and grossness that gets on you from patients and the Insect Cannon was to fire away bugs and diseases. The Insect Cannon won.



Here someone put down the Dog card. We tried to sell them "Chain Freedom" or a "Night Bridge". The Chain Freedom was self-explanatory (freedom to roam!) and the Night Bridge was a bridge that would take you anywhere at nighttime. The Chain Freedom won.


 This game was really pretty funny, and could only get better with more players. I played with my friend and my boyfriend and we really enjoyed the creative license you get with Snake Oil, and how every game will always be new and different. It was fun to try and make interesting inventions to "sell" to the customer when you had no words in your hand that pertained to the card whatsoever. We made really humorous combinations, and sometimes we got lucky and had something that seemed to fit perfectly with the card. Snake Oil definitely had us laughing and entertained. The game play is very simple, and I think that it is suitable for most ages. Families and friends will get a kick out of this game. It would be great to bring to a party when you want to get everyone talking and thinking! At first, I was confused and I thought that you had to choose two DIFFERENT words to sell to the customer instead of two words hooked together, but that would be overly simplified. It seemed difficult to make combinations that have any sense to them at first, but once you put your thinking cap on, you will be able to make something out of nothing and make your invention sound worthy of picking!



 



7 Ate 9 is a fast-paced, number-crunching card game where your addition and subtraction skills are tested as you hurry to get rid of your cards. 7 Ate 9 is for ages eight and up, and is for two to four players. It takes two minutes to learn, 2-5 minutes to play, and it retails for just $9.99. This game contains: 73 7 Ate 9 Cards, Rules, and a Deluxe Card Case.

To win 7 Ate 9, you have to be the first person to get rid of your cards. Play can seem a little chaotic at first, because players aren't actually dealt cards they can immediately use to begin with. The cards are shuffled and one is placed face up in the center of the table. The rest are spread evenly amongst the players, but the players must keep them in a pile, face down. The game begins when the dealer says "GO". There are no actual turns - it's anybody's move at any time, depending on which card is face-up. You start by quickly drawing cards from your pile until you have a card you can play in the center. Be quick to smack it down before someone else does, or you'll be taking it back! You can look at the cards in your hand, and there is no limit to how many you have. Each card in the center will have a larger number and then a small +/- number in two of its corners. The larger number PLUS or MINUS the smaller number is the card that you can play right then. So, if the card had a large 5 and a small +/- 2, you could play a 3 or a seven. When you play a card, you have to call out what number you are playing. You can play one card after another, but you can't put two or more cards down at the same time. You don't really have time to rearrange your cards, so putting a whole string of cards down in a row becomes challenging. If nobody has a card that they can play, everyone stops and puts their remaining hand of cards down on the table. The dealer will take the bottom card out of the deck, put it on the top, and the game resumes. The game ends when someone is out of cards. Cards go from one to ten, so what happens if you get a number greater than 10 or less than 1 when you add or subtract from the central card? If the card was a 9 plus or minus 3, you would put up either a 6 (as usual) or a 2. You would put a two because you just subtract ten from that number. 9+3 = 12. 12-10 =2. The rules are similar for numbers less than one. If you had a one plus or minus 2, you could put down a 3 (as usual) or a 9. You would put a 9 because you add ten to the number that you get. 1-2 = -1. -1+10= 9.

 If you can find a flat surface in the car, 7 Ate 9 is the perfect car game! It's just as big as a deck of cards, so you can bring it in your purse anywhere. I could see myself playing this game in the waiting room or in the airport, as long as I had company. It isn't complex, so you do not have to devote too much time to it. At the same time, it is a lot of fun, and it keeps your brain working. Math is my worst subject, so even with simple addition and subtraction, it takes my brain a second to generate an answer. Luckily, my friends were all the same way. Do NOT play this game with a math genius, or you'll never get to put a card down! 7 Ate 9 gets you all excited and gets your heart rushing, because it's hard to get your cards down before someone else does. We all liked the competitive edge and the quick pace of the game. You really have no option but to be engaged in this game! We were putting cards down so fast at one point that we were almost bending them and hitting each other. The only thing that kept tripping us up was when we went over ten or under one - we all had to pause a few seconds to think, but that is something that we will get better at with time. I think this would be a great indirect learning tool for children who are working on addition and subtraction, because it would force them to practice without it feeling like practice! I recommend this game to all families who are looking for a card game that is different from others out on the market.



This game is so intense that it is hard to photograph. Here is a video that is, of course, sped up - but you get the idea!

Interested in learning more about Out of the Box Games and their products? Check out the links below:

9 comments:

  1. That looks like it would be a great alternative to our favorite, UNO, which is getting a bit old! Thanks!

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  2. Since my kiddos are getting older, I have started to look for boardgames for the family to play. I will definitely check these out.

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  3. 7 ate 9 is a great game if you are good at math and can think quickly!

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  4. THis game sounds good for my little monster :) Great Christmas Gift! Thank you!

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    ReplyDelete