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From the company that originally brought you Apples to Apples, now comes SNAKE OIL - Elixir the party game that... Cures What Ails Ya!
From the company that originally brought you Apples to Apples, now comes SNAKE OIL - Elixir the party game that... Cures What Ails Ya!
351 backers pledged $12,943 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$12,943

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A brand-spanking new baby is about to be born at Out of the Box Publishing! Yes, it’s true. No doubt about it. We are soon to be the proud parents of an exciting fun-packed party game called SNAKE OIL -Elixir. 

But in order for our baby to receive proper care and feeding and bring millions of people in the world more laughs, we need your help. It takes a village after all to raise a child properly. Hence we invite you to participate in this Kickstarter and our fantastic rewards program. 

Out of the Box Publishing has for years been a successful developer, marketer and world-wide distributor of innovative and fun-packed party games. We have had many fine children—from Apples to Apples to Word on the Street. As a result, we know when a product has great potential, and we want you to be able to say that you were in on the ground floor of tapping that potential. 

SNAKE OIL – Elixir is the hilarious party game that generates more laughter than any other party game of its kind! It is safe to play with families and kids yet edgy when played with just adults. The game has two types of cards called word cards and customer cards. The more cards that are in the game, the more possible product combinations and the more fun that can be created.

Achieving the $10,000 goal will allow us to print the Kickstarter edition of SNAKE OIL – Elixir with 224 unique word cards and 56 unique customers.  We would also like to be able to add more cards into the game and we will if we are able to reach the stretch goals.

Why do we want to print SNAKE OIL – Elixir now?

Many of the current SNAKE OIL fans have been asking us to produce more cards to add to the SNAKE OIL game family and we feel it is time to bring SNAKE OIL – Elixir to life. Based on the support from this Kickstarter campaign we are hoping to go to press with this version of SNAKE OIL – Elixir and have it ready to ship by late March or mid-April 2015.

Why are there 3 different versions of SNAKE OIL?

Out of the Box’s first edition of SNAKE OIL came out in December of 2012 and we call this formula SNAKE OIL – Original. In August of 2014 we launched a second edition called SNAKE OIL – Party Potion with all new word and customer cards. This formula is designed for younger players. It has fewer cards so it is more portable and affordable for younger players. SNAKE OIL – Elixir will be the third edition in the SNAKE OIL family and it will have all new word and customer cards from the two other editions.

SNAKE OIL Editions versus Expansions

Some game systems require players to purchase the original or base game first and then add on expansion decks. The SNAKE OIL game system is different in that any one of the three formulas; Elixir, Party Potion or Original can be played as a stand-alone game or mixed in with another SNAKE OIL formula just like an expansion. 

The difference between the three SNAKE OIL formulas is that there are no duplicate word or customer cards between the three formulas. Elixir, Party Potion and the Original edition of the game all have completely unique cards! This allows new players to start with any edition of the game and then add additional cards whenever they like. 

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Many people have asked us how SNAKE OIL is similar to other games? If you like party style games like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, then the odds are good that you'll love SNAKE OIL. The game play has been described as a party style game on steroids with a Shark Tank style pitch to a zany customer.

One player selects a customer card and gets to be that zany customer for that round. Each of the other players then creates a new product by combining two word cards from a hand of six word cards. As soon as one of the players has created a product, they pitch it and try to persuade the customer that their product is the best! After every player is given a chance to make their pitch, the customer then selects the product they like best and awards the customer card to the player that pitched that product.

Playing SNAKE OIL is a very humorous social activity and everyone who laughs is a winner regardless of how many customer cards they win. The winner of the game is the player that has won the most customer cards after a set number of rounds or an allotted amount of play time.



We thank you for your support and provide you with a SNAKE OIL greeting card that you can use for the holidays and a sheet of fun SNAKE OIL graphics. The SNAKE OIL greeting card is perfect to include with a gift for one of the games and with the sheet of SNAKE OIL graphics, you can make stickers, tree ornaments, earrings and be as creative as you like!

Be part of the Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL- Elixir and have your name printed in the game! As a backer at this level, your name will be immortalized in this Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir! You also get three additional downloads that are both useful and entertaining: 102 Party Uses for SNAKE OIL, shows you how to turn a regular event into hilarious party; 5 Ways to Increase your Business with SNAKE OIL, shows you how to take SNAKE OIL to the office and boost sales; and 25 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Generating Laughter, designed to assist teachers, librarians, homeschoolers, youth leaders, those involved in talented or gifted programs, and parents that believe in games that develop creativity! 

You get your very own copy of the Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir, plus your name in the game and all the amazing downloads!

You get everything in the above levels plus a copy of SNAKE OIL-Party Potion! This SNAKE OIL formula has 112 unique word cards and 28 unique SNAKE OIL customers! It comes in a convenient sized package that fits easily in a backpack or purse for easy portability. This formula can also be played with younger entrepreneurs as we designed it for ages 8+ and beginner readers.

 You get everything in the above levels plus a copy of SNAKE OIL-Original! This is our flagship formula that got the SNAKE OIL party started. With 336 unique word cards and 56 unique SNAKE OIL customers, it provides hours of continuous laughter and entertainment. With the Triple Dose, you will be loaded for bear and have plenty of SNAKE OIL to turn any size get together into a fun filled, raise the roof, over the top, laugh-fest!

(Limited to 100 backers). You receive everything in the above levels plus your copy of the Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir will be autographed by both game designers, Jeff Ochs, Patricia Hayes Kaufman and the award winning cartoonist John Kovalic!  John did the artwork for Apples to Apples, the SNAKE OIL snake and many other great games!  To learn more about John check out his Wikipedia page at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kovalic

For our international supporters.  Need cheaper shipping?  go in with five friends to help lower the cost.  You'll receive six copies of the Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir! With shipping up to $85 anywhere in the world that's less then $15 per game!

Now you are a Party Animal of awesome dimension! This level includes all three SNAKE OIL games: Elixir, Party Potion, Original, and three additional great Out of the Box Party games: Quack-A-Doodle-Moo, Word on the Street and Faux*Cabulary!

(Limited to 24 backers) - You will receive one of the few remaining, unopened, first-print-run editions of SNAKE OIL. There are only 24 copies available and they are each autographed by both game designers, Jeff Ochs and Patricia Hayes Kaufman. Backers at this level will also receive the Triple Dose of Elixir, Party Potion and Original.

(Limited to 12 backers) - DESIGN YOUR OWN CUSTOMER CARD! It can be your job, or someone else’s. At this pledge level you get to work directly with us to create a new Customer Card. It can be a specific card exclusively for you or if it can be used with a future print run of SNAKE OIL, you will be credited on the card. As part of our stretch goals we plan on including 6 Kickstarter exclusive SNAKE – Oil customer cards at the $17,500 goal and another 6 at the $25,000 goal. Backers at this level will also receive the Triple Dose of Elixir, Party Potion and Original games.

(Limited to 10 backers) - At this pledge level you get Al Waller to come to your business or organization for an Out of the Box interactive sales workshop and presentation using SNAKE OIL! If you are looking for a new and innovative way to turn on and energize your sales team, this Brew Master Dose of SNAKE OIL is for you! We can accommodate virtually any size group for a sales meeting or corporate function. Travel costs and a $30 per person training supplies expense are additional.


If you want to add on additional games to your pledge you can do so “A la carte” with the additional pledges below:

The Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL - Elixir—$20

SNAKE OIL - Party Potion—$15

SNAKE OIL - Original—$20      

SNAKE OIL - High Octane—$10 (unlocks at $30,000)

Quack-A-Doodle-Moo—$20

Word on the Street—$25

Faux*Cabulary—$30

 

SNAKE OIL – Elixir has not gone into production yet so these reviews are for SNAKE OIL – Original. However, we have had hundreds of play test games with SNAKE OIL – Elixir prototypes and we can 100% guarantee you that the game play is equally as fun as or possibly even more hilarious than the original edition! Check out these great reviews from other SNAKE OIL believers!

The Dice Tower with Tom Vasel 
“This game really goes over well and I have never seen it do poorly… very good party game!” 

To the Table
“Spontaneous creativity really gets the creative juices flowing! Highly recommend this game!” 

BoardtoDeath TV
“Really fun party game…. full of mayhem, screaming and laughs! If you have party game nights you need this one in your collection!” 

The Dusty Cave
 “Superb, excellent, anybody can play it….. hilarious every time! Two thumbs up!” 

The Board game family 
“It’s a great party game! Rated 5 and 4.877 out of 5 stars!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujaC5KFkU0U 

Shut up and Sit down
 “All in all, I can easily recommend it.” 



Jeff Ochs came up with the initial concept for SNAKE OIL in 2008 while on an airplane flight.  He and some colleagues were reading a catalog to pass the time, “after joking about some of the products, I noticed a pattern developing. A lot of products were combinations of two random nouns, like camera goggles and pet stairs”, Ochs says. “My friend and I started playing with random noun combinations to create new products, and we entertained ourselves for the rest of the flight.”

In 2009, Ochs submitted the game to the Out of the Box Publishing’s product development team under the name Quick Pitch but it was initially rejected. Ochs put the game concept on hold while he and his wife travelled to China to teach English at Qinghua University. “In the fall of 2010, after teaching English for a year, I felt I needed a new challenge to keep me fresh,” he says. “So I decided I would actually try and manufacturer the game there.” 

While in China, Ochs contacted Patricia Hayes Kaufman who was back in the U.S. and asked if she was interested in working on the game he was developing. Kaufman jumped at this fun and exciting new challenge.  The “eureka” moment for both inventors came when Kaufman suggested ‘SNAKE OIL” as the product name!  Kaufman also realized that the customer cards presented a perfect opportunity to further set the tone for the game and for each round of play. She gave the mascot snake multiple personalities while it posed as the wide variety of wacky customers. Kaufman says, “Each card is a labor of love and I enjoy the notion that the customer illustration might cause a chuckle or two before the round even starts.” 

By 2011, Ochs had printed 1,000 copies of SNAKE OIL and was officially a travelling Snake Oil Salesman. The games flew off the shelves and Ochs ordered a second print run. Around this time, Ochs decided that being a travelling Snake Oil salesman was not the life for him, so he and Kaufman re-submitted the game to Out of the Box Publishing. This time it was a perfect fit! Out of the Box licensed the game in the summer of 2012 and released a newly redesigned package just in time for Christmas.

Real snake oil actually did exist! It was first introduced to the United States in the 1860's by Chinese laborers working on the Transcontinental Railroad.  After hard physical labor, they would rub sore muscles with an ointment made from water snake oil and they shared this ancient Chinese remedy with their American co-workers.  Products containing water snake oil are still used today by some herbalists and a recent study found it contains more omega-3 fatty acids than the best forms of fish oil!

As the years went by snake oil was commercialized.  In 1917, a sample of Clark Stanley's Snake Oil Liniment was tested by the U.S. government 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!  Today, the term usually refers to used-car salesmen, politicians, or anyone who likes to stretch the truth just a little bit!

In 1999 Out of the Box Publishing launched the hit party game Apples to Apples.  In 2007 Apples to Apples and three other games were sold to Mattel.  Today we continue to make great award winning party and family games like SNAKE OIL, Word on the Street, 7 Ate 9, Quack-a-doodle-Moo and many more!  To learn more about our company you can visit our website www.otb-games.com  or go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out_of_the_Box_Publishing.

Apples to Apples is a registered trademark of Mattel Inc.

Risks and challenges

The risk to all backers is minimal. At Out of the Box we know how to make and ship games so any pledge you make we will be able to deliver your rewards to you in a timely manner. Since SNAKE OIL – Elixir is the 3rd edition of SNAKE OIL we are very confident in the game play. The SNAKE OIL – Elixir edition has been play tested hundreds of times and it is ready to be printed.

However the risks of publishing a new game are many. In order to deliver a game with this many cards at this price point we need to have a large print run. Reaching the $10,000 goal will not cover the initial print run but it will show us that there is enough interest in the game to move forward with the production at this time.

Our biggest challenge is in getting the word out about all the benefits of playing SNAKE OIL. Having a great product and an existing business is simply not enough in today’s world. We are a small business in startup mode and our marketing resources are limited. Being involved in entrepreneurial startups for many years, this is the first time we are attempting to raise capital through crowd funding. We need your support to make SNAKE OIL – Elixir a reality and we greatly appreciate your help in spreading the word.

Thank you!

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    JUST A WHIFF - A downloadable SNAKE OIL greeting card and a downloadable sheet of SNAKE OIL customer graphics and a huge THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your support and generosity!

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    A SWIG - Your name immortalized on the Kickstarter backer acknowledgement page which will be included in each copy of the Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir. But wait there’s more! You will also get three additional downloads: 102 Party Uses for SNAKE OIL, 5 Ways to Increase Your Business with SNAKE OIL, and 25 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Generating Laughter with SNAKE OIL!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A SINGLE DOSE - The Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir, plus your name in the game and all the amazing downloads!

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    A DOUBLE DOSE - The Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir and SNAKE OIL-Party Potion!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A TRIPLE DOSE - The Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir, SNAKE OIL-Party Potion, and SNAKE OIL-Original!

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    Pledge $53 or more About $53

    THE SELLERS DOSE - ***This Dose is only available to retail stores with a valid sellers permit.*** You get a case of SNAKE OIL - Elixir (which includes one store demo copy) as well as a store demo copy of SNAKE OIL - Party Potion and SNAKE OIL - Original!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    THE KNOCK OUT DOSE - The Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir signed by both game designers and John Kovalic. Also includes SNAKE OIL-Party Potion and SNAKE OIL-Original!

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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    THE MEGA SIX PACK DOSE - A six pack of the Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE PARTY DOSE OF AWESOME MIGHT - The Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir, SNAKE OIL-Party Potion, SNAKE OIL-Origianal, Quack-a-doodle-Moo, Word on the Street, and Faux*cabulary!

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    Pledge $106 or more About $106

    THE SUPER SELLERS DOSE - ***This Dose is only available to retail stores with a valid sellers permit.*** You get two cases of SNAKE OIL - Elixir (which includes one store demo copy) as well as store demo copies of SNAKE OIL - Party Potion and SNAKE OIL - Original, Word on the Street, Faux-Cabulary and Quack-a-doodle-Moo!

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    THE COLLECTORS DOSE - A copy of the first print-run of SNAKE OIL autographed by both of the game designers, plus the Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir, SNAKE OIL-Party Potion, and SNAKE OIL-Original!

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    THE DESIGNER DOSE - Design your own customer card. It can be your job, or someone else's and you will be credited on the card. Plus get the Kickstarter Edition of SNAKE OIL-Elixir, SNAKE OIL-Party Potion, and SNAKE OIL-Original!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    THE BREW MASTER DOSE - At this pledge level you get Al Waller to come to your business or organization for an Out of the Box interactive sales workshop and presentation using SNAKE OIL!
    (*Travel and supply expenses additional)

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Funding period

- (30 days)