Many people know that monkeys, when stressed, may throw feces at whoever is ticking them off. At a simple level (ignoring the gross factor), this idea is attractive because it is more personal and active than simply flipping the bird at someone. Just beware that the poop can fly both ways!
Thanks to Wild Thing Games, we now have a fun simulation of this anti-anxiety activity in Poo, The Card Game. This game of fecal slinging involves a balance of throwing, ducking, cleaning, and the odd disasters. The object is to be the cleanest after a battle where all the others dropped out because they reached fifteen poop points first. Of course, if your monkey is the first to poop out, you receive a “golden banana” card, which puts your manure value back to eight. The reason for this is because the Powers That Be love a good fracas.
Poo, according to the box, is for two to eight players ages eight or higher. I can see some preteen guys having a lot of noisy fun with this one. Playing time is anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. Since it is, in essence, a battle where players must make card decisions within five seconds or so.
I’ve played this game several times now and can tell you that it is not good for two people. Yes, you can play with two but it isn’t much fun and some of the cards don’t really apply. Some defense cards state that the offending attack is deflected to people on each side, but in a two-player game, that is back at the flinger. According to the rules, “poo can never be redirected back at the player who flung it…” so some of the block cards become pointless. Even some of the disasters don’t work well as a two-player game.
On the other hand, it is hilarious as a group effort. More people means more targets for your ire and a slightly longer yet frantic gameplay. When the Bonzo, King Kong, and Pellet Poo cards start flying, everyone is ducking for cover and redirecting. Shouts of “Oh no you don’t!” and “Why is everyone picking on me?” will echo around the room, probably followed but “Take that!” The artwork is hilarious, as are some of the card names (such as Cramp or Montezuma’s Revenge). The occasional disaster cards affect everyone, giving game play a little more chaos.
Since Poo The Card Game is contained in a slightly oversized card box, it can be played anywhere, at least any place you can get noisy. It’s great for parties and, I suspect, a lot more amusing if the players are a little drunk. Its only drawback is that the makers did not provide any method for counting poo. Of course, this is easily remedied in a number of ways. We used poker chips.
Unlike Kodama (reviewed in a previous blog), this card game is fiercely competitive and best when all participants have a great sense of humor. They can gang up on one or two or avoid splatting each other but, unlike games such as the Munchkin series, you cannot trade or bargain with others to exchange cards. Since this won Card Game of the Year in 2010, the makers have come out with another version, Space Poo, The Card Game, which I will be checking out soon. In the meantime, remember, what is slung around, comes around and keep your towel handy.