When I was at Origins a couple of months ago, one of the highlights of the convention was getting to play with Poo. I was hoping that I could come away from that convention with Poo in hand, but sadly, that was not to be. Poo had won the Origins Award for Best Card Game, and Wildfire, the publishers, had run out of Poo by the time I went to buy it. However, they were also at GenCon, and I was able leave Indianapolis with Poo in my bag and a smile on my face.
That’s the first time having something in my bag named after bodily waste has ever made me smile.
But I digress.
Poo is a card game where you take on the role of a monkey at the zoo. Apparently, something was off in the food you and your fellow monkeys were given, and the only way to respond is to throw some s*#t. This continues until you are the last monkey standing. Once you get hit with 15 pieces of poo, you’re out.
The game plays quickly. Each player starts with a hand of 5 cards, and that number remains constant throughout the game. If you play a card for any reason, you draw a card to replace it right away. There are a number of different cards that can be played, and they function is pretty self-explanatory.
Poo Cards – Let you throw poo at an opponent
Special Poo – Lets you throw poo at multiple opponents, or use multiple Poo Cards at the same opponent.
Event Cards – Change something about the game, maybe letting a tiger out (which will become the target for all poo until it is hit 6 times), or having the lights covered in poo for a short time.
Clean Cards – What else? They let you clean off some poo so you can keep throwing.
Mishap Cards – Sometimes when poo is thrown, things don’t always go as planned. Sometime you slip, sometimes your efforts to get more poo to throw turn out to be just a fart.
Defense Cards – Simply put, these let you block incoming poo.
When my friends and I played, we had a really good time. We spent about an hour throwing poo at each other, and during that time, we got a few rounds of the game in. The cards are a lot of fun, the art on them is cartoony, funny, and it’s hard to stop yourself from giggling when you play a card that lets you use your buddy’s face to keep yourself from being hit with poo that has been flung at you. And, as a note, for all of the obvious jokes about bodily functions, the content of the game is pretty clean. Definitely on the PG side of things.
The only issue we ran in to was the tracking of the amount of poo each player has on themselves. Each person stays in until they get hit with 15 pieces of poo. The first person to 15 actually gets to come back in, thanks to the Golden Banana card. But with all of the cards that can clean you off, or redistribute the poo, your number keeps changing. It’s a simple matter to give each player a piece of paper and a pencil to track the poo, but the game doesn’t give you any way to keep track of things. Given how fun the game is, this is a really small thing to complain about.
Overall, if you want a fun, quick card game and enjoy a healthy dose of bathroom humor, then Poo is for you.
We here at TC are primarily an RPG crowd, so for any of my reviews that don’t focus on RPGs, I’m going to include some ideas for how you can use this game in or around your current tabletop game.
Mechanically, I can’t think of many ways to incorporate this game into an RPG. However, thematically, there are some things to glean. We all (some more than others) have a childish side. Poo is firmly aimed at the juvenile in all of us, and that feeling is something you can grab for your game in a heartbeat. Whether your players are playing younger adventurers, or you just need a small change of pace for your hard-bitten PCs, you can take some of the tone of Poo and inject it into your game.
For example: your PCs have to infiltrate an orphanage and get information from the residents by posing at a young orphan (almost any game with magic or advanced science would allow for appropriate disguises to be crafted), or maybe they just need to befriend some children. What better way to do so than with a little bathroom humor?
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Poo was developed by Matt Grau (creator of Cthulhutech), is distributed by Wildfire LLC, in partnership with Sandstorm Productions, and can be purchased for around $15.
[tags]reviews, card games, poo, Sandstorm, rpg, rpgs, role playing games[/tags]