Product: With the right group of players, Shake 'n Take, the latest game from Out of the Box Publishing, offers rollicking fun that’s ideally suited for younger players. But be warned Earthlings, this game of capturing aliens is not for everyone.
Gameplay: Shake 'n Take, designed by Keith Meyers, combines well designed and visually appealing components with simple, lightning-fast play. Two to 10 players ranging in age from 8 to adult can play a complete game in 20–30 minutes.
The object of the game is to capture invading aliens, which are represented as cartoon figures on a plastic-coated game card given to each player at the start of the game. The whimsical outer-space dwellers have a variety of body types — square, circular, star-shaped, heart-shaped, or triangular. These shapes correspond to a special die. Players take turns serving as the Alien Hunter.
Play begins when the first hunter takes an alien-shaped (i.e. green and bug-eyed) dry-erase marker in hand, rolls the body type die, and immediately starts circling all the aliens on his card that match that geometric shape.
While this is going on, the player to the Alien Hunter’s right shakes a die enclosed in an egg-shaped clear plastic case. Five of the faces of this die are blank, on the sixth face is the head of an alien. When that player succeeds in rolling an alien head, he immediately becomes the new hunter, snatches the marker from the former hunter’s hand, rolls to determine his alien shape, and starts circling the corresponding aliens on his card. Of course, the player to his right is now frantically shaking for the alien head.
The shaking of dice and the taking of pens continues until one player succeeds in circling all the aliens on his card. Shake 'n Take is just that easy.
The game comes with 10 two-sided cards. One side has basic shapes, the other has more abstract shapes that will make you think a bit. This allows you to assign the tricky side to adults and let small children join the fun playing the basic shape side of the card. As it happened, my seven-year-old daughter insisted on playing the complex side and handily defeated her parents and older siblings. It was a case of youth and fast reflexes (aided by lucky dice rolls) trumping experience and tidy penmanship.
The instructions recommend two simultaneous Alien Hunters for games of 6–10 players — a good suggestion because there is a bit of downtime between turns. The box includes two alien dry-erase markers (practically cool enough to justify a purchase all by themselves), two erasers, two geometric shape dice, and two alien-head dice.
Marketing: Thanks to the success of Apples to Apples and Word on the Street, many of your customers may already be familiar with Out of the Box and interested in hearing about the latest game from this publisher.
The front of the 81/2- x 101/4-inch box features excellent graphics, while the back has a large photograph showing the game’s lavishly produced and highly thematic components along with a four-sentence description that, given the streamlined simplicity of this game, is practically all a person needs to know in order to play. Most customers will be able to give the back cover the once-over and decide if it’s really for them or not.
Like Apples to Apples, Shake 'n Take hits the family party game sweet spot. Only this new game is even easier and faster to play. There isn’t a kid alive that wouldn’t consider an evening spent lunging across a table to snatch a marker from Mom or Dad an evening well spent. Although it would be a very entertaining game for a kids’ party or family game night, Shake 'n Take is not likely to sustain an adult game group’s interest.
If your customer is looking for a deep (or, for that matter, mildly shallow) strategic experience, direct their attention elsewhere. If they seem hesitant with the idea of jerking a pen out of another player’s hand (and promptly having it forcefully removed from their own), again, there are other games out there. But if they are in the mood for an ultra-light madcap game of alien-capturing fun for up to 10 players, Shake 'n Take is a solid choice.
Product: Shake 'n Take
Publisher: Out of the Box Publishing
Stock No.: 5151
Availability: Contact your favorite distributor or visit Out of the Box Games
Good-natured family fun
Exciting and simple gameplay
Kid-friendly party game