Players: 2-8

Playing Time: 5-15 minutes

Age: Ages 8 to adult

Publisher: Sandstorm Productions LLC / Wildfire LLC

MSRP: $9.95

Contents:  110 cards, Rules

Release: October 2010

Game Description:  It’s been a tough day in the monkey cage and something in the food tonight wasn’t quite right.  In the monkey world, there’s only one thing that can be done about it – fling poo!  It doesn’t matter who started it in this fast and furious game of monkey see, monkey doo.  It only matters who has what it takes to be king of the cage!

The Review:

Kids crack each other up by yelling out bodily functions at inappropriate moments.  Poop.  Pee.  Fart.  Butt (butts are always good for a laugh).  Reduced to fits of giggles at all things scatological.  Who can forget that first proud father moment when your son drags you into the bathroom to impress you with the size of the poop he just made.  Sure, such behavior horrifies mothers while paining fathers struggling to keep their game faces on when secretly they want to laugh too.  Well along comes a card game which, knowing its audience, taps directly into their inner juvenile.

Sandstorm Productions sent me a game to play test, so I broke it out with the rallying cry “Boys, it’s time to fling some Poo!”  Poo deals in sophomoric extremes and yet is charming in the same way the Captain Underpants book series is.  The humor is genial and harmless (though, of course, in actual gameplay, gets ramped up to ridiculous levels by the players who may not know where to draw the line until one or all of them get grounded).  The artwork is cartoony and the writing completely pun-tastic.

The Gameplay is pretty simple.  If you accumulate 15 points of poo, you’ll be out of the game!  Players always keep a hand of 5 cards, and take turns either playing a card, or dumping some of the cards in their hand for new ones.  Players have only five types of cards to choose from:  Poo (which allow you to deal out points of poo to the other players with names like “Pellet Poo”, “Mighty Joe Young Poo”, and “King Kong Poo”); Mishap (played on an opponents turn, just as they are about to fling poo at you to redirect an attack such as the “Just a Fart” card or “Cramp”); Defense (also played out of turn to defend against flung poo, but they target the poo itself rather than the flinger); Clean (removes poo from your monkey); Event (has some rule-changing effect on the game).  There are up to two “Golden Banana” cards which can be used in the game to prevent an early gang-up.  A player can come back into the game with 8 accumulated poo points and continue playing.

My oldest called Poo “Uno with poop jokes”.  Kids will enjoy the game so much, because they are instantly swept away in the humor and action of the game.  Children tap into their not-so-inner compulsion to act inappropriately (or, actually, appropriately according to simian mores).  And parents get to tap into their less-than-inner juvenile senses of humor for family fun.  But, humor is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.

Humor can defuse the power of what frightens us or what we don’t understand.  The Bible has its share of biological humor used to break tension or make a point.  Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to make their god perform a miracle.  When they fail, Elijah jibes them with the sarcastic suggestion that they yell louder, because maybe their god is peeing. Proverbs 26:11, tells us that “a fool repeats his folly the way a dog is drawn back to eat its own vomit.” (And, wow, do I regret doing that word search of “vomit” in the Bible).

So while some may decry the childlike tendency to laugh at anal acoustics and other biological functions considered inappropriate for civilized society, as with most children’s products, Poo just wants to entertain.   Don’t expect this game to lead to a bunch of rowdy kids imitating monkey and flinging poo.  Though, if it does, that will be some great publicity for the game.