Hands-on Preview of Bush Poo
We don’t talk about this very much, but WayTooManyGames is a passion project that my friends and I began four years ago. What started as writing video game reviews for fun, has grown into a second job for us all. We began by providing free press for independent games like Strafe, AVARIAvs, and Hero: Tales of the Tomes. It was these partnerships that helped us grow into the slightly less small page that we are now. As a group, we still frequently cover independent releases, but the tabletop side of our work has leaned more in favor of big box Kickstarter projects of late. So when Justin Crooks reached out looking for someone to cover his upcoming family game Bush Poo, I was thrilled to get back to some good ol’ grass roots writing.
Bush Poo is a push-your-luck family game in a scenario familiar to anyone with kids. The premise is that you took your family on a refreshing hike through the woods, but your children (yet again) chose not to use the bathroom before you left. You know there’s an outhouse at the top of the mountain so now it’s a race to the top before there’s a poop-tastic disaster. One to four players will race to the outhouse at the end of the trail as they earn points by collecting leaves as a “just in case”.
On their turn, players may choose to move either one or two spaces forward. If you’re racing to the top of a mountain, naturally you’d want to take spend your time going as fast as you can. However, in Bush Poo, running can shake things up a bit more than you may intend. Players who move two spaces must also discard the top two cards from the Poo Card Deck. The cards discarded will have no effect, but it does bring players closer to the end of the game. Shuffled into the last five cards of the deck is the Poo Explosion card that will bring the game to an immediate end, no matter where the players are.
Regardless of how you choose to advance, players will have to immediately resolve an action that’s displayed on the board. White spaces with a number on them tell players that they must draw as many tokens from the draw bag as indicated on the space. If the token is a leaf, the player gets to keep the token and it will earn them a point in the end game scoring. But if a player draws a poop token, they must draw a card from the top of the Poo Deck and immediately resolve it.
Landing on a brown space with a “P” indicated that players must draw and resolve a card from the Poo Deck. These cards will either be a Lucky Green card that grants players points, a challenge card, or an Unlucky Red card. Unlucky cards deduct points from players or force them to take an unwanted action, like moving back three spaces.
Should a challenge card (indicated by a leaf in the bottom left corner) appear, the player who drew the card must read it aloud to the other players. Every player must then perform the action, like the above “Make A Fart Noise!”. The player who drew the card will then judge who made the best sound and award them with a lead token for points to be scored later.
Lastly are the shortcuts. These off-the-beaten path trails will get players to the top faster, but not without great risk. Both of the map’s shortcuts have an associated number on them that instructs players to draw that many tokens from the bag. If all of the drawn tokens are leaves, players successfully take the shortcut. But if they draw a single poop token, they’ll have to turn back, essentially costing them a turn. The more of the map the shortcut bypasses, the riskier the road will be.
It’s an easy enough game to teach to players and from start to finish; it’s about a fifteen minute play time which makes it an easy warm up game. The mechanics are great for young kids and are a good entry tool to teach some light strategy in regards to balancing when to gain points for yourself or increase risk for your opponents.
Bush Poo is a family game that I 100% would have wanted to play growing up, especially as the oldest of three sons in the 90’s. While it’s not available to purchase quite yet, it will be coming to Kickstarter on March 1st. We’ll update this page with the link as soon as it’s live. In the meantime, stay warm, and poo before you leave the house.