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Karl Rainer
Canada
Nanaimo
BC
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Poo-ka-Boo is a game for 2-4 players, who play numbered cards, and place pegs on a game board. The aim is to create a straight line of 5 pegs.

Components: The board is a sturdy plastic peg board which, when folded, serves as a handy container for the other components. Pegs are provided in ziploc bags, and in my case, are blue and yellow. The game cards are numbered 1 to 99, and are fairly thin and flimsy. The backside of the cards is decorated with a fairly amateurish drawing of a bespectacled short-legged caveman gazing at a peg and holing something entirely unlike any game piece in his other hand. This elderly cave-game-dude seems to be frowning and thinking "OutWit!" according to the cartoon bubble... but he appears to be about to poke himself in the head with the peg he is holding. Rules are printed on the back of the box.

General Rules: Each player receives five cards as a hand. on their turn, a player lays down the card of his choice, places a peg in the corresponding peg-hole, and draws a new card. When playing with four players, 2 players operate as a partnership.

Sadly, after you play one game of Poo-ka-Boo, you may wish you had poked yourself in the eye, just like the Poo-Ka-Boo guy.

This game resembles "Sequence" in general form and rules, but is missing sequence's "extensive" (sarcasm) player interaction and tactics. In Poo-ka-Boo, unlike sequence, there is only one card in the deck which coresponds to a single peg-hole on the board. Players cannot discard unwanted cards, and there are no jokers. Essentially, this game is a non-game: there are no choices, and there is a complete lack of player ability to affect the game play or the outcome. The board is layed out in a spiral circle of numbers, starting at the middle, but this does not affect game play in any way: numbers could just as easily have been layed out in logical rows. The chosen configuration simply makes searching for the correct number time consuming and frustrating. Because players cannot ever discard unwanted cards, the player's hand is useless other than as a delaying tactic for the inevitable: they might as well just draw the top card and place the corresponding peg. Because the draw-pile is face down and the top card is always drawn, no control can be exerted over which card is chosen, and thus no brilliant blocking play of the opponent's position is possible: you can block if you have the corresponding card, but why bother? Just keep it in your hand, as the opponent can never play in that peg hole anyway!

Finally, the game does not have a defined ending: the only way to win is for your random draws to miraculously present you with a five-in-a-row: I reiterate, there is NO choice in which cards you get to draw. This leads to the inevitable question of what should be done when all cards are exhausted and all holes filled... but noone has yet won?

I find it hard to believe that this game was ever playtested, and only the fact that I have a copy sitting in front of me here convinces me that this was not some sort of awful joke. Thank goodness I bought this at a flea market... I think the few coins I spent were still too many.
 
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James Lilly
United States
St. Albans
West Virginia
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Re:User Review
krainer (#446726),

This sounds significantly similar to 5ive Straight (also, Ninety-Nine): http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/369.

It seems you missed an important rule (which is also the same in the aforementioned 5ive Straight):
Quote:
When a card is played, the player may place a peg on the board in that number, or any number higher (ie. a 56 is played, the peg can be placed in 56, 57, 58....).


Does that help?
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Karl Rainer
Canada
Nanaimo
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Re:User Review
Fishbulb (#447159),

It's hard to get my foot out of my mouth, since I lodged it so deep. Sigh. You are correct, I misread the rules.

YOU MAY PLAY A PEG IN ANY HOLE OF EQUAL OR HIGER NUMBER.

This makes the game interesting, tactical and strategic. I will radically revise my rating to ... acceptable game. There is still a restriced strategy tree, and it requires some memory work, but it plays rather well.

Thanks for the correction!

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R C
United States
Phoenix
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Another important rule was misunderstood in this review, if this is the same as The Game of 99. As the rules state, "Thereafter, at his turn, a player may PLAY, DRAW OR DISCARD, but he may also do only one of these in any one turn."

That rule allows you to keep refreshing your hand and get rid of "dead" cards.


 
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Mark Brown
United States
North Liberty
Iowa
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The 5ive Straight game rules specifically prohibit discarding dead cards, and in fact say that if your hand at any time is made up of four dead cards you are eliminated from the game.
 
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Professor Lyrical

Massachusetts
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I want to buy this game if someone has it. 5straight that is. How much is it, sounds almost easy to make a home version, lol. If someone has one for sale email me at Lyrical@tmail.com thanks.
 
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Carolyn Chiu
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Hi Karl,
I just picked up a copy of Poo-ka-Boo at our local Salvation Army thrift shop. It doesn't have any cards, or rules in it though. I could probably make some cards, but would you kindly email me a copy of the rules, please?? (Or anyone else if they have them?)
Thank you...
= Carolyn
 
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Angelica R
Canada
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It is unfortunate that this was written by someone who hasn't read the rules. Everyone that plays the game loves it, as it can be won by chance or strategy or both. As others have mentioned below, pegs are placed in the corresponding hole that the card displays, or anything over, which greatly increases your options of winning.

A little history-

The man who came up with the idea made the game and gave it as gifts to family and friends who talked him into trying to market it. The year was 1972.
The original name of the game was stolen by a game company because at the time they were approached to buy the game- the game itself was protected, but the name was not. He lost heart, and the game was turned over to a friend in hopes that he would find success with it.

The amateurish art was done by me. We had an order of 10,000 games, so we were in a panic to get something off to the printer in time, my friend quickly drew something, and I colored it. On my kitchen table in 1979.
We knew the game of Poo-ka-boo, all we knew was that we believed in this game. We had jobs and young families. We were not artists or business people..and the game of business was too cut-throat...so...
The game eventually was sold again. Poo-ka-boo, or 5ive Straight or whatever you want to call it is an under rated game, and deserves to be resurrected and enjoyed by all who play.
I have to say that the writer of the review has done himself no favors with this slanderous and ignorant review.
As a matter of fact there is even a World Champion Poo-ka-boo player. There is also an amazing set of game strategies available that will prove that Poo-ka-boo can be as strategic as Chess.
 
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Heavy Kevvy
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I think the correct interpretation of the rule is that achieving a hand containing 4 "dead" cards ends the game - for everybody. I have been in some games where a player with two dead cards just starts filling up the high numbered holes in hopes of getting a dead hand. No chance of winning, of course; but a way to force a draw.

Also, a nice variant (especially in partnership play) is to require the first peg of each player to be played in the corresponding numbered hole. Meaning that you don't get to play higher in order to set up your other cards - or to match your partner.
 
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Darren James
Canada
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Cards are simply numbered from 0 thru 99 (same as the board #'s). The original cards look to be printerested business card size.
 
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Darren James
Canada
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I am one of the relatives of John (Jack) Montgomery (he was my great uncle). We finally played Poo-Ka-Poo today and quite enjoyed it. We have had it kicking around for a few many years but had never plaged it until now. We will definitely be playing it again.
 
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