Oom-Pah! is a game that is just exploding with content! I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I opened the box for the first time. I kept pulling more and more out of the box and wondering what I had gotten myself into. What kind of game is this anyway? It is always fun to get a game you know nothing about, but it can be a bit daunting to get started. Here is what the game is about:
Oom-Pah! is the addictive card game for music nerds & legends...or those who wanna be! It's fun, fast, challenging, and cleverly sneaks music knowledge into your brain! Oom-Pah!'s unique colour-coded learning tools will help you understand music concepts systematically. So whether you're an absolute beginner or musical maestro, you can compete at a level playing field. With over 1,700 different game options to choose from you’ll always be engaged, entrained, & highly entertained!
With that overview out of the way, let's start with what the game play is like. The game plays very similar to Dutch Blitz or Nerts. If you aren't familiar with either of those, they are like the classic solitaire card game but as a multiplayer speed game where everyone adds to the aces in the middle. That is how Oom-Pah! feels. The cards are notes and need to be played in order. It is very fast paced, unless you don't know the order of the notes well, then it slows down a bit. That is great though because the goal is to learn while you play.
You may have noticed in the description that there are over 1,700 game options. You might be thinking, "Woah, that is way too much for me!" I hear you, but don't walk away yet. Oom-Pah! comes with 3 different rule books.
The first gives you a basic starter game to play. You only play with half the deck, setting the sharps and flats to the side. You play with a simple scale to build together in the middle. You can play with one pile in the middle at a time or as many as there are cards for. Personally we prefer one pile because it is less chaotic. multiple piles would be great for players that know the deck and note order well.
The next rule book has you playing with the full deck. The play options grow exponentially with this book. The game comes with several templates to help you know which notes to play down during the game. You can play a variety of scales, intervals, and chords, just to name a few. It keeps you on your toes for game play but also helps you to learn the music theory.
The final rule book takes the game to a whole other level of challenging. In this version you are going to play a series of chords (for example). This means that the center pile will be a new chord each time. You really need to know your stuff for this level. You do not get the reference cards for this version. If you make it to this level of play, you have really mastered music theory!
Throughout the books you will also find information about music theory. The educational value of this game is off the chart. The game play is so fun and exciting that you aren't even thinking about the learning you are doing. Repeated play will lead to well known music theory without even trying. If you like speed games, this one will be right up your alley. With all the options for play the game will continue to stay fresh for a long time.
You can find Oom-Pah at the Half Monster Games website.