MFG: Calliope Games
#of Players: 3 – 5
Age Range: 8+
Overall Construction: This is going to be easy because this is a card game. The box is a great fit. Not too small, not to big, but just right. The cards are of an amazingly high quality, especially for a $12.00 game. They have a glossy cambric coating, shuffle very well, and aside for a little bowing that does come out with a number of shuffles, they are great. The artwork is something that you don’t normally see, as it looks like pictures of cartooned stained glass windows.
The Rulebook is a different kind of rulebook as well. It is very rare that I see a rulebook that opens like a calendar, but very fitting for a game themed after the 12 days of Christmas.
Gameplay: The game play is almost like your standard bidding game. You might want to add in a dash of memory if you want it to be more strategic. There are 2 types of cards. Day Cards & Gift Cards. Each player is dealt 12 Gift cards. They are numbered 0-12. 1 – 12 are based on the 12 Days of Christmas song. The two 0 cards are Santa & Mrs. Clause. Even though they have the lowest number, if they are played and win, the person who wins that Day has to award the day to another player. There is the possibility that 2 players will have the Clauses and play them at the same time. As with any round where 2 cards of the same number are played at the same time, they cancel each other out and the next lowest takes the Day.
After all 12 Days have passed then you go in order to see who has the most of each number card. The person with the most of any number will get to keep 1 of that number for scoring. Scoring is just adding the face value of the days and the gifts that you got to keep and see who has the highest total. Obviously, the Clauses’ are worth 0 points.
Yes/No Recommend: Although, this is a Christmas themed game, I can see playing this year round. It is a very quick, easy to learn game. The artwork is nice and as I said above, the cards are of an amazing quality. I would never expect something of such high quality for such a low price.
The concept of the game was very easy to learn and everyone we had playing started catching on to the strategy of the game fairly quickly. We managed to play several games in just a short period of time. Everyone enjoyed themselves a lot, but people did complain about the Clauses, but only because they kept getting them. It’s one of the best bidding style games I’ve seen in a long time. You might even be able to teach this game to kids as young as 6 years old. Definitely check it out.
Where To Get It: It should be at any local game store or could at least be ordered. Since it’s not Christmas, you’re best to check with an online retailer or from Calliope Games’ website here http://www.calliopegames.com/read/80/12-days