Reviewed by Linda Curtain
Turkey eaten, wine bottles empty, crackers pulled – what better time to play a Christmas board game! Each year I try to find a game that is different, not too complicated and suitable for all the family so I was pleased to be able to review The Very Merry Christmas Game which the company Rascals has produced for just such an occasion. When I received the game I immediately loved the sturdy Christmas box promising ‘the fun of Christmas in one box’. The object of the game is for players to get the best set of present cards into their stocking area. Each card has a star rating which is calculated at the end of the game. Through following instructions as the players move around the board, they are able to swap cards, win or lose cards by singing Christmas carols or peek into the stockings to amass the most golden stars! Sounds a bit complicated? – not really but as with all games a good read through of the rules is advisable before commencing the game.
I loved the idea that the player whose birthday is nearest Christmas starts the game (especially as I have a January birthday!!) and this avoids arguments with the youngest always wanting to go first!
On opening the game I was impressed with how sturdy and colourful the game was. The board opened up to a large 20cm x 20cm playing surface which looked extremely festive with traditional red, green and gold illustrations. The four marker counters were very cute – various coloured Santas printed on clear plastic – the colour of your Santa indicated which stocking you had to fill. With the present cards stacked and the cracker cards sorted we were set to play.
Once the game got going it was quite easy to follow and mysterious gift cards soon filled the stocking spaces. With the flurry of swapping cards it was challenging to keep an eye where the low scoring cards may have been going!! Beware the sprout cards though – if you have one of these at the end of the game you lose, have two however and you automatically win!!!
The Christmas party hat which was included was well made but I did feel this may not last as long as the game – no great problem though as this could easily be replaced by any party hat.
The game has a recommended age of 8+ which I felt was about right with older players able to play a more strategic game.
A great, fun, uncomplicated game – yes, would definitely agree ‘all the fun of Christmas in one box’
Rating: 5/5 star rating
This product can be purchased from www.amazon.co.uk here and other high street stores.