Since Black Friday is right round the corner and present buying is starting to trickle into everybody’s mind, this seems like the perfect time to review the game that is all about gift giving, GiftTRAP. Its inventor, Nick Kellet, sent this game to me a couple months ago because he saw that I love party games. So into the game night mix it went. Unfortunately it didn’t play so well the first time – why? Because some of the people didn’t know each other and had just met that night. That is key for this game – know the people you’re playing with! The second test was much better, we played with 5 people who were pretty close and it worked out great!
The game itself is like a gift; it comes in a nice box with pretty little fabric bags of pieces inside. The game is all about being a good giver and a good receiver because you get points for both. Each round, a bunch of gift cards are laid out on the board and then everyone privately decides which gift they want to give every other player. You give a person a gift by giving them a tile that matches the number of the gift on the board. Once gifts have been given, everybody votes which gift would want (or not want) to receive by placing small tokens on the gifts on the board. Then the answers are revealed. If you gave people something they wanted, you get points – if you didn’t you lose points. Same for receiving – did you get something you wanted? You get points. Something you really didn’t, you lose points. It’s really an easy concept to get after you play one round. We also found it’s easiest to allow one player to play Vanna and to flip the voting tokens and advance (or move backward) the movers so there aren’t 5 pairs of hands moving stuff on the board at once.
After completing my review of the game I was really interested in hearing how Nick came up with the concept for GiftTRAP so I asked him. This is what he said:
“The idea came from a question by my daughter then age six. She asked how Santa picks gifts for children. I did some research and found there had been no such game. We quickly identified the power of 2 scoring tracks (giving & getting) for exposing people’s true self.”
After more than two years in the development and production phase GiftTRAP made its debut in 2006. Right now it’s in 8 languages and soon to be in 12 including Chinese and Greek and for those of you who are looking for games in other languages this English version is bilingual with both English and Spanish directions and card titles.
If you’re looking for a gift idea – either give GiftTRAP or play a little GiftTRAP and come up with some great gift ideas!
$35 (or less) at Amazon and some Mom & Pop stores
3-8 or Players (I think 4-6 is probably best)
~45 Minutes (more if you don’t know people really well)
Ages 8 and up