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Subject: 10 things about GiftTrap rss

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(1) GiftTrap is an exercise in giving and receiving gifts. I would have a difficult time calling this a game, but would call it an activity instead. The reason for this distinction is that gaming strategies are strangely absent. Choose gifts for others then choose gifts for yourself. No strategy. Instead, it is more of a test as to how well you know the other people you are playing with. This definition seems to fit as those who score high know the other players well, whereas those who score low probably don't know everyone very well.

(2) The rules (already hinted at) are simple. The lead player places possible gifts on the board. Each player then gives one of these gifts to the other players. Next, rate the gifts you want. If the giver and receiver match, they both earn points based on the ranking. If they don't match, points are lost. A more thorough explanation of the rules is available at Boardgames w/ Scott (

(3) Despite the simple rules, we had difficulties with scoring. For each gift, points are scored for both the giver of the gift and the receiver of the gift. Thus, each player has two playing pieces that score on different tracks (the "get" track and the "give" track). Maybe it is just me, but I always confused giver/receiver and give/get so we tended to more the wrong piece, for the wrong player, on the wrong track.

(4) A few variants have surfaced that fix a few fiddly issues in the rules:
-- You are supposed to put out one more gift than there are players (i.e., with three players, put out four gifts). Instead, I recommend always putting gifts in all nine possible locations. This gives more options which turns out to be a good thing.
-- Players score -1 if gift was not ranked. With more people, this can really slow gameplay down. Try 0 points instead.

(5) The components are generally nice, but two things stand out. First, the gift cards are on the thin side and are glossy. This makes the cards light and slick, thus very likely to slip around. This is bad for OCD in me that requires everything to be lined up perfectly.

(6) The second component that stands out is the box. The nice thing about the box is that it is supposed to work like opening a present. However cool this idea might be, the execution leaves little to be desired. Inside my box, the glue on the bottom supports has all come undone. Gift cards stick to the glue residue and get into places that are hard to reach. In all, this isn't a big issue, I just haven't gotten around to re-gluing the supports yet.

(7) GiftTrap is a play on the phrase "Gift wrap". (Just seeing if you are paying attention!)

(8) This game doesn't play well with 2 people, nor would I expect it to (3-8 players listed on the box). My g/f is my main gaming partner so we try games with two players regardless of the recommended number. For those who wish to better understand the word "futility", I recommend a 2-player game of GiftTrap.

(9) The customer support appears to be fairly good. My game was missing some pieces. I contacted the publisher ( and received free replacement pieces within a week. Very nice!

(10) I would recommend this activity for a family or a group of friends who know each other very well. I would not use this activity with a gaming group or any strangers as I don't know them well enough to get gifts for them. So the general rule is that if you would get a gift for someone, then GiftTrap might be something fun to play with them.

Chris H.
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