- Ed Sherman(edosan)United States
I stumbled on Bazaar out of dumb luck more than anything else. I found a couple copies while hitting the thrift stores and sold one. I kept the other one for a while, thinking "I should at least try this before I sell it off." I'm glad I did! Bazaar is a simple yet fun little game that we pull out from time to time.
The theme is that you're gem traders in the middle east. You are trying to trade games to get certain lots which score points. The version I have (the Discovery Toys version) uses glass beads and cards, as well as a die with several colors on it.
First of all, you pick two trading cards out of the set, which each have several equations like "red green green = white red yellow," for example. This means that if you have a red and two greens in your gem pile, you can trade them for a whit, a red, and a yellow. (It's important to note that it works the other way around!)
The objective is to get a group of gems that matches one of the four piles of cards in the center of the table. For example, one card might have four blues and a white. If you get that combination, you can give up those gems, claim that card, and get points. Points are determined on the rarity of the card (no stars, one, or two stars) and how many gems you have left over after you sell off that lot of five. (This makes it very important to keep the gems in your hand low, because a lot of extra gems in your pile means fewer points.
The turns go like this: on your turn, you can do one of two things:
1) Roll the die. Then you get one gem of the color you roll (if you get a star, you can pick a color).
2) Make a trade using the formulas previously described.
Then, if you can claim a card for points, you do so. The first person to a set number of points is the winner.
This is a difficult game to play with those prone to analysis paralysis, because things can slow down terribly. If played quickly, though, Bazaar is a hectic yet fun game that I have played in several groups with great success. The different trading cards help to make the game feel different every time (in some games, yellow gems are really valuable, sometimes it is red or white).
Notes: If you buy the Discovery Games version at a thrift store, I have found that the glass stones lose their colors badly over time. I went to the craft store and bought several bags of new stones when they were on sale for $1 a bag and they look great.
- [+] Dice rolls