|Play Time:||15 -30 minutes|
|Contents:||32 Toy Cards, 32 Kid Cars, 96 Part Cards, 1 Toy Dial, Instructions, 1 Play Aid Sheet|
Santa’s Bag is a fun resource management game that is perfect for the Holidays (or all year round). Kids are randomly lined up with various toys that require resources to make. Help Santa out by gathering the right resources to make the toys. Be the helper with the most points to win!
You get to be an Elf and help Santa in his workshop making toys for kids. My kids LOVED the idea of helping Santa make toys and thought it was so fun being an Elf. The game is pretty straightforward and well made. The box is very sturdy which is great because we play the game a lot. This box is not so easily torn or bent no matter how often we open to play the game so I love that.
The Kid and Present cards are slightly sturdier than standard card material so they can bend but not too easily. The Parts cards are the thinner material but not paper thin and small enough for little hands. The Toy Dial is very sturdy. Nice thick cardboard and the spinning part isn’t too loose so the kids can’t spin it like crazy…yes they tried.
I will of course explain how to play and normally I explain how to adjust for the Diva. This time, however, the game actually has an Easy Play option that works great for 4 year olds! For 3 you could just practice finding the matches to the Toy Cards and maybe even make the Parts Carts into a Memory game but you have to flip a match to the Toy Card and set it by the Card. This will teach your child the idea behind gathering the right Part. Now on to the How to Play part!
Be the Player with the most points!
Shuffle the Parts Cards. Shuffle the Kids Cards and the Toy Cards and put all the decks face down on the table where everyone can reach. Pass out 4 Part Cards to each Player but be careful not to show anyone what they are! Decide if you will play a Short game that ends after 10 Toys are made or a Long game that ends after 20 Toys are made. If you have more than 5 Players you should play a Long Game or it might not be much fun.
Next Draw a Kid Card and place it on the table where everyone can see and put a Toy Card next to that Kid. This is the Toy the Kid wants and in order to get the Kid Card you have to make that Toy Card. Keep doing this until you have 4 Kids with 4 Toys. The youngest player goes first!
At the beginning of your turn you can trade a Part Card but only once per turn. You can trade with another Player or you can trade with the Part deck which is awesome! If you trade with other players you have to say which Part you are looking for and which Part you are willing to trade for it. If someone wants to trade you simply swap cards but if more than one Player wants to trade then you have to trade with the closest Player to you to the left. No one has to trade with you though and might not want to if you are winning…or are a 6 year old boy being a snot face…I mean sweet sweet angel.
After you announce the trade you cannot change your mind but if no one wants to trade you can offer different trade or just trade with the Part deck. To do this simply draw the top card from the Park Deck and discard one of your Part Cards. You can also make a Toy.
If you want to make a Toy you first have to have all the matching Parts Cards but you can only make 1 Toy per turn. You don’t HAVE to make a Toy but that is how you get points so you should if you can. Set the Toy and the Kid, because you get both when you make the Toy, in front of you so you can keep track of your points.
Flip over a new Kid and Toy card and then turn the Toy Dial by one so you know you just made another Toy. Then Draw a Part Card to end your turn.
My son played against his daddy and lost by ONE point when we were playing to take pictures for this review. He wanted a rematch almost immediately.
The game is simple enough to learn for kids who play games and even for 4 year olds to learn the basics. There are a few things that are harder to get but can help you out and make the game more interesting. Like Elven Magic!
Because you are an Elf helping Santa you have Elven Magic. This means if you have two of the same Part you can magically turn it into any Part you need to make a Toy.
To use your power tell everyone what Part you are turning the cards into, make your Toy and discard the cards along with the rest of the Part cards needed to make the Toy. You can ONLY use Elven Magic to make Toys but you can use it more than once per turn.
One more fun part is there are Stardust cards which are Wild Cards. Elves can turn Stardust into any other Part they need! Stardust, Elven Magic and being Santa’s helper is extremely fun work! Once you reach 10 Toys or 20 Toys made the game ends and whoever has the most points wins!
If you are playing with younger kids the instructions actually have an Easy Play version already! Simply do not use Elven Magic, Numbers and Points don’t matter and the person with the most Toy and Kid Cards wins.
I mentioned earlier that if you wanted to play with a 3 or 4 year old you could play a sort of matching game. Flip over 1 Kid Card and 1 Toy Card and instead of passing out the Part cards to each player put out about 8 cards in a Memory game fashion. Take turns flipping 1-3 Cards depending on the level of your child and any Part Card that matches the Toy gets set next to it until you have all of the cards needed. Whoever completes the Toy Card gets both of the Cards.
Santa’s Bag is a fun game that is now a favorite on Family Game Nights. It is the perfect game to play around the Holidays but also perfect to play all year round while you wait for the Holidays to return. It also makes a great Holiday gift!