I received a copy of "Gift Trap" from my sister over the weekend and Cody, Christine, Claire, and I had a chance to play it twice this past Sunday. The game is quick, about 30 minutes, and the kids and I enjoyed it.
The full title of the game is "GiftTRAP: The Hilarious Gift Exchange Challenge". The games plays with 3 to 8 people and plays best with people you know a little something about. In the game, you score points by giving the gifts others like and getting the gifts you like in return; it's that simple. The game is played in multiple gift giving rounds until one person wins by moving both of their scoring pieces to the GIFTED space.
A round starts with the first player drawing a number of gifts, from one of the four categories, equal to one more than the number of players and placing them in the numbered squares in the middle of the board. For example, in our game we had 4 players so 5 gifts were drawn and placed in spaces 1 to 5. There are four different groupings of gifts to choose from but the rules don't mention how they are differentiated.
After placing the randomly drawn gifts on the board, each player simultaneously decides how they are going to divide the gifts up between the other players. Each player places a numbered GIFT marker, number side down, in front of each of the other players with the number corresponding to the gift you think they would like. So if the "Racing Pigeons" gift, an actual gift, is on space 1 and you think Joe would like it, you place the #1 GIFT marker in front of Joe. In our 4-player game each player gave out 3 gifts. Once this phase is completed, each player then rates the gifts on the board on how they prefer them with another set of markers labeled "GREAT, +3", "GOOD, +2", "OK, +1", and "NO WAY, -4". This is done simultaneously with the rating side of the marker placed face down on the gifts one is rating so all players preferences are secret. Since there are only 4 markers, some gifts may go unrated. The unrated gifts are the ones you are lukewarm about. Once all gifts are rated, the scoring phase begins.
Scoring is done one player at a time starting with the first player. The first player turns over all of their rating markers they placed on the gifts revealing what they thought about each gift. They then turn over the gifts they were given by each player and compare what they got to how they rated that gift and move theirs and the giving player's scoring markers on the board. For example, if Player Two gave Player One gift #3 and Player One rated gift #3 with a GREAT Player One's "GET" score marker would move forward +3 spaces and Player Two's "GIFT" score marker would also move forward +3 spaces. On the other hand, if the gift had been rated "NO WAY" the score markers would have been moved -4 spaces backward. Unrated gifts score a minus 1. Once all players have scored, if one of them has managed to get both of their scoring markers in the "GIFTED" space they win the game otherwise another round starts with the honor of being the first player passing clockwise to the next player.
As you can see, winning requires giving the gifts people want and getting the gifts you want.
The game is quite entertaining and fun and has won many awards including:
Best Party Game of the Year 2008 - Games Magazine
Top 5 Party Games 2006 - Majorfun.com
Game of the Year 2007 - Faidutti.com
Best Game from a New Publisher - Boardgame Podcasters Awards
Top Ten Games for 2006 - Chicago Tribune
Featured in 'Good Gift Game Guides 2006' - Seattle Morning News
Best Party Game 2009- Creative Child Magazine