In Christmas Lights, a card game from 25th Century Games, you are trying to put together the perfect string of lights. The catch, however, is that you can’t see what bulbs you have. Plus there are different events that could help or hurt you on your quest for the best light display.
I was provided a copy of this game by the publisher for this review
As I mentioned, your objective is to be the first one to complete your string of lights. You will have two sets of strings, like the cards shown above, that you will have to complete. You have to complete them in order and finish a whole string prior to going to the second one. And the ultimate catch, you can’t see what bulbs you have.
You do have a hand of bulbs to play, but the cards are facing away from you and towards your opponents. During your turn, you have four options that you can take and can take as many as you want to per turn. These actions include playing a card, where you blindly choose one of yours and see if it fits your string, swapping bulbs with another player, thus you know have an idea of at least one of your bulbs, and a sale/ trade function. The rules do say you can “mark” your cards, meaning that you can orient a card in your hand in a way for you to remember what that card is. That was very useful while playing especially when the card you knew you had was not immediately playable for you.
There are also event cards, which are triggered when a Present (like gift) card is revealed. You could get lucky and get the bubble lights card which is a wild card. Or you could get one of the other events shown above. I love the idea of the events and how they can change up a game, but I don’t think they are implemented to the best of their potential. First, the rules were not super clear to me the first time I played because I didn’t know the Present cards should be shuffled into the bulbs. So I didn’t do that, and thus no events happened. Also, the triggering of the events with a Present card doesn’t really work and isn’t really necessary. Why not just shuffle the events in with the bulbs and when they are revealed, the action takes place? That feels like a simpler and smoother implementation.
Overall, it is a quick and light game that is perfect for the holidays. The art is definitely cute and festive and in general, this game is very easy to learn and play. My main grievance is with the event card set up, but that is easy enough to adjust on your own to better fit how you play this game.
Christmas Lights also comes with a book of bonus games that you can play with the cards, including solo games and team games. That is definitely a fun addition to add more life and replayability to this game.
Christmas Lights is just $10 on Amazon or your local game store!
What games do you like to play around the holidays? Let me know with a comment below!