Secret Santa

Ho Ho Ho. As this review goes online, it’s Thanksgiving in the U.S. or as it’s known to the rest of the world: Thursday. More importantly, it is the time of year that people can start posting things about the holiday season without the “one-holiday-at-a-time crowd” going ape. Therefore I am happy to kick off the Rat Hole festivities with a review of Secret Santa by Osprey Publishing.

Secret Santa is a simple card game of competitive gift giving for 4-8 players. The object of the game is to give away all your presents as quickly as possible, to prove you are a better person than everyone else. Because that IS the point of the season right?

At its heart, this is a fairly simple trick-taking card game, with a fun Christmas theme. Players take turns playing sets of “gift” cards numbered from 1-12, and the next player needs to play a higher ranked set of an equal number of cards. First one out of cards wins. Stir in a handful of special cards, and you get a delicious Chrismas pudding of a game.

The Art is primarily based on The 12 Days of Christmas song. Lauren “Iguanamouth” Dawson, has given us a cartoonish look, with a great “Christmasy” feel to it.

The basic rules are pretty simple, I’ve already given you most of them, but the special cards are a bit trickier. None of the cards have text on them, so there is a bit of passing the rulebook around while you figure out what cards do what. There is a “tips” section in the rules, and it does suggest stripping out most of the specials for a few rounds, just to get used to things. But even with that minor learning curve, it’s a quick game to learn.

Al told Secret Santa is a fun game for “gamers” and “non-gamers” alike. So if you’re looking for something easy and fun to break out and play around the dinner table after dessert, consider picking up Secret Santa.

You can find Osprey Games’ website at and on Facebook at

PS: Just to get you into the season I leave you with one of my favourite Christmas songs, from Jonathon Coulton: