Games Gazette Logo
The 2011 FRED Distribution - Gryphon Games version of the great Sid Sackson’s design is excellent in production with   choice of pieces and colours. It has bright, strong, colourful trading / market boards and 100 equally colourful glass stone beads, 45 cards and a special die.
 
The original game was first published, to my knowledge, in 1967 and has been revisited several times since. If you don’t own a copy then my advice would be, unless you are a collector of classics, to pick up a copy of this Gryphon Games delightful design.
 
 
The Market boards are shuffled and 2 randomly taken and placed side by side on the table. Then the wares cards are shuffled and split into 4 equal decks which are placed in a row above or under the Market boards. Here there seems to be a minor error or oversight in the rules - from the pictures it looks like (and indeed plays like) the top card of each stack should be face up - indeed if it isn’t you cannot play the game; however, there is no mention in the rules of turning the cards face up.
 
On their turn the player rolls the die. They take the stone of the colour rolled or of their choice if they roll the Magic Lamp icon. Having taken a stone they can then trade it in according to the Market, so for example, one white stone may be worth 2 red stones. 
 
The player can trade using stones previously collected and stones collected in their current turn, as long as they have stones they can trade. 
The idea is to collect the right assortment of 5 stones to buy one of the cards on display. As soon as a player buys a card they score points - noted down accordingly. The number of points scored depends on the number of stones the purchasing player has remaining.
 
Example of a Market Board.
 
If the player has 3 or more stones remaining the card scores 1 point (unless the card has a star on it, in which case it scores 2 points). Two gems remaining scores 2 or 3 points, one gem = 3 or 5 points and no gems, 5 or 8 points. 
 
The game ending mechanic is that when two stacks of cards are exhausted the player with the highest total of points wins. The scoring for the cards with a star on them changes once the first deck is exhausted - this is clearly shown on the reference card.
 
Sid Sackson once said (or is reported as saying) that a good game should be simple to learn, take 90 minutes or less to play and yet have many tactical possibilities. To me that says that every game shouldn’t play exactly the same; BAZAAR certainly isn’t the same game every time.
 
This is an extremely good trading game that plays with a little luck - the roll of the die and the turn of the card - and a fair amount of skill and judgement.
 
BAZAAR is ideal for players aged 8+ as suggested but 7 year olds from a family that plays games regularly will have no problems with it. A game with up to 6 players takes no more than 45 minutes to complete.
 
FRED Distribution is an umbrella company that publishes a superb range of new and tried and tested games.
 
© Chris Baylis 2011-2021