OBJECTIVE OF FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: Collect sets of lights to earn the most points by the end of the game 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 or 4 players 

CONTENTS:  18 pattern cards, 42 bulb cards, broken bulb cards, bubble bulb cards, and character cards 

TYPE OF GAME: Set Collection Card Game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 6+ 


Festival of Lights is a set collection game for 3 or 4 players that is played with contents from the Christmas Lights card game box. 


In order to play Festival of Lights, players will need to use some components from the Christmas Lights card game box.   

18 pattern cards are used.  These cards are the objectives that players are trying to complete.  Players will earn points for the sets they complete at the end of the game. 

A deck of 42 colored bulb cards: 7 red, 7 green, 7 yellow, 7 blue, 7 purple, and 7 pink.   

There are also a variety of special cards used.  You will need a number of plugs, broken bulbs, bubble bulbs, and character cards equal to 1 more than the number of players.  For example, if three people are playing, include 4 plugs, 4 broken bulbs, 4 bubble bulbs, etc.)   


 Shuffle all of the bulbs and special cards together.  Deal out 9 cards to each player.  These cards should be kept secret by the player.   

Next deal a row of three bulbs face up in the center of the table.  If a special card is dealt, remove it and deal a different card to the row.  All three cards must be normal bulbs.  Place the rest of the bulb deck off to the side.  It will not be used for the rest of the game. 

Finally, shuffle the pattern deck and deal 1 card to each player.  That card is placed face up in front of the player it was dealt to.  The rest of the pattern cards are placed off to the side and not used for the rest of the game. 


To begin the game, each player chooses one card from their hand and holds it face down in front of them.  Simultaneously, each player reveals their card.  Any player who plays a bulb card that is unique when compared to the others adds that card to their tableau for scoring. 

When building their tableau, players should separate their bulbs into piles according to color.  Special cards follow special rules. 

Any card revealed that matches other cards are called drops.  These cards are placed in the center of the table in piles according to color. 

The round ends with each player passing the cards remaining in their hand to the left.  Rounds continue as described until each player has one card left in their hand.  That card is discarded to end the round. 


When special cards are played, they can trigger a special effect.  However, if more than one copy of the special card is played, it is still dropped (or possibly removed from the game). 

Broken Bulbs act as protection against a future drop.  When played, that player adds the broken bulb to their tableau.  On a future round, they can ignore a drop by replacing the broken bulb with their card.  The broken bulb is then removed from the game.  Any broken bulbs that must be dropped are placed in the center of the table. 

Bubble Bulbs are wild and can be used in place of any other colored bulb.  When a player adds a bubble bulb to their tableau, it is placed under that player’s pattern card.  At the end of the game, the player assigns that bubble bulb to a color pile of their choice.  Bubble bulbs that must be dropped are placed in the middle of the table. 

Plugs allow the player to immediately collect one card from the middle and add it to their tableau.  If a bubble bulb is chosen, it is placed under the player’s pattern card.  If a colored bulb is chosen, it is added to their matching pile, and a plug card is placed in front of the player for future use.   

Character cards are immediately placed on one of the color piles in the tableau.  It counts as 2 cards of that color as long as that player has the must bulbs of that color at the end of the game.  If the player does not have the most bulbs of that color, the whole pile is discarded.  Play this card carefully. 


When the round ends, the first thing players do is add any bubble cards that are under their pattern card to a bulb pile.  They can place their bubble cards in any bulb pile they like. 

Next, compare the same colored bulb piles that have character cards in them.  If a player does not have the highest number of bulbs in that color (or tie for highest), they must discard the entire pile.  It is not scored.  Remember, character cards count as two bulbs for the player.   

The player with the highest number of bulbs in each color gets to collect the same colored bulbs from the center.  For example, the player with the most green bulbs gets to collect the green bulbs from the center.  If there are ties for most, nobody collects the cards.  


Each bulb in a player’s tableau is worth 1 point.  Each special card in the tableau earns that player 2 points.   

If a player has 3 or more different colored bulbs in their tableau, they add 2 points to their score.  If they have at least one bulb from each color, they earn 5 points. 


The player with the most points is the winner.  If there is a tie, the player with the fewest number of cards wins. 

Mark Ball
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