Review Details

Christmas Playing Cards

Christmas Playing Cards

Product Review (submitted on 4 May 2018):
The warmth of the Christmas season rarely fails to put everyone in a good mood, and Natalia Silva's beautiful Christmas deck arrives to help us with some holiday cheer that will keep us smiling all year round.

I've been a long time fan of Natalia Silva's beautiful folk art style, inspired by traditional Russian art, which has led to several stunning decks. This deck is a result of a collaboration with Penguin Magic, which is acknowledged on the side of the tuck box. This collaboration produced a popular Christmas deck in 2015, and given the huge success of the project, this new deck was created at the end of 2017.

The tuck box greets us on the flaps with a "Happy Holidays", and of course the name of the deck: Christmas Playing Cards. Any deck that has a Christmas tree on the front is fairly obviously themed around the annual gift-giving holiday. But not every Christmas tree has a waving Santa on one side and a blushing beanie-wearing penguin on the other!

The back design continues the emphasis of seasonal imagery, with a red and white design with a central snowflake pattern, surrounded by a myriad of other beautiful snowflakes.

The colour scheme of the card faces is exactly what you'd expect: a dark green accompanied with a Christmas red. This deck is full of whimsical and playful images, with Santa, snowmen, reindeer, and penguins all making an obligatory appearance somewhere or other.

But while this deck features 54 unique designs, all different from one another, there is a real sense of order and pattern, with each value depicting one theme. For example, all the Kings depict Santa, all the Jacks depict snowmen, all the sixes depict penguins, and so on.

Some of the images also use transformational pips, such as the Six of Spades, in which the pips have been turned into fish. On other cards the diamonds have become streamers or Christmas lights, and the clubs have turned into musical notes or Christmas trees. The creativity here is a real delight to look at and enjoy.

Each of the Aces features an oversized pip, adorned with a snowflake design and holly, and a Christmas stocking.

The two Jokers form a diptych that combines to depict Santa's reindeer pulling his sleigh, closely accompanied with fun-loving penguins.

Two bonus cards are included, both double backers, one with red, and the other with red/green.

Once again USPCC received an invitation to the Christmas party, and they haven't disappointed us, with a beautiful air cushion finish that will ensure that we're happy handling these cards both on Christmas Day and indeed every day of the year. - BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame