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The Bottle Imp

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Stronghold Games
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$17.99 $15.29

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Number of Players 2-4
Playtime 30 Min
Suggested Ages 10+
Designer(s) Günter Cornett
Publisher Stronghold Games

The Bottle Imp is a thematic trick-taking card game based on the short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, where the objective is to earn the most points over a series of hands.

Cards are numbered 1-37 and come in three colors: red, blue, and yellow. There is one neutral card, the 19, that places the “price of the bottle.” As in most trick taking games, players follow suit if possible with a high card taking the trick (regardless of suit). The difference with this game however is how trump is determined. Any card of value less than the current price of the bottle (starting with 19) is considered trump, and will win the trick. If multiple cards are lower than the current bottle price, the card valued closest to the current price (so highest card below the bottle) takes the trick and the Bottle, changing the bottle price to the number on the card used to win the trick.

Therefore the “price of the bottle” will decrease with each trump card played, and the bottle is increasingly harder to win/purchase (or get rid of, as you will see!). Ownership of the bottle will move from player to player and the number of possible trump cards will decrease both as a factor of cards being played and cards being skipped as the bottle price descends. One player will be left with the bottle at the end of a hand (when players have played all the cards in their hands).

Cards hold point values from 1-6 (not directly based on the card’s numerical value). At the end of the hand, players will earn points for the cards of tricks they've won, except the player who holds the bottle, who instead scores negative points for all the cards played to the bottle at the start, and scores nothing for the cards they won during the hand. Play continues until the point goal is achieved.

This is a remake of the classic The Bottle Imp, first published in 1995, and reprinted later by Z-Man Games. In the new Stronghold Games edition, we have returned the beautiful wooden bottle that players of the original edition loved!

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