Bazaar – The Trading Game


The Trading Game

3M Company – 1968 – 2-6 Players

Bazaar is a trading game. The players attempt to collect the proper combination of colored “tokens” to allow them to buy “wares” from the “stalls” in the bazaar. They collect tokens by trading for them using the “exchange rate cards” in use for the game.

Each turn, a player may roll a die to gain a token. Instead of numbers the die has colors on each face and rolling that color allows the player to select a token of that color. Or, they may trade for tokens using the exchange rate cards. For example, examine the images on this page. Using the rate cards shown, one yellow token can be traded for one blue and one red token or one blue token can be traded for two white and one green token. The exchange rates work both ways; a blue token and a red token can be exchanged for a single yellow token.

The player is trying to get the proper combination of tokens with which to purchase wares. Again, in the example, two red and three green tokens are needed to purchase the ware (card) in the first stall (stack). Players receive points for purchasing wares, but the points are based on the number of tokens they are holding after they have purchased the item. The more tokens the player is still holding the fewer points they receive so the object is to try to exchange tokens for just the right combination before buying a ware.

When all of the wares have been purchased from two of the stalls the game ends. The player with the most points is the winner.

This is one of those games that fits the cliche “easy to learn, difficult to master”. The basic concepts are quite simple but in execution the game gets complex very fast. You can trade tokens to get just the right combination for buying a ware to get a high score but by that point your opponent may have bought two or three lower scoring wares that result in a higher total. There are ten exchange rate cards, only two of which are used at any one time and 45 wares cards of which only 20 are used in a game which means each game is different. Another classic 3M game.

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