How the Grinch Played ‘Grinchmas’

Entertainment Games

My introduction to How The Grinch Stole Christmas came through a glimpse of the green meanie in Home Alone. An English childhood lends itself more to Beatrix Potter than Dr. Seuss, and it was years before I actually saw this classic movie in full and became somewhat obsessed with the deep tones of Thurl Ravenscroft. I didn’t read the book however until my son was having his second Christmas in 2010. My dad read it to him over the webcam, Grandad with a copy in England, us with a copy in Maine. Whether the book or the movie has stolen your heart, every Who down in Whoville will surely love this new game from Funko.

All Images: Sarah Pinault

In Merry Grinchmas your family must work together to collect presents for the Whos before the Grinch can steal them away. It’s a race against the Christmas clock to collect more than the Grinch by the time the Whos start singing


Game Board
Town Center Tile
Grinch mover
Draw Bag
50 Present Tokens
36 Wish cards

The entire game is festive, from the shiny green box to the snow-covered board. Whoville is represented along with Mount Crumpet and the town square in the truly delightful original illustrations from the 1966 classic. It is bright and festive, exceptionally fun to play, and everything I want out of a game at this time of year.

How Do You Play Merry Grinchmas

The Grinch begins the game. On your turn, you must spin the spinner and move the Grinch. Depending on where he lands, he will steal something different.

  • If he lands on A, B, or C he steals that present from the matching spot.
  • If he lands on Max then he steals all three presents.
  • If he lands on a present space he may steal randomly from the bag.
  • If he lands on a house then he steals from that house. If the house belongs to a player, the player may choose what he steals, if it doesn’t belong to a player he steals a random present.
  • If he lands on feet he steals nothing.

His stolen presents are placed near Mount Crumpet. If he can the Grinch scores one of the available wishes, and this is placed face down on Mount Crumpet. Unless you are good at counting cards you will never know how many points he has.

After the Grinch takes his turn every Who gets to play. You take a present, and your presents go on your house. You can then score a wish from the presents on your house. You may only score one wish on each turn, but you don’t have to score on your turn, you can save your presents for a higher scoring wish later on. Scored wishes are placed around the town center.

When scoring a wish, the more colored presents there are on the wish, the more stars the card is worth and, so the more points you will get. If the present dots are all greyed out they have to be the same color, but it doesn’t matter which color—Cindy Lou doesn’t mind what she gets for Christmas.

When you are done you draw presents from the bag to refill any blank spaces and add wishes so that there are always four.

How Do You Win Merry Grinchmas

When all the spaces around the town center have been filled with eight completed wishes the game is over. You add up all the stars collected in the town center and if the team has as many or more than the Grinch then the townsfolk win and Christmas is joyous. If the Grinch wins, well we know how that ends.


Should I Buy Merry Grinchmas

This is a great family game and is sure to be enjoyed by all ages. It’s certainly not something to be played outside of Christmas—the theme is too strong with this one—but to pull out every holiday season this is a definite crowd-pleaser. It’s easy to learn for grandparents and interesting enough for older kids. It has a couple of our favorite game mechanics in play between the cards, the spinner, and the presents used for scoring, so it scratches that same itch I get from something like Carcassonne or Go Nuts for Donuts. We played with our six-year-old who picked up the rules very easily, and her middle school brother who was a punk, but then he is in most things right now. At the end of the day, we have happily welcomed Grinchmas to our holiday board game shelf.

GeekMom received a copy of this game for review purposes.

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