[Review] Sleeping Queens
- I tread with a very careful step to review Sleeping Queens
(Gamewright,2005 - Mrianda Evarts), simply because of the designer.
And this is because she is a six-year old girl, and I don't think any
Age of Steam is to be expected here. The rules say that she thought
up the game when unable to sleep one night, and then her family helped
her develop it. So instead of me reviewing it, we're going to take
comments from my five-year old daughter, who is obviously the target
of such a game.
Melody says, "I like the game because of the queens and the cards.
The queens, the kings, and the numbers are all fun. I really like the
magic wands and the sleeping potions, because they make the queens go
to sleep. It's fun to make the other people's queen's go to sleep.
The soldier [knight] tries to take another queen away, but the dragon
stops him. I also like these guys [jesters] that let you flip cards
over. I like the game because the cards look fun, and I play the game
with you and Mommy and Amy [sister]." Melody then launches into a
five year old's description of the game, but I'll rephrase it for her.
Twelve queen cards, each with a different name (Peacock Queen, Heart
Queen, etc.), a different picture, and a point value (5, 10, 15, or
20). A stack of playing cards is shuffled, and each player draws five
cards for their opening hand. One player is chosen to go first, and
then play passes clockwise around the table.
On a player's turn, they play a card from their hand, then draws
cards back up to five from the deck. The cards a player can play are:
- Kings (such as the Turtle King or the Chess King) allow a player to
turn over one "sleeping" queen and place it face up in front of
themselves. Some queens have special effects - like the Rose Queen,
who allows the player to turn over an extra card; and the Cat and Dog
Queen, who cannot be in front of the same player.
- Sleeping Potions are played to put an opponent's queen back to
sleep, turning it face down in the middle of the table. A player can
play a Wand card to counter a Sleeping Potion.
- Knights are played to steal an opponent's queen and place it in
front of themselves. A player can play a Dragon card to counter a
- Jesters are played, causing the player to flip the top card and add
the card to their hand, allowing them to take another turn. If,
however, the player flips over a number card, they count of the
players, starting with themselves and ending at the number. The last
player counted gets to "wake" a sleeping queen from the middle and
place it in front of themselves.
- Number cards are discarded, rather than played. A player can only
discard one card, unless they have a pair of identical cards (both
cards have the same number), or an addition equation (a two, four, and
six card for example: 2 + 4 = 6).
The game continues until either one player has gotten a certain amount
of queens (4 or 5 - depending on number of players, or a certain sum
on all their queens (40 or 50 points - depending on number of
players.) This player then wins the game!
A few comments on the game…
1.) Components: The cards must be of good quality, because my
daughters have played with the game countless times, and it still has
held up fairly well. The pictures are cute drawings by Jimmy
Pickering, who has done a good job of illustrating ridiculous stuff,
such as the Pancake Queen and the Bubble Gum King. Everything fits
nicely into a plastic insert in a small box.
2.) Rules: The rule book is an eight-page foldout that shows
illustrations and even has a small Q & A section near the end.
Honestly, the game is simple enough, and my five year old daughter
understood all of it easily - except the addition equation part -
which I assume she'll pick up some time next year. This rule was
easily ignored, however, and the game still flowed smoothly. It's
certainly a game youngsters will enjoy.
3.) My take: Like I said, I'm reluctant to give my personal opinion
of the game, since it wasn't directed to me. Truth be told, I
wouldn't play the game ever, but I will with my daughter because she
enjoys it so. There are games that I think are great for adults and
children; I think this one will appeal solely to children. My
daughter loves it - probably more than any other game I own. Using
the kings to "woo" the queens and the knights, etc., really gives her
great joy. And because it's a card game, and I want her to learn the
basic mechanics of card games, I'm glad to see her having fun with it.
For me, the constant discarding of number cards became drudgery, but
for her, it was tremendous fun. And playing a game with my daughter
that she loves - well, I can't argue with that!
So, if you have young children (5- 8) who you think may be interested
in the silly theme and game that is geared towards them, you might
want to pick it up. I certainly can't argue with the happiness it's
brought my own daughter. You know, who cares what I think of the
game? If she likes it, then it's worth owning for me. But just so
you know, when all my kids are older than seven, the game will be
given to the first one of my kids who has grandkids for me. There's
nothing in the game for me.
"Real kids play board games"