Staff Pick: Sleeping Queens

Jessica recommends Sleeping Queens to just about every family with young kids that walks through our doors.  Find out why!

"Dragons, potions, kings, queens and … math? Shhh. I won’t tell if you won’t. Sleeping Queens celebrated its 10th birthday this year (it was invented by a 6-year-old girl and her family), and I still can’t think of a better title to support young gamers on their way from Old Maid and Go Fish to more skill-based card games.

Players compete to draw face-down Queen cards of varying value from a central layout in order to reach 5 Queens or 50 points. There are two ways to acquire queens: by playing king cards or by stealing queens from other players. Knight cards steal queens (but are foiled by dragons) and magic potions put queens back to “sleep” for anyone to claim (but can be counteracted with a wand). Players must balance their hand between these preventative and attack cards. New cards are drawn by discarding sets, either of matching numbers or three or more cards that add up (a 3, 4 and a 7, for example, or a 1, 1, 4, 3 and a 9).

Why am I so sweet on this game?  For starters, the art on these cards is downright joyful. The Cookie King has a bite out of one of his epaulets, and the Dog Queen wears a golden hydrant tiara atop a considerable pile of pink curls. Probability and addition skills get a sneaky workout, and the enchanting theme is appealing to the whole family. The perfect game for 6 - 10 year olds and anyone who appreciates a magically well-designed little card game."

The Stats:  Published by Gamewright Games, 2-5 players, 20 minutes, ages 8+