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Sleeping Queens

59 out of 66 gamers thought this was helpful

Since Sleeping Queens showed up in our house, it’s gotten more playtime (by far) than anything else in our nightly family game rotation. It can be pretty difficult to find a game that can be equally engaging for both our boys (3 1/2 and 6 years old), but this game nails it.

The mechanics are simple, and can be learned and taught just a few minutes. Our 3 1/2 year old can play his own hand without much help. He skips over some of the mathy bits, and still fully enjoys the game without feeling disadvantaged.

The sweet spot for the game seems to be 5-9 (not surprising, since the idea came from the mind of a 6 year old). The small advantage you do get from puzzling out simple addition is a great motivator for kids to get their gears spinning and practice their math skills without having it feel like homework. The educational component is certainly there, but it’s subtle and well integrated into the fun.

The ultimate outcome of the game depends heavily on luck-of-the-draw, but less so than other young-kid staples like Uno or Candyland. There’s a healthy dose of interesting decisions to be made, and many of them impact other players. These player/player interactions are a really key element of the game, and keep the kids engaged while others are taking their turns – another great trait when you are trying to keep an easily distracted 3 year old at the table.

Game Time
Games are fast – usually about 15 minutes. The random elements help balance out the game, so everyone’s got a shot at winning, right up until the end.

We almost passed this game up because of the “Queen” theme, but I’m really glad we didn’t. Once you get past the box, the game is surprisingly gender-neurtral – with kings, knights and dragons balancing out the queen characters. The art in the game is high quality, and the silly characters really add to the fun. Everyone in the family has their own favorite king and queen (the Chess King is my personal fav), and sometimes we find ourselves making sub-optimal game decisions just to get our hands on a favorite cards.

I wouldn’t say that this game has enough depth to stay on the shelf once the kids grow past the 10 or 11, but I’m always happy to play this whenever the kids ask – and that’s something I can’t honestly say for most other games targeting this age group. This is a great game to get the family to fall in love with quality gaming, and one of our top 3 family games.

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