(WARW (Write a Review Wednesday) is something I started because I have a habit of putting off writing reviews. As an author, I know how important reviews are for the success of a book, so I’m making a concerted effort to write at least one review a week. Reviews might not always be about books–they could be about games, podcasts, online classes, etc–and I’d love it if you guys linked to one of your reviews (of whatever you want) in the comments. If you want to see all my WARW reviews, click WARW. (Links below may include affiliate inks.))

sleeping-queensI’m switching things a bit with this WARW. Today, I’m reviewing my five-year-olds’ favorite game, Sleeping Queens.

Spreadsheet Guy and I are both board game geeks. Or Euro-gamers or Deck Building gamers or whatever you want to call us. We enjoy playing games so much that I include the fact in my bio. Settlers, Dominion, Puerto Rico, and 7 Wonders are just a few of our favorites. We like complicated games that involve strategy (and victory points!) and we can’t wait until we can play those with the twins. Unfortunately, that’s YEARS away. We’ve tried an assortment of younger, non-annoying games for kids (I want Mickey Mouse Slides to burn a long death!), and one that was recommended over and over again from Board Game Geek was Sleeping Queens.

It is great. By far, my favorite game to play with the kids. It’s simple enough to learn quickly, and the big bonus is that there’s a math component.

Game Play: The deck comes with 12 queens, each one with a different number value. The person who has the most queen-points at the end of the game wins. To get a queen, you need a king. Kings, dragons, knights, sleeping potions, wands, and jesters are all part of the deck. Also thrown in there are number cards. The cards do the following:

King: Allows you to take one of the face down queens from the center of the game play area.
Knight: Allows you to steal a queen from another player and add it to your queen count.
Dragon: Defends against the knight.
Sleeping Potion: Makes an opponent put one of their queens back to sleep face down in the middle of the game play area.
Magic Wand: Defends against the sleeping potion.
Jester: (after doing elaborate bounces off of heads, flipping over cards, running around the house, and taking imaginary dives into buckets of water) draw a card. If it’s a face card, you keep it and go again. If it’s a number card, you start with yourself and count to the number. Whoever you land on gets a queen.

That’s pretty much all you need to know to play the game. But the real math aspect comes in with all those number cards that do nothing but clutter your hand. To get more cards, you have to do math. For instance, if you have three number cards and you want to trade them in, you have to make an equation like 5+5=10. That would allow you to trade three cards for new cards.

My biggest criticism of this game? Why the heck is it that the knight attacks a queen and the dragon defends her??? It should totally be the other way around!

Sleeping Queens is a very simple game to learn but very fun. It’s by far my kids’ most asked-for game. I think I’ve bought Sleeping Queens for all their friends’ fifth birthdays, and it would make an awesome Christmas gift as well. My kids were almost 5 when we started playing, so it’s really the perfect age.

Has anyone else played this game? Do you have any favorites for 5-6 year olds? I’d love to get more ideas for Christmas/birthday presents!