Sleeping queens 2Let’s talk about the name of this game, it’s awesome. I love wordplay. I never played the original but I hope it was called Sleeping Queens 1: For the Ages (or the Money)… I know like Rocky I it wasn’t called Sleeping Queens 1 when it came out but Gamewright should come back and some have fun with the original name.

Since I never played Sleeping Queens 1 I have no comparison but Sleeping queens 2 is a family card game that involves solving math equations to keep everyone entertained!

Gameplay Overview:

In Sleeping Queens 2: The Rescue, the rulebook states that the queens awoke and returned to their castles to resume their normal royal lives… which leads me to assume that the queens were asleep in the first part (That’s what the game was called Sleeping Queens ). Well, in this sequel, the queens try to save the kings who are in a dangerous situation. To save the Kings, the Queens will need to find a rescue partner with the same symbol in the forest.

Sleeping queens 2 cards
Number cards and queen cards (plus spellbooks, not pictured) count towards your realm’s card limit. Kings and fellow saviors do not.

How to find fellow rescuers? Wait… by creating a mathematical equation cards with numbers that you draw into your kingdom. Hooray! The first player to save a certain number of Kings based on the number of players wins.

How it works:

The draw and discard piles are surrounded by 10 face-down fellow rescuers, who are surrounded by 10 themed kings. The drawing deck has 6 types of cards: 12 Queens, 6 Wild Dwarves, 5 Sleeping Willows, 4 Spellbooks and 40 cards numbered 1-10. Queens have one of three symbols that match the three on the rescue satellites. Each player starts with a knight with a special power.

During the player’s turn, they:

  1. Roll a die with four choices: 1/2/3/Red Dragon. If you roll a number, you take that many cards. If you roll the Red Dragon, the knights move one player to the left, you can wake up one Sleeping Queen, and then you roll again
  2. Play all the instant cards you drew in any order. They include Wild gnomeswhich randomly give you a bonus based on a die roll. Switch witches, which allow you to swap any card in your realm or rescue partner for a card in another player’s realm or their rescue partner. AND Sleeping willowswhich cause the active player’s queens to fall asleep, if they have no queens to fall asleep, then the first player to the left of the active player who has at least a queen falls asleep their queens and turns those cards face down.
  3. Place the number cards, spellbooks, and queens you drew in your realm.
  4. Do one or more of the following:
    1. Make a math equation with at least three of your cards, then discard the used number cards and draw a face-down rescue partner. (Everybody jumping out of their seats? Math!!!)
    2. Play a couple of number cards and wake up all your sleeping ladies
    3. Play the spellbook and search the discard pile for a number card
    4. Save the king by discarding the queen and the symbol corresponding to the saving partner
    5. Discard a maximum of 5 cards.
Sleeping Queens 2 gameplay
The Draw and Discard piles are surrounded by face down Thankful Comrades cards and face up King cards.

Game experience:

The rules may overwhelm you at first, but play one round and it will make sense. Or have one person do the first round or two and everyone will understand. This game requires a lot of luck, there’s really no strategy to this game, from a random starting knight that gives you a superpower to a dice roll that determines how many random cards you draw or making knights switch players.

Sleeping queens 2 horses
Knights give unique powers, but don’t get too attached as they change every time a player rolls a dragon symbol.

I don’t mind games having luck as a component, but some strategy is required, and the only strategy in this game is for the switch witch to determine which card to draw, but it’s mostly simple. You’re forced to play instant cards that you randomly draw and they either help or hurt you and your opponents, or you can randomly draw a queen and place her in your realm, hoping that you’ll also randomly get cards that make up the equation You you can randomly select a rescue partner and hope it fits your queen.

It might take a while for kids to figure out if the cards make up a math equation, but for adults it should be pretty easy and fast since the numbers only go up to 10. Now, despite the complete lack of strategy, or maybe because of it, my newly minted 9-year-old son was asked to play this game several times in a row.

Final thoughts:

Sleeping Queens 2: Rescue is a luck-based family game that starts fairly quickly once people understand all the cards, but requires all players to be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide numbers 1-10. When math is part of the game, and not just used to determine the final result, the game qualifies as an educational game to me, making it great for families with kids learning math and for math classes. That doesn’t mean it’s going to become a game that lands on my desk again unless my nine year old begs to play and I use that as leverage to get him to play a game I like and for him indifferently.

Final score: 2.5 stars – As an educational game for children learning math, this game works for 1-2 years and should be part of all math classrooms and school libraries. As a game that can be played outside of a school/educational environment, it does not offer any strategy to encourage an adult or older child to want to play,

2.5 starshits:
• The art is all well done, the kings are all quirky and cute, the dwarf, the witch and the sleeping willow are adorable.
• This is a much more interesting way for children to learn 10 math equations than just flash cards.
• Lack of strategy levels the playing field for children.

• Luck, luck, luck.
• Kings are random constructs that do not affect gameplay.

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