Sunday 6 June 2021

Dancing Queen won 1st place!

The results for the BoardGameGeek 2021 9-card nanogame print-and-play contest have just been announced, and I was ecstatic to find that Dancing Queen won the Best Overall Game.  A big thank you to all those who supported me and voted for me, and also those who helped me with playtesting the game and reading the rules. A shout out to Allen for the multiple rounds of adjusting the graphics and layout for me. 
I also won Best 2-player Game, Best Rule Book and Best New Designer. 

The Game

Dancing Queen is a short 2-player game which uses only 9 cards. You are attending a dance party, and you may bring your friends, whether boys or girls or both. You have in mind a dance you want to do. Different types of dances require different numbers of boys and girls. If you manage to perform the dance you secretly wished for, you become the winner. Beware that the boy your friend brought might turn out to be a girl dressed up as a boy!

When I started designing this game, I had Love Letter as my muse. It is a microgame with only 16 cards, and it is a design I greatly admire. Dancing Queen turned out to be something rather different, but I tried to apply a number of guiding principles I learned from Love Letter. Every card has a purpose. No card is wasted. 

Every card in Dancing Queen is a dancer. When you play a card, you play it face-down, so your opponent wouldn't know what you have played. You will play at most 4 cards, and one of them is designated to be your lead dancer. The rest are backup dancers. Each card has a girl half and a boy half. Depending on how you orient the card when you play it, you determine the gender. The half pointing at your opponent is the gender of the card. In this photo above, the player has played two girls, while the opponent has played one girl and two boys. 

A complete game takes about 20 minutes. You will play several rounds. The winner of a round gets a trophy (yellow cube). Whoever reaches 4 trophies first wins the game. At the start of a round, both players simultaneously play a card, and these are the initial lead dancers. After that you take turns either drawing and playing a card, or proposing to end the round. Whenever you decide to draw a card, you must immediately play it, either to add a backup dancer, or to replace your lead dancer thus demoting him (or her) to become a backup dancer. When you play the card, you must also decide its gender. Some cards allow you to transform another card on the table, from boy to girl or vice versa. 

When a round ends, both players reveal their lead dancers and score points accordingly. Higher scorer wins the round. The scoring methods all depend on the game situation. E.g. the pairs in play are all same-gender pairs (like in the photo above), or there is an even number of cards in play. Some cards have an instant-win condition. If the game situation matches the condition exactly, you win the round immediately. E.g. the Spice Girls card requires exactly 5 girls (and no boys). If your lead dancer is the Spice Girls and there are exactly 5 girls in play, you end the round and win a trophy immediately. 

The 9 cards in the game all have two halves, so there is a total of 18 different winning conditions in the game. 

    Youtube rule explanation: 

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