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27Jul/160

Too Many Cinderellas Review

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Our last library meetup was mostly spent with Mare Nostrum, but another game also made a short visit to the table. Can there be such a thing as Too Many Cinderellas

Apparently there can, at least if you are a forgetful Prince Charming. After dancing the night away with Cinderella at the ball, the Prince knows he's in love but isn't too sure with whom. His special Cinderella could be blonde, or young, or old, or a man, or even a cat!

too many cinderellas

That strong jaw and vacant expression should explain the prince's confusion.

This presents an opportunity for the players, who are advisers standing to gain status and power from steering the prince to the "right" Cinderella of their choice. Each player is dealt four cards, each representing one Cinderella. Each Cinderella has a variety of likes, dislikes, and social attributes. The 18 possible Cinderellas are ranked from most to least valuable, and most of the time the lowest-numbered eligible Cinderella will win the round.

"Eligible" is the key word there, though. Each Cinderella card also has a rule on it that affects which Cinderellas stay in the running. If the rule says that Cinderella does not like rice, then any Cinderella who likes rice is obviously Not the Prince's Cinderella. Two of the player's cards will be used to impose rules on the choice of Cinderellas, and the other two will be kept to the end of the round as hopefully eligible suitors.

Just playing rules would be pretty dry, so players get to vote on which rules actually apply. The catch is that each player has only one "no" vote. Any player can veto any rule once, but then has to agree to every rule that follows. The tension of the game comes from watching your opponents and figuring out whether they're likely to veto the rules you don't want.

The voting action in Too Many Cinderellas is fun, but it doesn't give the players much control of the game. A four-player game will have nine votes (there's a bonus rule at the end), so players end up standing pat a lot. Selecting rules does supply some strategy, but the game doesn't have enough weight to support repeated serious play.

That said, this is a fun little microgame that you can deal out, explain, play, and pick up in about ten minutes or less. That's a nice trait to have in a casual game gathering, and Too Many Cinderellas will find its place as an excellent quick filler while you're waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive.

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Posted by Chris Aylott

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