Baby Dragon Bedtime
This is a new edition of a light card game originally published by Tin Star in 2018. It adds new art by Luke Parsons, and designer Steve Darlington has redefined some of the cards and added new ones to the mix.
The premise of Baby Dragon Bedtime is there in the title. The 3–8 players are each part of a mother dragon's brood. Mama Dragon has told you all to go to bed but you're each intent on adding to your treasure horde before you sleep. Played in its purest form, this is a chaotic real-time deck builder where players are trying to add victory point scoring and action cards to their deck while avoiding cards that award negative points. The cards you are picking from all start off face down in a random mush.
Players each begin with a deck of five identical cards: two Peek cards that let you look at a face-down card and put it back face down; one Flip card that lets you turn a face-down card face up, or vice versa; and two Grab cards that let you take a face-up or face-down card from the table and add it to your discard pile. Because there are no turns, it becomes a frenetic rush to grab valuable cards before other players nab them, but you're still dependent on first turning over the action cards that let you take a card. Baby Dragon Bedtime is a memory game but it has a strong dexterity element. Be warned tho', some players will find it frustrating and you'll need to hope that players will curb their exuberance to avoid grabs that damage the cards.
If fast and furious real-time deck building isn't for you, the rules offer a more sedate alternative way of playing; perhaps more appropriate for a lullaby setting. Instead of mushing the cards in a pile, you lay them out in a 6x6 grid and instead of a real-time scramble, players take turns to flip over one of their action cards and follow the action. This mode of play puts players on a more level playing field and it is less likely to result in damage to your cards. We've shown an example of this layout in our Board's Eye View.
Whichever way you play, Baby Dragon Bedtime is a short filler-length family game that can be enjoyed by quite young children, who are likely to be sharp eyed enough to compete on equal terms with their parents and grandparents. Played in real-time, games are likely to be over in less than 5 minutes, and you can expect to roughly double that playing time if you decide to take turns. That still makes it a quick game: one to play before bedtime, perhaps?