Too Many Cinderellas – from designers Nao Shimamura and Nobutake Dogen, publishers Grail Games and Taikikennai Games, and artwork by Hinami Tsukuda – is perhaps even more odd than it sounds. It’s a game about players trying to persuade the prince to marry their own friend/family member by convincing him that they’re Cinderella. It’s also extremely simple, but simple in a way that still manages to be interesting and fun.
Plus one of the potential candidates is a cat wearing a wig.
I mean come on!
This game is a little weird, I’m not gonna lie. There are 18 possible Cinderellas, running the gamut from ‘typical blonde waif’ to ‘frizzy bespectacled bibliophiles’ all the way to ‘pudgy uncles’ to ‘cats’. Cute and surprisingly diverse cast aside (though everyone is white – even the cat), it also plays a little strange. Sort of like an inverse Guess Who. I’m drawing a lot of comparisons to old American board games lately and I’m sorry.
Diana: It really is, though. Instead of using process of elimination to figure out who the other person is, you’re trying to manipulate the process to guide the prince towards your own characters.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sucker for card games where the cards have more than one function. In Too Many Cinderellas, the cards serve as both potential marriage fodder and as rumors that can sway the prince’s final decision. A card can’t be both, of course, so you have to be careful when you decide what to keep in your hand as a Cinderella and what you play as a rumor.
After a rumor is placed, all players secretly choose to pull out their Yes or No token and reveal them simultaneously. Any No token (even just one) will completely overrule the rumor and render it void, while any Yes token does nothing. The catch is that once a No token is used it’s out of the game, so each player can only veto a rumor once – unless they use a special card, anyway.
Rob: As unsure as I was about this game when we first started playing, I have to admit I kind of really dig it. The weird sorta backwards way you have to manipulate the prince’s decision is goofy but also pretty strategic, and deciding when to use that No token can be excruciating, in a good way.
Diana: Yeah, I wasn’t really expecting much either, but I came away impressed! It plays really fast but is also pretty fun. And I like how diverse the Cinderellas are. They’re not all statuesque beauties or even all women for that matter.
Rob: Right? Even though I knew I’d lose, I couldn’t help but try to get the prince to marry the cat. It was just too ridiculous to not do it.
Too Many Cinderellas is the sort of game that will appeal to just about any type of board gamer. It’s light enough for younger players, families, and newbies, but it’s goofy enough to amuse older players, serious gaming groups, and veteran tabletop enthusiasts. It’s not the sort of game that will fill an entire evening, but it’s a fantastic bit of filler that’s sure to entertain.
Snag your copy of Too Many Cinderellas right here! (Did we mention it was super-affordable, too?)
(Thanks to Grail Games for providing our review copy. Their generosity didn’t influence our opinion)