Across countless stories, dragons are described as having an uncontrollable desire to hoard wealth. Little time is given to how dragons learned that behavior, but in the family game Baby Dragon Bedtime there may be an answer. You play as baby dragons whose mother has told them it’s time for bed. You have to get your hoard in order, hopefully ending up with more treasure than your siblings, so you can have the most comfortable place to sleep possible.
The game consists of a deck of cards, each with a cartoonish, cute dragon on it. Setup is incredibly fast. Each player starts with a deck of five cards, and the rest of the cards are spread out in the middle of the table. In those starting decks, there are cards to let you grab a card from the center, peek at a card, and flip a card over in its current place.
Once the game starts, chaos ensues as each player flips the top card of their deck over and performs the action written on the card as quickly as they can. As they add cards to their deck, some will be treasure cards that give you victory points, but there are also cards with dust bunnies or wads of chewing gum that subtract from your total victory points. There are also a few other actions the cards could have, including a roar which makes an opponent put whatever card is on top of their discard pile into the middle. This was definitely the favorite action at my gaming table, bringing out some very draconic tendencies in my family. At any time, a player can decide they’re going to sleep. At that point, they get no new cards, but none can be taken away. Their treasure is safe, and they are out of the game until it’s time to tally up victory points. The game ends when either all but one player has gone to sleep or when all the center cards have been flipped face-up. Then everyone tallies up their points, and whoever has the most wins. This all happens in the space of fewer than five minutes.
Many gamers don’t like speed games with simultaneous actions, or they have kids who may not be ready to read the action text on the cards. Luckily there are rules to play it as a turn-based game as well. This mode enhances the game’s memory element, with people focusing on where they may have seen a specific card.
I really enjoyed the frantic speed game, but my family preferred the turn-based rules. The thing that surprised me is that I wouldn’t mind playing this game with adult gamers. It would make a great filler game as a larger, more complicated game is being set up.
While this game was a success for my family and me, I don’t think it’s one that we’re likely to play more than a few times in one sitting. The speed game is stressful in a fun way, but it’s not a feeling I’d want to have for a long stretch of time. The turn-based game takes longer and is a more calm affair, but it doesn’t feel like it has enough variety to play over and over again. That being said, it is a game my family is likely to return to throughout our gaming careers, and I am excited to try it with my adult gaming friends. Baby Dragon Bedtime is a worthy addition to any family game library and a good choice for gamers who enjoy fast, frantic filler games.
I’m a lover of all kinds of games, whether they be board, video, miniatures, or card games. I want to share my thoughts on all games new and old.