Too Many Cinderellas is a two- to four-player card game designed by Nao Shimamura and Nobutake Dogen with artwork by Hinami Tsukuda. It’s the third in the Mike Line of small games in square boxes from Grail Games.
It works with ages 10 and up and plays in about 10 minutes. It has a suggested price of $15 but can be found online for $10.
In Too Many Cinderellas, the prince is trying to find his Cinderella, and players are putting forth their candidates. But first, they’ll spread rumors about who Cinderella isn’t, in hopes of getting their Cinderella married off to the prince.
How it works:
Each player takes the two tokens in his or her chosen color, one with “Yes!” on the back, and the other with “No!”
The single white token with “No!” on the back is set aside.
The dealer shuffles the 18 cards in the deck and deals four to each player. The remaining cards make up a draw pile.
Cards each have a candidate for Cinderella. In the upper left, they include a rank and several facts about the candidate, including her relative age, hair color, gender (yes, there are male candidates), and likes. The bottom of each card has a rumor; for example, “Cinderella is not a teen.”
The game begins by playing rumors. The first player plays a card face up to the table. The candidate on the card no longer matters; the rumor is now in play. Each player then chooses either their “Yes” or “No” token and holds it in a closed fist. They are all revealed at the same time.
If no “No” tokens are played, the rumor is considered valid.
“Yes” tokens return to the player. “No” tokens are placed on the card in question, marking the rumor as untrue. Each player’s “No” token can be used only once per game.
Play goes around the table twice, then a card is played from the draw deck and the players vote if anyone has a “No” token left.
Then players look at the rumors on the table without “No” tokens. They take the two cards remaining in their hand and propose one as a candidate, provided it meets all the qualifications of the rumors. The card with the highest rank is declared Cinderella, and that player wins.
A two-player is nearly the same, except that three cards are drawn from the deck — one at the beginning of the game, one after both players have played their first rumor, and one after both players have played their second rumors.
The game also includes diamond tokens, so players can play several games in a row, and the first player to collect three diamonds wins.
Why you might buy Too Many Cinderellas:
This game has a charming premise and quirky Japanese style art to go with it.
The game is easy to teach, and it’s quite simple. It’s also quick, so you can play several rounds and still have time to do something else.
Too Many Cinderellas is a different sort of bluffing game. Because you can only vote “No” once during the game, you may play a card you just want to get rid of but hope someone else will veto it.
There are a couple of cards that allow a player to add or subtract a “No” token from another card, mixing things up. There’s also one that switches the order of the rank. This all makes for a light, fun experience with no one feeling too badly if they lose.
The game is particularly good with two players, which isn’t true of most bluffing games, particularly those designed with more players in mind.
It’s perfect for adults and kids to play together.
The price can’t be beat.
Why you might not buy Too Many Cinderellas:
This is a very light game. While you can strategize, your plans can be thrown easily. There are even games where no one has a suitable candidate — in which case the person with the lowest total rank wins.
You may not like the art style, which is nothing like the box cover. I love it; my husband hates it.
While this is a great choice for families, it only supports four players, so you’ll be limited there.
Too Many Cinderellas is fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither should you. But it gets laughs and has dramatic swings, which is great in a 10-minute game. I like it a lot.
If you have kids to play with, this is a sure winner. But don’t discount its appeal with adults. Because there’s something really funny about Cinderella with whiskers. Or looking like Velma from Scooby Doo.
Every game in the Mike Line from Grail Games has been a welcome surprise, and this is no exception.
Full disclosure: I got a review copy of Too Many Cinderellas from Grail Games. I wasn’t required to write a positive review. These are my honest opinions.