SNAP Review – Baby Dragon Bedtime
Where does a dragon sleep? On its hoard of treasure of course. So baby dragons need to pile up loot to make their beds before they can go to sleep! (Aww, mom, do I have to?)
Tin Star Games publishes Baby Dragon Bedtime, a real-time deck-building and memory game for 3-7 players. It’s suitable for any child who is reading and plays in just 5 minutes.
The art here is attractive and kid-friendly. Cards are clearly labeled, with strong color differences.
The action cards show the dragons doing that action, and the treasures look like ones I’d want to have in my hoard.
Cards that subtract points, like chewing gum & dust bunnies, look kind of gross. Enough to say “I don’t want these” but not so much to be distracting.
Each player starts with a five card deck. All players simultaneously start flipping cards off their deck, one at a time, as fast as they can. Each time, they must do the action pictured on the card. When a player runs out of cards in their deck, they flip over their discard pile (shuffling it if they wish) and begin playing cards again.
Peek – look at a face down card on the table, then put it back.
Flip – flip any one card over (from face down to face up or vice versa); then put it back where it was.
Grab – pick up any card from the table and add it to your discard pile. Use Grab to add treasure to your pile, or to get additional actions to help you or hurt your opponents.
Additional action cards include Flap (discard a card from your deck), Roar (force another player to discard their top card), Swoop (force a player to swap their entire deck with you), and Crash (everyone must discard the top two cards of their deck). Or grab and play the Mama card to instantly end the game.
Try not to grab the Chewing Gum or the Dust Bunnies! Those are worth negative points at the end of the game.
If you decide that your dragon has enough treasure in their hoard, place your hands over your deck – your baby dragon has gone to sleep. A dragon asleep on its hoard can’t be the target of any cards (such as Roar, Swoop, or Crash).
When only one dragon is still awake – or all the cards on the table are face up – the game ends. Everyone tallies up the positive and negative cards in their decks. Whoever has the highest value of treasure, wins!
Baby Dragon Bedtime is unusual because it’s a speed game, a memory game, and a deck-building game. We hoped it would hook both our children who prefer slower memory games, and our children who like speed games but aren’t keen on memory.
The illustrations are cute and the rules “Baby Dragon Ruletime: How I Learned to Listen to My Mama!” made me laugh.
It’s rare to see a speed game that has press-your-luck elements to it:
You can Grab any card, but if you take a face-down one, it could be great – or it could be awful.
As more and more cards have been taken, you need to decide whether to keep flipping through your deck to try to add more treasure from the pile – but you’ll risk losing valuable cards when a neighbor plays a Roar.
I think it’s hilarious that you can literally “play the Mama card” to end the game.
I was happy to see that there are rules to allow for an eighth player (!) and also to slow the game down into a pure memory game.
Asher wishes it had a solo mode, and more action choices. It can feel a little same-y, especially with a low player count (3-4 players).
Baby Dragon Bedtime marries two of our kids’ favorite types of games, and does it in a format that feels accessible to most families.
It’s quick, compact, and fun. And if you lost this time, why not play again?
It’s a little pricey for a card game, but nevertheless, we rate Baby Dragon Bedtime 4.5 out of 5 dragon hoards.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Baby Dragon Bedtime from Tin Star Games for this review.
Baby Dragon Bedtime!
Number of Players: 3-7
Age Range: 7+ (younger can play simplified versions)
Playtime: 5 minutes