Hey folks. Oh, my fur and whiskers! I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date. No time to say hello. Goodbye. I’m late. I’m late. I’m late. I’m sure by now you’ve got an idea of the theme of the game. Jump into the rabbit hole with me, we’re going to look at Parade. It’s a set collection card game for 2-6 players and plays in about 30 minutes. It’s a small box game from Z-Man Games.
Parade comes in a lovely little purple box. It’s yellow and silver print make it jump out at you. Inside the box, you’ll find the rules and 66 cards. These cards come in six different colors and characters and range from 0-10 in numbers. Our characters are Blue/Alice, Purple/Dodo, Orange/Cheshire Cat, White/White Rabbit, Green/Humpty Dumpty, Red/Mad Hatter. Then, depending on what printing you bought, you’ll either have a score pad or matching coasters thrown into the box.
Some go this way. Some go that way. But as for me, myself, personally, I prefer the short cut.
Set up for the game is easy. Make sure you shuffle the deck. Deal 5 cards to each player. Then, draw and reveal 6 cards and place them next to the deck in the middle of the table. These 6 cards form the parade. The card closest to the deck is the start of the parade and the card at the very end is the caboose of the parade. In the rules it suggests using the game box to show where the front of the parade is, I found that using the actual deck works just as well.
Now that the game is set up and ready to go, let’s talk about the goal of the game. Since this is Wonderland, and everything is topsy turvy, the player with the lowest points win. How do you get points? Well, any cards you collect will earn you points equal to the card value. If you collect the most of a single color, then all those cards are only 1 point each.
On each players turn, they play a card at the end of the parade and collect any cards that apply. When you play a card, the number lets you know how many cards in front of you are safe. You don’t collect those. Then, you remove all the cards with the same color from beyond the safe point. After that, you’ll also remove all cards that are equal to or lower than the value you played. So if you played a green 3, then after the safe point you’d collect all green cards and all cards that are 3 or lower. If you play a 0 value, the whole line is up for grabs. If you play a card that has a value that’s greater than the parade line up, you don’t take any cards. After you add a card to the line, you draw a card. Then it’s the next players turn.
The last round is activated when either a player has collected their 6th color or the draw pile is exhausted. If a player has collected their 6th color, then everyone gets to play one more card. When this happens, no players draw another card. If the draw pile is exhausted, then play goes on until each player only has 4 cards left in their hands. Once the last round is finished, it’s time to count points.
Each player will determine if they have the most of any color. If it’s determined that they have the most of a color, flip all those cards over. They are now 1 point each. Add together all your totals. Every single card you’ve gathered are points. A blue 10 is 10 points. A red 4 is 4 points and so on. Once everyone has totaled their cards, the player with the lowest points win.
So there you have it, a topsy turvy card game from Wonderland. Let’s start with the components. I absolutely love the art work in this game. The characters all really well done. I like the style that they are done in. It’s cartoony, but also seems a little dark and muddy. And I love the cards. They are the nice linen cards, but the backs are gorgeous with fine details. The color combination of purple, yellow, and silver looks great. As far as game play goes, I like the thought that goes into what card to play. You’ll have to count cards and look for colors and numbers already in the parade. If you play a bunch of cards that you don’t grab anything, sooner or later you might get stuck with a parade of 10+ cards. Do you try and collect the most of a color to only get 1 point each? Then there’s the end of the game. Since it’s when either a player collects their 6th color or when the deck ends, there’s always a sense of urgency. If the game ends now, I’ll win. If it goes another round, I might be out of the top spot. For just a card game, this one has a lot to offer. A lot of hard choices when playing cards. Scoring can be a little confusing, but I feel like it fits with the Wonderland theme. Since everything is weird in Wonderland, the lowest player wins seems like it fits nicely.
Now, I reviewed a game previously that reminded me a lot of this game. Guillotine. In that game, however, you’re reducing the line instead of adding to it. In Guillotine, you’re manipulating the line and trying for the most points. I really liked that game and the thematic of the line of cards on the table is what cought me with that one. This game is the same with creating a line of cards on the table, I like how you’re creating a parade of characters and it either gets longer or shorter depending on who plays what. Now, Parade is out of print currently. Z-Man Games has it listed under “At the Printer” on their website for upcoming games. When it does get a reprint, I highly recommend this one to anyone looking for a small box card game. It is an easy game to transport, easy to teach, and a great card game to play that is unlike any other game I’ve played.