Parenting Is Easy - Dastardly Review #111
Parenting is Easy will be a Kickstarter project in fall 2018. Parenting is Easy was created by Lunarbaboon and Jason Anarchy and is published by Golden Bell Studios.
We used a draft PnP PDF for the cards, board and rules to play Parenting is Easy.
Parenting is Easy is a tongue-in-cheek game where the players are kids trying to drive their parents crazy...but not completely insane. And we loved playing Parenting is Easy. Game play is quick, fun and strategic.
Normally playing a game creates memories...with Parenting is Easy the game resurrects memories of raising kids and being a kid. Those memories make the game even better.
The game ends when all of the Chaos Cube squares on the House Map are full. Points are awarded for:
1 point for each Chaos Cube on the board,
Room values where a player has the majority control of a room
Points gained from Trouble Cards
The board for Parenting is Easy has two main areas: an Insanity Scale and a House Map. The Insanity Scale shows how many Chaos Cube a player gains (or loses). The House Map shows the various rooms of the house with their point values and spots for placing Chaos Cubes. The player with the most Chaos Cubes in a room at the end of the game gains the room’s point value.
A special die - the Tantrum die shows how many spaces to move all players up or down the Insanity Scale.
Each player has a pile of Chaos Cubes to take over rooms in the house and a Meeple to place on the Insanity Scale.
The Trouble Cards have wonderful art and classic situations from childhood and parenting. They really stole the show as they generated stories about our kids or from being kids. Trouble Cards have three types: Sweetness Cards (awwww ... decrease insanity), Mischief Cards (arrrrgh …. Increase insanity) and Life Event Cards (Life happens!). The actions vary and affect the Insanity Scale, House Area of Control and general play. Trouble cards can be played on yourself or another player.
Parenting is Easy has four quick Phases:
Trouble Phase where players each secretly and simultaneously pick which Trouble Card to play on which player.
Reveal Phase where all players show their card and then clockwise resolve the cards’ effect (moving up/down the Insanity Scale, Chaos Cube swapping etc).
Tantrum Phase where the Tantrum Dice is rolled and players are moved up or down the Insanity Scale.
Placement Phase where Chaos Cubes earned from the Insanity Scale are placed on the House Map and some Trouble Cards are also resolved.
Play continues until Chaos Cubes fill all the spots on the House Map. Points are tallied and the player with the most points wins.
Game play is quick and mostly simultaneous so a player has no down time.
The Insanity Scale and the Area of Control battle for house rooms both add a surprising level of strategy to Parenting is Easy.
None of us can remember a game with a mechanism like the Insanity Scale. Staying in the correct zone of the Insanity Scale is key to gaining a lot of Chaos Cubes. If you make the parents too crazy you go off the Insanity Scale and lose a Chaos Cube. If you stay too low on the Scale you gain no cubes. Pretty neat balancing act. Don’t get too confident because someone might roll a Tantrum!
Controlling rooms in the House and earning points is challenging as other players gang up on a player that appears to get the lead in controlling rooms. And Trouble Cards also affect Chaos Cubes. The balance of control shifts throughout the game.
Finally...the Trouble Cards.
The Trouble Cards are the heart of Parenting is Easy. They contain simple, clear instructions and provide balanced game play. More than that, after a game we found ourselves flipping through the deck, enjoying the art and humor... remembering life and laughing.
Parenting is Easy is a fun, challenging game for parents and kids. We are excited to get a real copy after Kickstarter and get it on our family game table.
The Good: We smiled even when we were losing...the Trouble Cards are that fun.
The Bad: The Lice Scare card...memories of loads and loads of laundry
The Dastardly: Parenting is Easy is fun to play but hard to master just like parenting.
*** A PnP draft version was used for our play and review