A few years ago Tara texted me a picture of a game and said, “What do you think for Princess?” Now Princess hates games. She’ll tolerate an occasional game, but it’s not really on her “to-do list.” I’d been eyeing the Tea Dragon Society game for awhile thinking the same think Tara did, this could be a game Princess likes, so how did Tea Dragon Society fit in with our gameschooling?
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General Idea of Tea Dragon Society game
You are spending the year with your pet dragon, named for types of tea, trying to create the best memories with your new pet. Through the course of the game, you buy cards with different activities.
Why I like Tea Dragon Society
While the Tea Dragon Society game is competitive, it doesn’t feel that way. This is key to keep Princess playing.
Now that may be because of the illustrations, and the general activities.
Feeding your pet dragon with such cute little pictures doesn’t feel competitive. It feels like fun. You aren’t too worried about optimizing your play, as I tend to be when playing Dominion, another deck-building game.
The entire game can be played in about 30 minutes.
Gameplay for Tea Dragon Society
The game starts with picking a dragon. Each dragon has a specific activity they are better at: eating, entertaining, sleeping, and a fourth that I’m blanking on. Each dragon starts with their own deck of cards. They are pretty much all the same, except each dragon has one specialty card with a fun quirk.
Are you ready for your turn? It’s super simple:
- Draw a card, read what it says. If it says to do something when you draw the card, then do it.
- Many cards you play in front of you to keep them available for later use.
- Buy a card with the value of the cards you have in your hand from the tea leaves. You can choose to buy a card from the market that will usually allow you to do more things, OR you can buy a card from the Memory area which moves the game forward and helps you get the points to win the game.
- If there is only one card left in the memory area, the season changes and you put out new memories. If it’s the last season, the game ends.
That’s it. Super simple.
But that’s not it.
Why I like Tea Dragon Society part 2
I was about to talk all about how awesome Tea Dragon Society was for learning skills, when I realized I’d already had a section called this, so here is part 2.
Most families I know who have this game use it as a gateway game, they get their kids hooked on one aspect and then use it to bring them into more complex games.
This game teaches skills used in other games.
You buy cards to make your hand better. Just offhand you buy cards in Dominion, Clank, and Battle for Hogwarts. There are a few other games I probably own that are deckbuilding games, but that’s what came to my mind.
You make decisions for how you want to win. Each dragon has strengths they play better with. What cards you buy, change how you get points, and that can make for a fun way to build your deck.
If you have a dragon who likes to sleep you might choose to buy a pillow or blanket because it gives you extra points.
Oh, I especially like that it doesn’t have player-on-player dynamics, so you can’t mess up another player with your cards. This is probably why Princess likes it.
If your kids like The Tea Dragon Society consider this too
While I first learned about The Tea Dragon Society as a game, it started as a graphic novel. Since it’s fairly popular it has expanded even further.
- The Tea Dragon Society graphic novel– there are a few sequels, start off with this to see if your child likes it, I wasn’t sure if Princess would like it so we never got the graphic novel
- Tea Dragon Society Jasmine plush-sadly I can only find the Jasmine plush because I think some of the other dragons are cuter
- Autumn Harvest Game– an expansion that can be played as a stand-alone or mixed in with the original game