Dancing Queen

by Hiew Chok Sien

Winner of Best Overall Game - 2021 International BoardGameGeek 9-Card Nanogame Contest



The Game

Dancing Queen is a 2-player, 9-card game about bringing friends to a dance party. You and your opponent both have in mind a particular dance to perform. Will you get your way? How many boys and girls should you bring? Will you bring a girl secretly dressed up as a boy to foil your opponent's plans?

This short and tricky card game features bluffing, setting traps, pushing your luck and reading your opponent. Ready? Let's dance! 

The Accolades

2021 International BoardGameGeek 9-Card Nanogame Print-and-Play Design Contest:

Best Overall Game

Best 2-player Game

Best New Designer

Best Rule Book

What Others Say

"Dancing Queen is a delightful little game that easily fits in your pocket and provides a lot of punch for its size. " - Dale Yu, The Opinionated Gamers (full review)

"It's damned hard not to fall into your opponent's traps. The key is to know your opponent well. " -  Giochi Sul Nostro Tavolo (Italy)

"Definitely a real test of your bluffing skills" - Dith Kok


Download the rulebook (2022 first edition)

Download the rulebook (2021 print-and-play edition)

Download the free print-and-play edition

Play at Tabletopia (print-and-play edition)

Play at Tabletop Simulator (print-and-play edition, software required)

Learn to play in 5 minutes 

Note: This video is of the print-and-play edition. The physical version has different artwork and text, but the gameplay is the same. 


The Journey

The very first prototype

Pure black and white

Second version art by Allen Sam

Cards are always played face-down

Lead dancers revealed at round end

Every single card is different

The game board. Not absolutely necessary but it helps when learning the game.

There was initially no reference sheet. It turned out to be a crucial game component, whether you are new or not.  

Another concept we toyed with

A different notation

Tabletopia version. Play online for free.

Tabletop Simulator implementation

Free to play, but you need to have the Tabletop Simulator software

Getting my daughters to playtest 

Game On Lah event, GMBB Mall

Teaching the game to new players

2-vs-1 variant?

Only 2 options on your turn, but the decision can be tricky

Public demo at REXKL

Minimalistic concept art when working on physical publishing

Manga (Japanese comic) style concept art

Animation style concept art

Updated manga style concept art

The first manga art version prototype

The reference sheet will be composed from four cards

Dith and Julian helping me test this version

Close-to-final art (probably final). The microphone has transformed to become a disco ball. 

The reference sheet has evolved

Near final prototype

Final art proof. Using PVC for the cards allowed vibrant colours. 

Final box design

Rulebook in full colour

About Cili Padi Games

Cili Padi Games is founded by Hiew Chok Sien, a boardgamer since 2003, and blogger and game reviewer since 2007. He has played more than 850 games, and has been featured on The Star, Oriental Daily, Sinchew Daily and Bernama TV.  He lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is married, and has two daughters and three cats. Dancing Queen is his debut game. His favourite games are Race for the Galaxy, Through the Ages and Love Letter. 

Hiew's Boardgame Blog (follow on Facebook)

卓成桌游部落格 (Facebook) (boardgame blog in Chinese)

Cili Padi Games on Facebook