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  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Easy starting mechanics
  • Lots of ways to scale complexity
  • Fun, colourful art

Might Not Like

  • Can be hard to keep track of standees, slowing turns down
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Dance Card Review

dance card

In Dance Card!, you are high school students at a school dance and your mission is to secure yourself the three dance partners of your dreams.


The game takes place on a board divided into three types of zones: four dance floors (for Dancing), the bleachers and refreshments (for Chatting), and the janitor’s office and restrooms (for getting your Nerve back).

The zones are populated by 32 student standees, randomly divided between them.

The board also contains spaces for the Smooth Moves deck (cards that give you buffs), the Mix It Up deck (cards that move students around the board), and one to three Challenge cards (adds difficulty to the game).

Each player is given the dance card of one of the students. These contain that student’s special ability, and their friends, rival, and dance partners. They also show the dance partners’ contacts and crushes.


On your turn, you first turn the Spin Dial and resolve its icon, which may let you draw cards, trigger effects on cards already in play, or give you free Move actions.

Then, you get to do two actions.

  • You can Move any student to an adjacent area.
  • You can Chat with one of your dance partners’ contacts.
  • You can attempt to Dance with a dance partner.

To do so, you first gather your dice pool. Which and how many dice you can use depends on your student, any challenges or other effects in play, whether your friends are around and you’ve Chatted to your partner’s contacts (add good dice), and whether your rival or your partner’s crush are around (add bad dice).

Then, you roll the dice and see if you have the right numbers and icons to meet the partner’s success criteria as stated on your dance card.

If you are not successful, you get a failure token and can’t Dance with that partner again before you get rid of it.

Finally, you can use the Nerve action to get rid of failure tokens.

Additionally, you can always play Smooth Moves cards for free, or discard them to earn extra Move actions.

In a competitive game, the player who first successfully dances with all three of their student’s dance partners wins.

In a cooperative or solo game, the game is won when all players have danced with all three partners. The game is lost if the Mix It Up deck runs out.

Play Experience & Replayability

I have enjoyed every game of Dance Card! that I've played.

I love how simple the basic gameplay is (resolve an effect, then do two actions), combined with the multitude of factors you want to align. What students you want to meet, to be beside you, to be far away, and where.

The way your student is placed in relation to other students can vastly help or hinder you and I love planning ahead and trying to strategise, while other players do the same.

I also really like how scalable the game is, both with the base components and with the Deluxe Edition expansion pieces.

How many challenges (and which) you play with, which abilities your student has, which Spin Dial you use, it can really alter the difficulty and experience of a game.

For this reason, Dance Card! is not only extremely replayable, it is also very well suited for a variety of playgroups.

Different Game Modes

I really like the differences between a game in competitive versus cooperative versus solo mode.

In competitive mode you naturally have to be constantly aware of whether the actions you want to take will unintentionally help your opponents win before you. This is especially fun when you have overlapping characters on your dance card and, for example, you need your student to Chat to your opponent’s student, but that will then give them the opportunity to do it right back.

In cooperative mode, on the contrary, you want to try and optimise your turns so it helps both yourself and your co-players, while staying aware of the depleting deck of Mix It Up cards. The pressure is real.

Which of course is similar in solo mode, only the one person who can help you win is yourself. I especially enjoyed this mode because it felt a lot like playing with a doll house, but with game mechanics. You can easily make up little stories as you go, supported by the card art and effects.


All the components of Dance Card! are beautifully illustrated and of good quality. The different icons are distinctive, and I particularly like that the four colours the students are divided into each have a specific symbol to make them easier to distinguish.

That said, with 32 standees on the board (more if you use chaperone challenge cards), it can be hard to keep track of where everyone you need is. Especially when other players and certain cards can move them between your turns.

Moreover, as all the standees are vertical, they easily get obscured by shadows.

While these aspects do emulate the feel of being at a hectic school dance, they also slow down play and make it harder to see what’s going on.

Art & Character

One of my favourite things about the game is the character designs, how every student’s personality shines through.

I also really love that while the game has no narrative aspect in the gameplay, you do feel like you get to know the students through their dance cards and the art on the Smooth Moves cards. Who likes and dislikes whom, who are in the same friend group, and who aren’t.

And I love that the students aren’t restricted in who can be their dance partners or crushes. Lots of students want to dance with or have crushes on students of the same sex, for example. Which is a really easy thing to implement but lovely to see nonetheless.

Similar Games

If you like games with a lot of standees but would like a chiller environment for them than, say, Dead of Winter, you'll enjoy Dance Card!

And if you like the sound of a music themed game of dice pool building but would like a bit more control of which dice you need and can get, you might like Battle of the Bards.

Final Thoughts

Dance Card! is a fun, vibrant game with easy starter mechanics and lots of ways to scale the difficulty and complexity. Put on your favourite dancefloor bops and let’s get dancing!

That concludes our thoughts on Dance Card. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy Dance Card today click here!

Zatu Score


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Easy starting mechanics
  • Lots of ways to scale complexity
  • Fun, colourful art

Might not like

  • Can be hard to keep track of standees, slowing turns down

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