To me, there’s something inherently and delightfully old-fashioned about sitting down around a table and playing a face-to-face game. What else feels inherently and delightfully old-fashioned? Why, the lolita lifestyle, of course! There are a lot of very cool modern board games and card games that exist, but not all of them really feel that lolita to me. Games about spelunking (The Cave) or kaiju beating one another up (King of Tokyo) might be a lot of fun to play, but I don’t think that they would remind anyone of lolita-ness.
It turns out I’m not the only one who’s thought of lolita-themed board games. There was even a thread on EGL back in 2009 about making a lolita board game, but it was just a fun sort of thought experiment and they weren’t serious about actually making a physical game. However, there are a lot of games that do exist which are appropriately themed. The following is a compilation of six “lolita” games, three of which are proper, published games available for purchase and three of which are lolita-specific redesigned versions of existing games.
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This is a card game that you can play with 2-6 players.You can go to boardgamegeek.com to download the rules, read reviews, see images, and generally find a lot more information about Parade. This particular version of Parade is Alice in Wonderland-themed. The art on the cards is really beautiful, and I love that they even include the Dodo. I’ve seen people online complain that they feel that the game has nothing to do with Alice, but I really think that the theme fits. It’s fun to see these characters forming a kooky parade to nowhere. There isn’t any in-game text that you need to read, so everyone can play the game without any sort of reading or language/translation difficulties.
Here’s what a 2-player game of Parade looked like close to the end:
If you’re interested in getting a feel for this game, you can watch this 20-minute video below. It’s my favorite overview of the game that I’ve seen.
I really like this game. I think it’s easy to understand but harder to learn how to play well. I think this sort of game is normally called “deceptively simple.” It works well as a game with only two or three people. With the ability to seat up to six people, though, I think that this game might be great to bring to smaller meet-ups when everyone could play.
Like with most simple card games, you don’t actually need to buy it to play. If you want to try this game out before/without buying this specific version, it’s possible to stitch together a deck of 66 cards using two different-looking packs of regular cards to create the six suits if you count the Ace as 1, the Jack as 10, and the Queen as 0. There are also some re-themed versions available to print out and play for free. Still, it’s really the Alice in Wonderland theme that makes this game feel lolita-esque to me.
This is a game about setting up tea for 2-4 people. I’ve heard that the game actually drags unpleasantly with four people, though, so I would stick with playing Elevenses with either two or three people. It’s a game that you play with cards, but it feels more like a board game to me because of all the specialized rules about placement and scoring.The game is played in rounds, after which the player(s) with the best tea party earns some sugar cubes, and you play several rounds until one person gets seven sugar cubes total.
The following video is a quick, 7-minute overview of how the game plays. Alternatively, you could look on boardgamegeek for more information.
The art on the box (and the art on the special guest cards that are optional) depicts people from the 1920s. That’s not my favorite aesthetic (and it doesn’t seem very lolita to me), but I do like the art on the regular cards. It’s a small game, but I like how the creators implemented the theme in small details, like calling your hand of cards a “kitchen” and having the grid of face-down cards form your “tablecloth.” Unless you have a very small comm, I don’t really think that this is a game you can just bring to meet-ups willy-nilly because of the small player count. If you have one or two lolita friends that you see outside of meet-ups, though, I think that this would be a very fun little game for you to have.
Piece o’ Cake
In German, this game is called “…aber bitte mit Sahne” (but with whipped cream, please). Oddly enough, those two titles combine to tell you how the game plays and is scored. If you’re interested in seeing how to play, you can watch this very quick video below or check it out on boardgamegeek.com.
I like the idea of using a cake stand with this game to hold the “unmade” cakes, and just to add a bit more dimension to the game. It’s a fairly quick game with a good bit of strategy. My issues with this game are all aesthetic. The cakes look a lot more like pie to me, and I wish that they were thicker so that they actually looked like crazy cakes when assembled. In addition to mostly looking like pie, one of the cakes specifically looks more like pizza to me, especially because the cakes are flat. I know that I’m being petty, but there isn’t much else to talk about with Piece o’ Cake.
Still, it’s a pretty good game about making/collecting and eating cake. That’s delightful! If you’re ever in meetups with 2-5 people, I’m sure that this would be a big hit.
This is a game version that I redid. I say that, but I really just spent a couple of days working in Photoshop using pictures from Google Images.
This was a fun little project that I did when I had some free time, and I paid to get a custom deck printed. Instead of the four primary colors, I used classic, gothic, sweet, and oldschool lolita as the “suits.”
I’m pleased with my project, and I think the game is a lot of fun. Then again, I like regular Uno a lot, too.
It might be “cheating” a little to include this particular game here, since you can’t buy it or print out a free copy for yourself, unlike the other games on this list. You could always just make your own version, though, using whatever pictures you like. Uno is a really easy game to modify with a theme. I think that using pictures of your comm members might be a cool way to personalize this sort of concept if you want to play it at meets. The regular Uno rules say that you can play with 2-10 people, but you can run out of cards at the higher player counts. You might want to smash together two decks to instead play with 7-14 people.
Cards Against Lolitas
Milky Fawn made this custom deck-expansion for Cards Against Humanity. She talks about it briefly on her blog.
Here’s a video of them testing it out, in case you haven’t seen it already. If you don’t like vulgarity, don’t watch this video. Then again, you shouldn’t be playing any version of Cards Against Humanity if you don’t like vulgarity.
A lot of people found that the cards were funnier when they were mixed up with regular Cards Against Humanity cards. I agree, and I was able to get my housemates to enjoy playing a game with some of the less lolita-specific cards, like “showing knees *gasp!*,” “a DIY project gone unforgivably wrong,” and “farting in a petticoat.”
The whole deck expansion (possibly with some additions) is on Cardcast if you want to just look through the cards or print them out. MC Melody Doll has her own expansion, too. The last big expansion I found was created by the Milwaukee Lolita Society. I couldn’t actually find their deck on Cardcast, but they have all the cards in a list here. I was able to go through all of these collections and write the more mainstream-friendly ones on extra blank cards to add them to our deck that way. If you go through all of the different lists, you’ll find a lot of overlap, but that’s to be expected.
Cards Against Humanity in general can be played with lots of people at once, although it still might not be the best game to play with your lolita community. I think it all depends on the individual people in your comm and what everyone’s sense of humor is like. I really despise a lot of the actual Cards Against Humanity cards and think that they are unfunny mood-killers, but someone else might think that those same cards are the best in the whole game.
This is just super cool. Misirlou of the blog Frou Frous made this. She even has a whole section of her blog dedicated to the resources and instructions you’ll need to print out and assemble your very own copy of Lolitopoly. I had a copy of Monopoly that we never played, so I took it over and turned it into my own copy of Lolitopoly. Since I think most people know how to play Monopoly, this little blurb is going to be a review of this particular print-and-play version.
The game pieces are so adorable, but they have a bit of trouble standing on their own. I put paperclips on their bases to give them some more weight, but the lolita pawns we were playing with still blew away and fell over when I sneezed during the game. In the printables linked above, there are also some uncolored pieces so you could customize them before or after printing them out.
Here’s what the board looked like halfway through a 2-player game:
Since I was able to take over a normal game of Monopoly to make this version, I spray-painted all the original houses and hotels black and pink to match the design of the board. I don’t actually know what the print-and-play equivalents of these buildings are supposed to be. There were some minor snafus I ran into while assembling my copy. Firstly, I had to bump up the saturation of the $50 bills in Photoshop because the printer was making the color for the $20 bills and the unaltered $50 bills look identical. Secondly, the size of the Lolitopoly board was slightly smaller than the Monopoly board I was covering, so I have a number of seams where I fudged the placement, but that’s not too noticeable. My boyfriend did not like that the $1 bills were smaller than the others, but I didn’t care about that. He was also a bit frustrated that the Brand (original = Property) cards did not have the mortgage values on the back. I affixed all my Brand, Chance, and Luck (original = Community Chest) cards to cardstock, so I’ll probably make that alteration soon. I also want to go in with some light watercolor and color the backs of the Luck and Chance cards.
For the most part, Lolitopoly is identical to Monopoly. There were some changes to the regular game rules that made Lolitopoly absolutely brutal, though. You can actually see all the changes in the pictures below:
Customs Fees are $200 (the original Luxury Tax is $75), and the Bad Exchange Rate is a flat $200 (but the original Income Tax is either 10% OR $200, which is much more affordable). My boyfriend and I found our $200 payday completely voided several times in the game. The Secondhand Shops (original = Railroads) are only $25 in Lolitopoly, potentially to compensate for the more expensive hazards, but my boyfriend insisted on playing with them costing the original $200, so everything was very expensive in our game. Lastly, look at that ridiculous Chance card. In case the picture is broken when you’re reading this post, it says “Mr. Yan’s New Bride: Should’ve read that contract! Lose $500 during your hasty escape.” I pulled this card, and it was crippling. Thematically, it made an odd kind of sense since I had just pulled a “Pilgrimage to Japan” card, but it was painful.
The theme was very oddly fitting. For about half the game (going around the board, buying Brands, paying Customs Fees and Bad Exchange Rates, and getting a $200 Payday), it really felt like building up a lolita wardrobe and buying more pieces with a part-time salary. (That’s the half of the game that I really loved.) Paying rent after landing on another player’s Brand space and putting houses and hotels on the spaces felt like regular Monopoly, though.
All in all, I think it’s a pretty successful re-theme. Unless you hate Monopoly, I think that this version is worth printing out and playing.
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Well, readers, do any of those games seem fun to you? I tried to pick out games that generally felt lolita-esque. Of course, you could also play several old games like Whist, Cribbage, Old Maid, and Charades, and have a classic 19th-century parlor game night. Additionally, you could add any of the many wonderful gothic or horror-themed board games out there (like Gloom, Mysterium, Letters from Whitechapel, and Fury of Dracula) for a night of gothic lolita gaming. I honestly don’t know what I would recommend for a sweet lolita game night, though. It’s just so far out of my element that I can really only think of playing children’s games like Candyland. (I don’t know that I’d recommend that, though. I love the idea of Candyland, but I’ve never actually had fun playing it.)