Moods of the Mad King: Revised Edition Review

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Quick Look: Moods of the Mad King: Revised Edition

Designer:  Alan Bahr, Kessey Wright

Artists: Robert Denton, Dani Powers
Publisher: Pine Box Entertainment
Year Published: 2021

No. of Players: 2-4

Ages: 10+

Playing Time: 10-15 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com  

From the Publisher:

Moods of the Mad King: Revised Edition is a micro-game for 2 to 4 players, where the players assume the role of a playwright in the court of The Mad King! The Mad King demands a play to suit his current feelings, but with his ever-changing moods and propensity for beheadings, all the playwrights are stealing secrets from each other and scrambling to gather information from those close to the king in order to create the perfect play!

When playing Moods of the Mad King, each Playwright will try to collect matching sets of genres. The King has 4 Moods, each corresponding to a different genre: Brooding (Drama), Joyous (Comedy), Lamenting (Tragedy), and Devoted (Romance).

You will try to collect Acts of matching genres to complete a set. The more your set matches, the more points you get, and more your set matches the King’s Mood at the end of the game, the more points you get!

Moods of the Mad King: Revised Edition brings major updates to the core game and includes the Muses expansion.

Disclaimer: The publisher provided the copy of Moods of the Mad King: Revised Edition. The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.


I was one of those rare students, it seems, that liked to read Shakespeare. I was always fond of his works and how timeless they truly are. I am also a fan of small, fast playing games. So, when these worlds collide, I was all for it! Can this simple card game be what I dreamed of it being?

Rules & Setup:

To start, deal a mood card facedown in the middle of the table. This is the King’s current mood. Next, deal one (or two if playing 2-player) mood card to each player. Each player will know that this one in their hand is NOT the King’s mood. Then, deal each player one Muse card. This is the muse that the player must make happy as well. Deal each player the amount of Action cards based on player count. Finally, shuffle and place the Play cards on The Show Begins card, leaving the curtains visible.

Theme and Mechanics:

The theme of Shakespearian time and playwrighting comes through with the game play and the artwork. Making a play with three acts, or cards, keeps with that theme. The mechanics of adding acts and sabotaging also fits with the theme.


On a turn, the playwright will draw a Play card and decide to either place it into their play or place it into an opponent’s play. If the latter is done, the playwright may play one Action card following its printed action. A play can only have three acts, or cards, in it. So, any additional ones require that one currently in the play be discarded. Once all the Play cards have been drawn, it is time for the show to begin.

Each player reveals their finalized play and their Muse. The mood of the Mad King is made known. As stated in the rules, if a playwright does not match the Mood of the Mad King, the playwright is beheaded, and they lose. If the play does not match their muse, they lose their patron, and they lose. If a playwright matches both, they win. It is possible for more than one playwright to win or for everyone to lose. The King is just that mad!

Artwork and Components:

The artwork is very simple and 100% spot on. I loved the simplicity and the consistency. The Mood and Play cards are easily matched. The Muse cards are all different “characters”, and each are very cute. The Muses are also easy to match with the required Play card. The Action cards all have a different scene depicted on them. The cards are a nice quality tarot size. This allows for a nice big picture, and some room for readable text.

The Good:

Moods of the Mad King is a very simple game to teach. You can teach it as you set it up. You can be playing it in less than 5 minutes, and it plays in about 15 minutes or less. It is a cute game, light-hearted, and just enough strategy in when to play which Action card. I found that I was not utilizing these enough or at the correct time. The Action cards should really be the focus of all players. These can seriously disrupt everyone, or they can save your play!

The Other:

I feel that this game has limited replay-ability. It is a game that is easy to teach, fast to table, and well-liked. It will, however, get stale after a few dozen plays (get it? “plays”). It would be nice to have on hand for playing with younger people or while waiting on the rest of your group to show up, but I do not think that you will have people demanding to play it every game night.

Final Thoughts:

While Moods of the Mad King is no deep thought-provoking game, it does elicit a smile and is fun to play. Sadly, it does not have the re-“play”-ability that will keep me coming back to it. I enjoyed it, and I will share with my many groups, especially those with younger players. It would also make for a fun game for English teachers to have on hand when the students don’t want to read King Lear or Hamlet.

Players Who Like: Shakespeare, plays, simple fast card games, games for a younger audience

After reading Adam’s review, if this sounds like a game for you it is available HERE.

Check out Moods of the Mad King: Revised Edition and Pine Box Entertainment on:


Adam Collins – Reviewer

Adam Collins plays many games. Too many games if you ask his wife. Not enough games if you ask his kids. Adam also designs games for his publishing company Bearded Board Games. He also runs a podcast, Eat Lunch and Board Game, where he reviews games on their merits include their ability to be played over a lunch hour. He also interviews other people involved in various facets of the board gaming community: designers, podcasters, authors, cross stitch designers. He grew up playing games, revived the passion ten years ago, and hasn’t turned back.

See Adam’s reviews HERE.

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