Created by: Reiner Knizia, Roberta Barletta, Daniele Barletta, Didier Guiserix
Published by: ABACUSSPIELE, dV Giochi, Mayfair Games
"The king is desperate! The whole court is attending the joust, and no one is working in the castle. The king really needs a helper!".
Apparently he is attempting to do all the jobs of court, and making a mess of them. This card game simulates (in the loosest possible use of that term) his ludicrous efforts.
A bag of road pieces is mixed up, and several are drawn out at the beginning of each of the three rounds in a game (the total drawn is equal to the number of players minus one).
For example, in a six player game, we would draw fifteen road tiles and place them in three groups of five - for each of the three rounds; placing the roads in order from longest to shortest (they are all of a different size).
A deck of cards is shuffled and evenly dealt to each of the players. Cards are numbered from "1" to "3" and are in one of five suits (painting - purple, cooking - orange, music - green, fighting - red, and magic - blue).
There are also five "ring-around-the-rosey" cards, and five "jester" (wild) cards that are either "1" or "2" value. One player is chosen to go first (and is given a king token), and then play continues clockwise around the table.
On a player's turn, they must choose one card form their hand and play it face up in front of any player, even themselves. The first card in front of a player may be any color; after that, all cards played must be either the same color or a "wild" card.
A player also has the option of playing one of the "ring-around-the-rosey" cards, which causes players to pass all face up cards in front of them to the player on their left.
After the third round, players line up their road pieces next to a castle wall token, and the player with the shortest road is the winner! (closest to the King). The King token is used to break ties.