Stepping outside of my usual role of covering the MLP Comic scene today.

    Partly because with the end of the monthly Friendship is Magic comic series, I have less to write. But also partly because there's this card game that has been making its presence known on the MLP Con circuit these last few years, that I think everyone would really get a kick out of.

    Especially since it's a very easy game to learn. Hard game to master. It's a game that is extremely fast paced, super fun, and one of the highlights of the convention experience.

    What game am I talking about? Why Prance of course!

    You'll be able to check out my full review after the break!

    So what is Prance?

    Well, Prance is a card game based on Slapjack. It's a 54 card deck. The object of the game is to win all the cards. 

    Only… you're not just slapping the jack whenever he shows up.

    To begin the dealer deals out the deck face down to all players in the game.

    Starting at the dealer's left, each player tosses the top card of their deck into the center pile. This continues a challenge card or the jack shows up.

    What is a challenge card?

    Glad you asked. A challenge card is that forces the next player to play their next card, with the caveat they either need to slap a jack or place their own challenge card down in response. If the player fails to meet the challenge, the player who played the challenge card wins all the cards in the pile.

    There are 4 different types of challenge cards, with each type determining how many chances the next player has to meet the challenge.
    • Alicorn = 1 Chance
    • Villains = 2 Chances
    • Mane 6 = 3 Chances
    • Parasprite = 4 Chances
    In the above example, the player to the dealer's right played an Alicorn challenge card. So the dealer had to either "slap a jack" or play another challenge card.

    The dealer played a parasprite challenge card. So the player to the dealer's left has to lay down 4 cards and hopes they can play their challenge card or… 

    …get into a position where you can slap a jack.

    Now, how do you slap a jack in this game?

    By matching two symbols on the face of the card. Like for instance these two guard cards the player on the dealer's right tossed into the pile…

    … resulting in a slap.

    The key thing about slaps in Prance is this: anyone can slap when the conditions are met. 

    Those conditions being:
    • Two cards of the same suit show up one after the other
    • Two cards of the same suit separated by one card between them. 
    First person to slap the card wins the pile.

    And to answer the next question, yes you can slap challenge cards if they meet the above criteria.

    Furthermore, when I say anyone can slap, I mean anyone can slap. Even someone who either did start the game with the rest of the players… or someone who has already been eliminated by losing all of their cards.

    The latter is very important when it comes to convention tournament play.

    There are 13 suits in a game of Prance. All are made up of four cards each, with the exception of the Mane 6, which has 5 cards.

    Spike serves as the game's joker.

    You can probably guess what the remaining suits represent just by looking at the symbols and the characters featured on them. 

    Yes, I did put my favorite from each set up at the front of each suit. Why do you ask?

    On its own, this is a fantastic game to play with friends after a long day.

    Doesn't matter if it is a long day at the convention or a long day at work. This game is fun.

    But that's not where the beauty of this game comes into play.

    For you see the above is a standard 54 card deck of Prance cards. Below…

    …and on the right you have that same 54 card deck, plus a good majority of the expansion cards (at least all the ones currently for sale) that you an use to customize your game.

    And there are a lot of them.

    Like a Fallout Equestria expansion featuring Little Pip, Velvet Remedy, Black Jack, and Rampage.

    Or franchise specific additions like the Student Six, the Gen 4 villains, or even the Gen 5 mane characters!

    Please note the villains are sold as individually as single cards, but they just fit so well together I couldn't help but pose them in this shot.

    Yes, the Generation Five set was created before Zipp was revealed. 

    Lots of Kirin and Nirik cards. 

    All of which make Sethisto very happy since he STILL has a crush on Autumn Blaze.

    Lots of changeling cards!

    Little bit of trivia, these changeling cards all the same 4 characters. Just pre and post reformation. Which explains why they are all mirrors of each other.

    Yes, I did just realize that wonderful meta joke. Why do you ask?

    Another really cool aspect of the game is the sheer number of convention mascots that have been featured for it!

    Basically the mascots for every pony convention Prance has been available at has had a card made for it.

    There are event some conventions with mascot representation that haven't had a physical appearance thanks to the pandemic! Looking squarely as Ponyfest Online's Bit Rate for that one.

    How many mascots can you identify? And more importantly, which convention do you want @PranceGame to show up next?

    An expansion featuring 4 more OC characters. 

    And then 4 more one off cards featuring both canon guest stars and background ponies!

    Wait that last one is me! And I know Trusty isn't for sale… but this done bring up one more thing that truly makes this truly special.

    The makers of Prance allow just about anyone to custom order cards designs. 

    Like for instance these well known analysts (and one off Prance Mascot Pearl Dragon).

    Or these happy fellows who are people in the fandom and friends of mine.

    This is what really makes the game special. Anyone can custom order cards for Prance. You can add your OC to the game. You can add your friends OCs to the game.

    You can play cards with your friends, quite literally in both cases.

    It creates a little bit of magic that quite frankly I've only found before in Table Top Role Playing Games. You can put yourself and your friends in the game.

    That is undeniably cool.

    Now I just have to convince some of my other friends to commission original cards as well. Oh Gameleon, Calpain, and Sethisto!

    Seth, Trixie already has a card. Same with Autumn Blaze. Radiant Hope does not but I think you're missing the point…

    You could always do what I did after I picked up the Student 6 expansion at Everfree Northwest last year and recreate a screenshot from the cartoon in card form.

    That will never not be cool.

    There are a few special cards for the game that cannot be obtained by simply buying them. Like these Alicorn cards for instance.

    One of them was a prize for reaching the semi-finals in Everfree Northwest's 2021 Prance tournament!

    The other is… well, special and holds a dear place in my heart.

    Now what about that second deck of cards that was featured at the top? 

    One of the Prance decks is clearly themed to ponies, but what about the other one?

    Turns out that one is themed to Furries.

    Anthro Furries to be specific. The game plays the exact same way, and yet because all of these characters are original characters, it's actually harder to play.

    You have to pay more attention to the symbols of the card to see if you can slap instead of just identifying the characters on sight.

    Though the more you end up playing the game the better you'll get at recognizing which characters are the challenge cards, why dragons are a pain in the neck, and why you should never ever confuse songbirds with birds of prey.

    @PranceGame can attest to how many times I've made a false slap on that combo.

    Yes, @PranceGame has kicked my butt playing this game more than anyone else on the planet as MyLittleTies can attest to.

    Like the original version of Prance, there are expansions to furry prance to further customize your game! 

    There's an expansion dedicated to Eva multi-colored post-apocalyptic giant monster fighting robots. 

    And a random assortment of anthro Fallout characters. I love how varied their designs are.

    Speaking of characters, there are a few OCs shared between the two versions…

    …like this pony dragon Lux. Who currently has three cards to his name! Which is the highest number of cards dedicated to one character in the game. Neat!

    So do I recommend this game? Yes, yes I absolutely do. Consider following their twitter account @PranceGame to find out what cons they are going to be at so you can pick it up in person.

    Or potentially commission a  custom card.

    Or you can order it online if you need to get your hands on the game now.