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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

It's in the cards

Just in time for Christmas, I’ve become aware of the existence of not one but two new-ish (less than two years old) Jane Austen-related card games: Jane Austen’s Matchmaker, designed by Richard Wolfrik Galland; and Marrying Mr. Darcy, designed by Erika Svanoe.

I haven’t ordered either of these for myself yet – consider that a hint if you’re still looking for my holiday gift – but judging from their web sites, they seem to mine similar territory.

Both are designed to mimic the Regency marriage mart, with players helping Jane Austen’s women compete for marriage proposals from eligible suitors. Beauty, charm, wit, virtue and wealth are the currencies of choice, and spinsterhood the fate worse than death.

Marrying Mr. Darcy appears to concentrate on Pride and Prejudice (with a special Undead Expansion Pack for those who prefer their P&P with zombies), while Jane Austen’s Matchmaker mixes and matches characters from all the novels (“Imagine Mr. Darcy proposing to Emma Woodhouse or the scandalous Willoughby eloping with Fanny Price!” the home page suggests. Eek! The mind boggles.)

Austen gaming is nothing new – I’ve blogged before about Austen apps and video games, and I’ve owned a Pride and Prejudice board game for years – but for those Janeites who, unlike Anne “I am no card-player” Elliot, prefer their games old-fashioned and portable, these two may be worth a look.

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