The Cones Of Dunshire Is Calling, ‘Parks And Rec’ Fans! Learn To Play

Deirdre Kaye
·3 min read

Forget Friends. Forget The Office. In our minds, the world’s greatest show was Parks and Recreation. We loved quirky Leslie Knope’s silly but sincere compliments. And we lived for anything that came out of Ron Swanson‘s mouth. Everything about Parks and Rec was fun, even during its deeper moments. No matter how silly or wild the show got, there was a realness and sincerity to each character that proved hard to ignore.

You can’t mention “silly or wild” aspects of Parks and Rec, though, without mentioning The Cones of Dunshire. After Leslie gets Ben fired from Sweetums, our favorite nerd has some time on his hands. You may remember the first time he was fired, which led to his subsequent foray into claymation. This time, however, he only had a week before starting his new job. So, his whims took him in a whole new direction — creating his own fun game. Behold, The Cones of Dunshire.

Cones Of Dunshire Game GIF
Cones Of Dunshire Game GIF

What is The Cones of Dunshire about?

It’s all about The Cones. To quote Ben, “Four cones wins, but in order to get a cone you have to build a civilization… which is where the Spirit Cards come in.” (The Parks And Rec writers clearly played on their love for the popular game Settlers of Catan when penning this episode.) If you’re wondering whether the cones are metaphors, we’ll defer to the game’s neurotic creator once more: “Well, yes and no.”

Who can play?

This game was clearly invented pre-coronavirus. You need 8-12 players to play. For those keeping track, that’s even more than it takes to play Catan.

Playable Characters

  • Ledgerman (basically the scorekeeper, but he gets to wear a “cool” hat)

  • 2 Wizards

  • 1 Maverick

  • 1 Corporal

  • 1 Arbiter

  • 2 Warriors*

Other Character Options

  • Farmers

  • Shamans

  • Alchemists

  • Deniers

  • Abbots

  • So, so many more

*You can play the game with just one warrior… but why? It’s not as much fun.

How do you play The Cones of Dunshire?

The rules are literally endless. Ben’s mind is like a labyrinth, and that’s never more truly obvious than when he explains The Cones of Dunshire. Even the uber-nerds at Gryzzl weren’t able to learn all the rules, which is why Ben was able to challenge them to a game, beat them, and subsequently earn free wifi for the entire town of Pawnee.

Is Cones of Dunshire a real game?

Cones Of Dunshire Game GIF: Ben
Cones Of Dunshire Game GIF: Ben

Bad news, nerds — you can’t actually buy Cones of Dunshire. After the success of the episode, coupled with the love for Parks And Rec, there were tons of rumors about a possible tangible game to buy. There was even a Kickstarter to fund the project.

Moreover, Settlers of Catan’s makers, who originally helped create Cones, were just as interested in the endeavor. In 2015, they developed a giant playable version of the game for GenCon. They auctioned off spots in the game, with all of the money going to charity. While many expected that it was only a matter of time before the game was mass-produced and made available for sale, it hasn’t come to fruition… yet.

Can you still play?

The rules are just so convoluted and never-ending that it seems impossible. Then again, New Girl fans ran into a similar roadblock with attempting True American, the drinking game played by the roommates on multiple occasions. Using some of the rules named in episodes and then filling in the blanks, though, fans have been able to play their own versions of True American.

There’s absolutely no reason you can’t do the same thing with Cones of Dunshire. With a little creativity, attention to detail, and a bit of determination, you could make your own Cones of Dunshire. After all, Ben’s original design literally featured spray-painted styrofoam cones. But if you pull it off, just please post pictures!

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