You’re a cat. You’re hungry. There are birds in the area. Catch the birds. Steal the birds. Eat the birds. It’s not a bad life.
Publisher: DPH Games
Designer: Dan Hundycz
Artist: Stacy Baum
Artist: Courtney Boulton
Artist: Jessica Chiodo
Artist: Stacia Humby
Artist: Maciej Laszkiewicz
Artist: Sanja Mladenovic
Artist: Orban Orsolya
Artist: Vera Pavlova
Artist: German Stochero
Artist: Jose Ventura
Game Type: Bluffing
Game Type: Rock-Paper-Scissors
Initial Year of Release: 2015
Age Range: 8+
Expected Playtime: 20 min
Number of Players: 3-5
Theme and What is it?
In Cats, you’re a cat (funny how that is?). You’re hungry. There are plenty of birds about to fill your belly — big ones, little ones, funky named ones. But, it’s not just you out there preparing to feast on this smorgasboard — there are other cats out and about too with the same idea. Choose carefully otherwise your bird might get caught first by another and don’t play with your food too long or it could be stolen.
The goal of Cats is earn the most Enjoyment Points by catching, stealing, and eating birds.
Each player chooses a cat to be and takes its deck of cards and Player Aid card. The cat card is placed in front of the player to identify which cat the player is. The rest of the cat’s deck is the player’s hand (remove Taunt cards unless playing the Advanced game).
The Locale Card is placed between the players. Flip is taken out of the Bird Deck and the remaining birds are shuffled with Flip put on the bottom. A bird is set out at each location except the Fence, which is only used for 5-player games.
Cats is played in a series of rounds where the players decide on a Locale and Action to perform at that locale. A Locale could be a place on the Locale card or another cat. The available actions are Stalk, Catch, Eat, Steal, and Play. Taunt is only for an Advanced game.
Each bird has a Catch and possibly Stalk symbols on them, indicating the actions a cat needs to perform to obtain the bird, which can take multiple rounds. Once a cat has caught a bird, it has the choice to either Play with it next round to double the points or Eat it immediately for the base points.
The game ends when the last bird has been eaten or flown away.
The look of the game was intriguing and the title certainly grabbed you with its catch phrase. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this game but it was easy to pick and play.
Game Build Quality
The components are only playing cards. The cardstock isn’t as sturdy as I had hoped given it is only cards and the fact that the box the game came in is very high quality.
The art for each of the cats was great. Each one had its own personality represented in card of its deck. The bird card styles didn’t really go with the cats and I didn’t think were as good, even though they had very “punny” names that you’ll enjoy.
Cats is simple and you’ll have fun figuring which bird to get or maybe who to get that bird from. It is certainly a game of strategy and reading the other players. In this way, you certainly will play like cats. The game is limited to only this though.
Age Range & Weight
The age range is 8+ and coupled with the light weight and funny theme, Cats nails it here.
I’m kind of torn on Cats. On one hand, the art is great and the premise is funny. But the group I played with was too old to really enjoy it I think. This game would certainly shine as a diversion with young kids who are into these simple, short games that you can pick up on a whim and play once or many times. Be careful that you don’t find yourself ruining the fun by trying to think too much lest you are out-thought.
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