First Impression - Isle of Cats
#The Isle of Cats has been around for a bit and I (like a good cat) have generally ignored it. Outside of the cat theme nothing really grabbed me about this game. Time and other games went by and the pandemic led me to look at things that I might not have otherwise and I found myself watching Rodney Anderson's teach on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA5S64rip4M
Honestly, what prompted me to pull the plug on this was the box lid where you can put your cat and we had just recently gotten a cat and I knew the kids would get a kick out of that.
My first surprise with this game was my daughter asking to play the same day it arrived. Usually the kids don;t care what game I get in the mail. My guess is she thought the cat theme looked fun. This was also the first game that my family learned together without my playing through it a few times. I did read the rules the night before, but other than that we worked out the kinks on the fly.
Impression #1: I didn't think it would be as fun as it was to place the cats. This reminds me of Azul a bit but with more of a Tetris feel given the shape of the cats
Impression #2: Its hard to do what you want to do. I've lost both of the first two games though I did better the second time. Having a large cat family is good and scores the most points but watching those public lessons and private lessons and working toward those is key as well. You can only capture about 2-4 cats per round and there are only 5 rounds. I'd say an average haul is about 12 cats (sometimes you won't get the cards you want)
Impression #3: Lots of point salad with up to five cat families, treasures, and rats and empty spaces/rooms scoring takes a while
Impression #4: My daughter said its her favorite game. We played a second game the next day. The table and game are set up for a third game already! This one may start competing with #Wingspan for number of plays.
Impression #4: I didn't think the card drafting would be such an important aspect of the game but it's huge. You must draft well. This also will lead you toward spending more fish to keep cards!
Overall I was impressed with this game and it runs smooth with 5 rounds feeling just about right and leaving you with wanting more. Sometimes the cards can really mess up your strategy and I'd love to see a few more that give a little control over that, but I'd say that's average in general.