First Impressions - The Isle of Cats
I recently received The Isle of Cats (courtesy of @3MBG's Patreon contest), and got to play it today! I actually got to play it 1 1/2 times - once with my brother in law and got through half a game with my wife this evening (we'll finish up tomorrow). This game is so much fun! It's just simple enough that most people should have no problems with the rules, and strategic enough that pretty much anyone can enjoy it. Plus it has adorable cats.
The game is played in 5 rounds, each of which has 5 phases, but mainly it's a card drafting phase and a tile placement phase. There's interesting strategy around the card drafting - you have to pay for any cards that you keep with fish - the same resources you will use to rescue cats. The cards do various things - add scoring conditions, help rescue cats, let you take treasure, etc. They're all very clear in what they do and when you play them, etc.
So far I love this game. I can see this getting a lot of plays in the future. The gameplay is great. The theme is fun. The art and components are adorable. The rulebook is very good. There's a solo mode AND a family mode! This family mode essentially removes the drafting and makes the game a bit simpler - perfect for playing with kids or others who may find the strategy a bit difficult. In 1.5 plays so far, this game is a hit for me, and both people I've played with have really enjoyed it as well. I look forward to finishing the game tomorrow, and to playing at a higher player count some time!
Look at this punk - no respect for the rules (if you can't read it, the inside of the box says "Cat Setup: If you have a pet cat, you should place it in here while playing The Isle of Cats.")