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.")

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4 months ago

You have convinced me to look into this more. I have had cats my whole life and my wife and I have a cat that we love, plus the polyominos are enticing and similar to Patchwork, which we love! Thanks for the write up!

4 months ago

Awesome! Cat pic plz

4 months ago

4 months ago

Haha, what a goober

4 months ago

I have other cutes pics of her but this is my favorite lol. I prefer the goofy stuff!

4 months ago

Lol I'm the same way

4 months ago

Glad you're liking it :)

Supporter4 months ago

Cool! And that cat is such a rebel. 

4 months ago

What a punk! Our cat is the same...lol.  One frustration we ran into playing with four players was the randomness of cards and how you can end up with a round where you get no cats and don't get a basket.  This could be accepted as random but whenever one of us was impacted (generally someone was every game), that factor meant the player with one bad round never won (generally scoring quite a bit lower than the other players).  

The house rule we devised (untested as of yet but seems like it will work) is to separate the deck into three stacks (green cats, yellow and brown cards, and blue and purple cards).  Each player gets three green, 2 yellow/brown, 2 blue/purple).  We still draft as usual and there is still some measure of luck involved but the barrier of having a rough round due to a back draw is mitigated quite a bit.

Great game!  We are taking it with us on family vacation.

4 months ago

I could believe that. We'll see how we feel about that after a few plays. And wow, family vacation? Such a big box to take traveling!

Supporter4 months ago

More like family vacation? We had to cancel ours due to the virus. 

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