|Players:||1 - 4 players|
|Time:||60 - 90 minutes|
The Isle of Cats is a competitive, medium-weight, card-drafting, polyomino cat-placement board game for 1-4 players (6 with expansions).
You are citizens of Squalls End on a rescue mission to The Isle of Cats and must rescue as many cats as possible before the evil Lord Vesh arrives. Each cat is represented by a unique tile and belongs to a family, you must find a way to make them all fit on your boat while keeping families together.
You will also need to manage resources as you:
- Explore the island (by drafting cards)
- Rescue cats
- Find treasures
- Befriend Oshax
- Study ancient lessons
Each lesson you collect will give you another personal way of scoring points, and there are 38 unique lessons available.
Complete lessons, fill your boat, and keep cat families together to score points, the winner will be the player with the most points after five rounds.
This game is amazing. With elements of so many good games - card drafting (pick a card, pass them to the next person), economy (to spend or save Those fish?), tile laying (got to cover those rats and fill that room), private and public scoring opportunities- so much to do and so much fun! Simple enough to learn that my 9yr old can play, this game is often requested at the table!
If I could give six stars, I would do it here. This is a fantastic game, that seemingly effortlessly combines several mechanics into one slick package. Card drafting, turn order change, polyomino laying, resource management, side missions ... it's all in there.
And yet it's easy to pick up, with a very clear rulebook (with some nice story text), and effective reminders on the playing boards. (Some of these could have been colour-coded better... But that's a minor gripe.)
But the depth is huge. Every game is remarkably different, depending on what missions ('lessons') you end up with. They shape your game hugely, which is just great.
Components are very nice, from the sturdy box to the little wooden cats to the luxurious cards to the linen polyomino bag. Artwork is nice, but doesn't get in the way. I recommend baggies to separate the 'family mode' cards and the 'solo play' cards from the regular play ones. (Solo mode looks really good, but I haven't played it yet...)
Sure the commodity you are 'rescuing' could be anything. Coloured gems, seashells, whatever. But it's CATS, and that is a very clever move. Everyone I introduce to this game LOVES it. A must-have.