I think it’s only appropriate to start this game review by saying that at various times both of my daughters have sworn that they’re going to grow up to become that weird cat lady in the neighborhood with vast numbers of cats roaming their homes freely. We do have four cats (only two of which live with me, fortunately) at this point, and they also have three dogs at their Mom’s house too, so it’s quite a menagerie!
When I bumped into a kitty collecting game called Here, Kitty, Kitty! game from Fireside Games, I knew it would be an excellent match for the craziness of our enthused pet ownership and my children’s secret quest to own every cute cat in the neighborhood. In fact, that’s exactly the theme of the game!
Here, Kitty, Kitty! is at its heart a resource collection game, but in this instance the resource are indeed cats from throughout the neighborhood — and from your neighbors houses! — and your actions are primarily defined by different action and event cards that you play on your turn or your opponents play on their turns.
Each player has a property card that is split into three zones: yard, porch and house. At the end of the game, cats that are in your house are worth 5 points each, those on the porch are worth 3 and the kitties roaming, laying around and napping in your yard? They’re worth zero points: you should have lured them into the house!
Here’s my house partway into a game, with cats galore!
Each turn the player gets two actions, which can be playing an action card, discarding a card, or moving one cat from either the central area where they all hang out (the “neighborhood”) to your yard, or one zone closer to your house (e.g., yard to porch or porch to house).
What makes the game interesting are the quite funny action cards, a few of which are shown here:
You can see that the Spay/Neuter Clinic is a good card, letting you add two cats to your porch (skipping your yard!) in a single action, and that Cat Burglar is a good one too, letting you steal a cat from your neighbors house. Yes, you have to be pretty obsessed with cats to do well in this game! And don’t despair: there are also cards that let you defend against those nasty cat burglars too.
The middle card is a bit more complicated because it lets you essentially “reserve” two cats, though they don’t move into your house and become valuable until you also later play the Adoption card to get them out of your basement and into your house proper. And there are two Foster Kittens cards and only one Adoption card, so you can easily end up with those kitties sitting in their cat beds but not being worth anything in the end game.
Indeed, here’s my board setup near the end of a game:
In the above, notice that I have two cats in the “Foster Kittens” area, so they won’t count yet. The three cats in my yard don’t count either, but I have 5 cats on my porch and two in my house, so that’d be 5*3 + 2*5 = 25 points right there. You can also get bonus points for having the most of a single color of cats (there are four colors, the game is 3-6 players), having one of each of the four breeds (colors) of cat, and bonus points for having every cat in your house be a single breed.
I gave this a trial run with my 15yo son and 12yo daughter, the latter of whom is particularly cat-lady-ready, and we all had a great time with this fast, simple game, so much so that when we finished, they immediately both asked for us to play a second game, with notably different strategies. It’s silly fun and the artwork on the cards is really excellent, making this a surprisingly entertaining little game particularly suited for younger players. Definitely recommended and a game that I’m sure will move onto the “active” shelf.
Now about all those cats…
Disclosure: Fireside Games sent us a review copy of this game. It’s available for sale on April 1, 2016. And it’s worth it, as it’s great fun!