- Publisher: City of Games, 2019
- Players: 1 – 4
- Time: 60 – 90 Min.
The Isle of Cats is under attack! Our competing goal is to rescue as many cats as possible and get them on our ship before it is too late. We each have a ship with seven rooms to fill with cats. The cats come in five varieties in various shapes and sizes. We need to keep in mind that cats prefer to stay in close knit families.
The game is played over five days with five phases per day. Each day, the fields are filled with cats and players 1) gather fish, 2) explore – draft cards, 3) read lessons (goal cards), 4) rescue cats, and 5) gain rare treasures. Each phase is easy to teach and to play. Phase 1 provides players with 20 fish. Fish is how you pay for things. Phase 2: draft cards two at a time until each player has a hand of 7, pay for any you want to keep and play and discard what you don’t pay for. Phase 3: from your hand, place any lesson cards labeled private face down in your player area and any labeled public face up for everyone to see. Private lessons are secret goals to achieve and score at game end. Public lessons are goals that anyone can achieve and score at game end. Phase 4: rescue cats. Use the baskets on your rescue cards to claim a cat from the fields. Pay for that cat and place it in your ship. You’ll want to cover the rats, completely fill each room, and not forget to keep those cat families together in order to maximize your points. Phase 5 is an opportunity to play any wild cat cards and treasure cards you have. The Oshax cat cards gain you a wild cat to place in your ship. It belongs to any cat family you choose. Treasure cards gain you a treasure tile to be placed in your ship. These help to fill those empty rooms and can gain end of game points.
Scoring happens after 5 rounds. Uncovered rats score negative points as do unfilled rooms. Cat families are scored based on their size. A cat family consist of at least three cats of the same variety and are horizontally or vertically adjacent to each other. The bigger the family the bigger the points. All other cats not making up a qualified family do not score. Add in points for rare treasures and points gained through private goals and public goals to see who is the winner.
With great artwork, Isle of Cats adds together a puzzle of how to get those various shaped cats into a family grouping along with a variety of mechanics that include card drafting, resource management, and goal achievement into a smooth and fun family level game. It plays well at 2, 3, and 4 players.
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