The bird is running away! Come back!
Some years ago, a group of us who were involved in the running of a small, now defunct, games shop went on a little outing to a big toy and games fair in London. Amongst an enormous number of cool toys we discovered a little booth where a couple of folks were enthusiastically pushing their new game, Cat Attack. The demo made it look like fun and we figured that it was nice to support a new, British, game creator, especially when we were confident that we could sell a few copies.
When the game was available we got some stock in, and it did sell reasonably well. We also discovered that what looked like a fluffy family game about cats could, in the hands of the sort of people we played with, turn into a brutal, bruising battle that could take quite a while to play but was generally a lot of fun, despite a less-than-stellar rulebook.
Cat Attack has languished on the shelf for some time now, until Miss B spotted it and asked to play. We decided to strip out the rules for attacking and stealing from other cats in order to make a less confrontational game. To speed up play we also decided that the victory conditions were to collect four items instead of the usual six. This still left plenty of options, with some option to mess with the other player by controlling movement of mice and birds that they are chasing.
With these changes, the game went swimmingly and we had plenty of fun. It actually felt like a proper family game, with lots of randomness but with meaningful decisions to make each turn. Great stuff. Mind you, I have now got it into my mind that it may be fun to get a few friends together for an evening to have a “proper” play of Cat Attack, full of cat fights and burglaries…
The verdict from Miss B (aged 6): “It was OK because I didn’t really like the shops opening and closing and people stealing and stuff. I liked the way that birds were blue because usually they are just black and white or black or red and brown.” (Well, I thought it went swimmingly!)
The game: Cat Attack (Boardroom Productions), 2 to 6 players aged 8+.