Have you ever been jealous of your cat? Do you sometimes wish that you could cuddle all day and run around all night; steal shiny things, knock over anything that disagrees with your feline Feng Shui, and express your displeasure with destruction? Do you wish you could get away with anything by either running away or being too cute to stay mad at? Well first-time game designer Ted Dykstra, with the help of Mr. B Games and Myndzei Games, wants to make your cat chaos dreams come true with CATitude! (Yes, the exclamation point is part of the title).
Inspired by his own personal experience living with two kitties, Ted wanted to recreate that sense of mischief from a cat and human point of view. The goal of the cats is to earn the most Paw Points by Stealing, Knocking Over and Destroying items, (or just by getting Cuddles). The goal of the human is to catch a cat in the act, thus interrupting their mischief and forcing them to give up one card. Every player gets their own cat “character”, but each player also takes a turn as the human. If your cat is at risk of being caught, you have a chance to Evade. The three types of evasion are Run, Sneak or Hide. Players can also choose to Cuddle, which lets you move the human to any room and gives you one Paw Point for each cat in that room (but also allows the human to catch any cat in the middle of their Trouble action). Finally, if you can’t do anything on your turn, you can take a Cat Nap.
The thing I love about this game is how personal it is. Not only was the idea inspired by the designer’s own cats, but many of the Trouble actions were things that their cats liked to do. Even the layout of the game board is based on “the scene of the crime”, their own condominium. The artwork was originally sketched out by Ted’s wife, Javi, before being given to artist Sean Tiffany. This level of detail makes the game seem special.
Pledge levels start at $24 (USD), you get The Cat!, one copy of the game with all Stretch Goal improvements. There was also an Early Cat pledge for $21. For $30, you could get the Collector Cat, a game signed by the designer and both artists. If you have a lot of friends, you can get A Tale of Two Kitties!, two copies of the game for $48. If you are in the business of gaming, you can get the Retail Cat, three copies for $45, but you have to prove that you are a retailer to get this price. Finally, ten people pledged $100 for the privilege of getting their own cat inserted into their copy of the game: name, likeness and biography.
Speaking of cat biographies, turning cat meeples into fully described cat characters is only one of the stretch goals for this campaign. There is also a custom paint job on the human meeple, unique colour patterns on each of the cat meeples, and finally a Mystery Bonus Cat. Since the Mystery Cat was close to being unlocked as the article is being written, this means that CATtitude! has a very good chance of being a 5 player game instead of four.