There are two types of people in the world. Those who love to pet a good kitty cat, and liars. It's inevitable that when you pass a cat you'll feel the need to "pspspsps" at them to entice their love and devotion to you. And 99% of the time you’ll get rejected. Cats have class you see, they don't fraternise with us common folk. Some cats do take pity on us and allow us to engage with them, and some even let us live on their homes and sit on their sofas. Such generous beasts.
No one wants that feeling of rejection when making an eclectic array of noises in a cat's direction. And you certainly don't want the last second rejection as they walk on by! This can only mean that clear competition is in order! Should you and your co-kitty-petters feel the need to decide who is the most favoured by these furry gods, you need to establish this through the only acceptable means available. Cat Café by Alley Cat Games is a wonderfully enjoyable roll and write centred around attracting the most cats to pet!
The game takes place in a Cat Café (who'd have thunk it!) and involves making your area the most appealing to the cats there. To do so, you need to decorate it with food bowls, butterfly toys, little squeaky mice, cushions, cat houses, and balls of yarn. But you can't just lump it all in the corner and pray! No chance! You need to place these in the most functionally appealing manner. Coincidentally, this is how you score points.
Cat Café runs a dice drafting mechanic with one more die than the number of players. Each die result corresponds to an item that cats will find appealing. Placed in the right spot or in the right order and its effectiveness will be tenfold! Each turn, a player rolls the dice and drafts one die, and then the next until all but one remain. All players draft this die, meaning they all place it.
Like in many roll and writes, players can alter the results drafted. Players can increase or decrease values by as many 'Paws' as they're willing to use. Paws are collected by not placing a drafted die or by placing a butterfly toy. Once all die results have been placed the next player rolls all the dice. This continues until one player has filled three columns. At this point scoring takes place and the player with the highest score pets the most kitty cats.
How It Handles
Halcyon. You'll forget all your troubles and worries, arguments will vanish and you'll feel at peace. Coincidentally, exactly what it feels like when a cat chooses to sit on your lap! Our gaming group are tremendously vocal. We're very different to one another and have big opinions and bigger voices. If we aren't calling the shots or smack talking, we're laughing and pointing. Cat Café is one of the few games we're near silent in, and it's because we're entranced by the game. We still comment on the dice taken and make a show of the scores, but everyone’s at peace during play. Cat Café is a tremendously mindful experience!
Cat Café has the potential for a lot of tactics based on item placement and doesn't forgive sloppiness. Much like a cat. You need to use the cushions to their point focus and ensure food bowls are specifically placed. Players can not place things foolishly! Any unwanted goods should be swapped for Paws or amended using Paws.
It took us a game or two to fully grasp the mechanics of scoring each individual item. Some need to be sequentially next to one-another, some need to be uniquely surrounded, some score based on current numbers. We found it easiest to do it all together as a group the first few times as it can be tricky to get immediately. But don't be fooled! We didn’t find scoring an added complication. Once we’d gotten our heads around it, it was a breeze! However, the fact you score each item uniquely means you'll be more conscious of the placement of your squeaky mice and food bowls. Your score will be directly affected by the choices made and not the randomness of the dice.
Cat Café is one of our go to roll and writes when we're wanting to game but need to relax. It’s the perfect game after a dispute from something far heavier. But it's also the perfect game for playing with family and friends. We found it calm enough to play in a friendly manner, but to be competitive enough to want to win and do well within. The theme throughout is unique and appealing whether you’re a cat person or a liar. Even though it allows for some heavy tactics, it is incredibly accessible.
You'll no doubt become an artist through it too by drawing the most realistic cat houses and yarn balls. If you're looking for your next short game, you enjoy a roll and write, or if you're looking for something unique, Cat Café is a great choice! Just don't expect cats to take pity on you if you lose. Cats have class.