Imagine me sat at my kitchen table with this little box full of cards. The box is colourful and has a picture of a cat and rainbows. My partner walks in and I suddenly feel like I am doing something I shouldn’t (we have all been caught doing something we shouldn’t, right?) I get that awkward feeling and she says… ‘that game looks fun!'
That’s right my non-gaming partner was instantly intrigued by the box and its art. When I described to her what the Sparkle Kitty premise was she laughed and said our girls would love that. You are a princess trapped inside a tower where you must play cards to make spells and break yourself out. A colourful card game for 3-8 players that’s suitable for ages six and up and plays in around 15 minutes.
Inside the box
The Sparkle Kitty box is small and contains lots of cards, a small spell book and a fold-out poster style rule page. The game is really simple to set up and play.
- Shuffle all spell cards.
- Each player chooses a Princess.
- Deal each player nine spell cards.
- Place four of these cards blindly below your princess card to form the tower.
- Place the spell-book in the centre of the table
- Place the remaining spell cards next to this to form a draw pile
How to play Sparkle Kitty
The goal of Sparkle Kitty is to remove all the cards that make up your tower. On a player’s turn, you can do one of the following actions.
- Play a card on to the spell book - Play a card that matches the symbol of the previous card on the spell book (the spell book has symbols for the start of the game when no cards have been played). All spells must be said aloud, if they are not then a card is added to your tower from the draw pile.
- Play a Dark Magic card next to your Princess - This means you will have to start off saying the word on this card when you play a spell card. The first time you play one of these cards you say the word on this card and the ones on the spell book allowing you to play a card from your hand to an opponent’s tower.
- Pass and draw a card - Draw a card from the draw pile.
To win the game you must be the first player to remove your tower cards below your princess, having cards left in your hand is fine. If at the end of your turn you have no cards in your hand then you can draw the first card from your tower then the remaining four cards (max hand size is five) from the draw deck.
If you have a matching card for one already on the spell-book you can shout out ‘double’ followed by the words to draw a card from your tower. You can do this up to two times for each word (shouting out DOUBLE-DOUBLE and then the spell words) and this can be out of your turn as they are free actions. Also playing the Sparkle Kitty cards allow you to take a card form your tower.
There are also special cards like ones that allow you to take two cards from your tower if it’s the last card played from your hand.
I was not expecting to like this game at all, being a social game its appeal to me is very limited but I hate to admit that it’s a game I hope my fellow reviewers at Board Game Exposure don’t want to keep as I want it. That’s right, the awkward feeling of being caught at the dinner table looking at cute princess was not enough and I want to do it again, but this time I want my partner to join in too.
We first played Sparkle Kitty with my eldest daughter who is 10 and she loved it. The rules were simple enough for her to understand and she had so much fun playing the game. It is something of a rare occasion where we all have a great time playing a game and this one certainly achieved that.
Players are kept engaged because you don’t want to miss a chance to shout, ‘double piggy fudge’ and take a card from your tower. Replay-ability depends on how much you enjoy the game but there are also a few optional rules that can change it up a bit.
Sparkle Kitty is everything you would expect from a small box game in terms of components, the art is colourful and the princess cats are super cute (my daughter said that not me I promise)!
Overall this is a game that a family with young girls who love princesses could easily fall in love with. The appeal will not be as strong with a 31-year-old male who loves euro games though, thanks for reading I am just off to play a card game that is totally not this one….