Walking past the Kosmos booth at Gen Con this year, it was hard not to be captivated by their dexterity game Catch the Moon. These interlocking ladders are almost a work of abstract art and I’m sure there is a metaphor for one’s journey through life in here somewhere.
As a lifelong dexterity game fan, I was definitely intrigued to know more. Fast forward to this fall, and Kosmos Games kindly sent us a copy to check out. So let’s dive in and see what makes this one tick.
Catch the Moon can actually be played both cooperatively or competitively. However, both play pretty similar. On a player’s turn, they first roll the custom six-sided die. The face showing will determine how a new ladder must be added to the structure. The results will either be:
• The ladder must only touch one other ladder
• The ladder must touch exactly two ladders
• The ladder must become the highest point in the structure while touching one or two other ladders.
As a general rule, the ladder can’t touch the cloud or the table. The game also comes with seven raindrop tokens. If you fail to place your ladder correctly or cause a ladder to fall off the structure, your turn ends and you take a raindrop token. Once the last token is claimed the game ends and the player with the most tokens is the loser.
The cooperative game plays much in the same way. The difference is that you only have 5 raindrops, which you can spend for scoring opportunities of your structure. You compare your total score to a chart to see how well you did.
Overall Catch the Moon is a good game, albeit one I’m not sure how much I’ll keep playing. For me, enjoyment of the game comes from both seeing the structure come to life and the tension that goes along with it. At the start of the game, you are just placing ladders and things are pretty simple. However as the game goes on, everything becomes a lot more unstable and things begin to fall. That’s where the tension really ratchets up.
That’s also what helps contribute to Catch the Moon’s great table presence. I mentioned in the intro that the game originally caught my attention as I was walking by at Gen Con and that still holds true now. Seeing this mass of interconnected ladders never fails to captivate the table.
That being said, I do wish the ladders had more heft to them. Right now they are somewhat fragile and just feel too light. Many times I’ll add a ladder to the structure only for the whole thing to shift because the overall weight of the ladders just isn’t there. I’ve even broken a couple accidentally because they just aren’t that strong.
For the gameplay, I do like that you can play the game both as a competitive game and a cooperative one. In our first play, we tried the completive game and then immediately set it up as a coop experience. Both were satisfying games. If I had to pick my favorite, I’d probably lean towards the competitive game as the overall play experience is a bit more enjoyable. I prefer not only the tension that comes in that version but also not having to rely on my fellow players not to screw everything up for me.
Catch the Moon is a solid game that can be played with just about anyone. While it’s not going to be winning any awards for its gameplay or innovation, it still makes for a fun filler gamer. I do wish that the ladders were a bit sturdier though. I worry about how well they will hold up to repeat plays. Thankfully the game comes with a good amount of them, so you should be fine for a while. I also feel that the game is going to get a bit samey after a few plays, as there is not a ton of variety here. So while I don’t think this is going to become anyone’s goto dexterity game, it does make for a fun diversion every now and then.
Final Score: 3 Stars – A beautiful-looking game that’s fun for a quick play every now and then.
• Ladders feel too light and fragile
• Not sure how much staying power it has