Note: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.
It is a well-established fact that cats are magical, as evidenced by their presence in the mythologies and histories of many ancient cultures. They were worshiped by the Egyptians deities, the Chinese believed the cat god Li Shou was the protector of crops, and the Norse thought that they drove Freya’s chariot into battle.
That said, any cat owner can attest to the fact that cats have a propensity for mischief. Whether it is knocking things off tables, jumping up on shelves, or sitting on your keyboard when you are trying to type a game preview. So imagine a game where magical kittens get up to no good – sounds about right when it comes to cats.
Wizard Kittens is a set collection game for 2-4 players that takes about 15 minutes to play.
In Wizard Kittens, you are a kitten trying to clean up the mess you made when you unleashed a bunch of curses from a magical book. You do this by collecting ritual components that match up to the requirements of each curse.
On your turn, you draw a component card from the deck and place it in one of your open “chapters” that correspond to one of the displayed curses. You then take one of four actions – you can draw an extra card, swap cards in your tableau, discard cards in your tableau or give another kitten one of your components, but you cannot take the action you used in your previous turn.
In order to defeat a curse, you have to match the components in your chapter to the requirements of the curse, with negative points scored for any extra component in excess of the requirements. When all six curses are defeated, the game is over, with the kitten who scores the most points, from curses and a secret goal, is declared the winner.
However, there is the possibility that Professor Whispurr, the librarian of the magical archive, will find the kittens if it takes too long to defeat all the curses. If this occurs, the kitten with the least number of points is declared the winner.
This is the kind of game that is simple and straightforward enough for families to play with younger children, but with enough complexity to keep the adults happy. The pattern-matching and set collection are great for teaching the young ones the basics of these mechanics, all wrapped up in a fun and whimsical theme.
Making it even more friendly to the family gaming table is the fact that the game has a semi-cooperative element it, as players need to work together if they want to clear all the curses before they are caught by Professor Whispurr.
One of the neat twists to the rules is the requirement that you choose a different action than the one you used on your previous turn. This gives a bit of a strategic twist to your action selections, preventing the game from getting too repetitive. The fact that the game has a built-in timer just adds a little more urgency to your decision-making, giving the adult gamers a little more meat to chew on while playing.
The theme only adds to the fun of Wizard Kittens, especially if you are cat household like we are. While we are sure that any gamer would love the theme, art, puns, and wordplay found in Wizard Kittens, this is a game that will resonate with all cat-lovers and would-be cat lovers in the gaming world.
If your gaming group or family (or both!) are lovers of all things cats and looking for a short and sweet game to play involving the most magical of magical animals, you should definitely look into picking up a copy of Wizard Kittens. If you are into straightforward set collection game with a fun theme, this may very well be the game for you.
Congratulations to the designers on a successful Kickstarter! The game launched onto Kickstarter recently and crushed its funding goal. You can still get a copy of Wizard Kittens with a late pledge, so browse over to their campaign page to pick up a copy or to find out more information.
As always, we don’t post ratings for preview copies as the components and rules may change from the final game. Check back with us after the game is produced for a full review. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.