Feline Felonies is one of a trio of new games from Atikin Games. Together the games form Playful Pets - comprised of Animal Alliance, Feline Felonies (both 2-4 player competitive games) and Canine Capers a 1-4 player cooperative game). I've received a preview copy of Feline Felonies so the components you see in my pictures aren't finalised - things like colour and alignment will be rectified for the final posh copies. I think you'll agree it's still looking cute. But do not be fooled - this game is anything but cute; it may show you its belly but you'd be a fingerless fool to tickle it!
The board is super nifty - it comes in 6 playing card sized portions. It is a park bordered by 4 rows of houses. A magnetic slide and climbing frame hold the board together - you can sit these on the top or you can flip the board over so that there are no raised bits for your cats to climb over. I love it when out of small packages bigger games appear. Like Deep Sea Adventure which sprawls across the table from its tiny box. I like a game with some table presence.
The components are super cute too - the little cats have this lovely shine and they are nice and chunky. The orange one in particular reminds me of sweets. (Just to clarify I have neither licked nor eaten any of my game pieces so you don't need to worry about playing them at my events). Clearly designed by a cat connoisseur - the realistic cat toys include the ubiquitous ball of wool, the weird cat toy that we torment them with as well as the hunter's haul of pencils, flowers, mice (mercifully in one piece), a tuna can and the most prized possession of all - the cat nip! Double sided houses help track stored stolen goods as well as purr points for spending later in the game.
The cats move around the board collecting toys, adding more toys, flipping them to their more (or less) valuable side as well as stealing from others before safely depositing their toys at home. At the end, the cat with the most points is crowned top cat.
Each player rolls their dice and then chooses what to spend their purr points on. Cats can spend their points on moving one space per purr point (I can't even type that without going really scouse); they can spend a point picking up or dropping off one of their treasures or - and this is the really fun bit- they can enter into a battle of stealth and reflexes to purrloin another cat's treasure.
There are also special actions which allow you to do extra things in addition to your regular actions. For instance if I roll a 5, I can add a toy to the board and that leaves me with 4 purr points to do with as I please. Or, if I roll a 6 I might take a cat nap - move 3 and save 3 points for later. You can choose to take special actions or snub them much as a cat might - you can be as fickle and unpredictable as you like!
However, my advice to you is don't roll 1s. Cats are not interested in 1s - roll it and your cat will subject you to the disdain I experience when I tell the cat to get down off the table. Rolling a 1 allows your opponent to move your cat who is busy ignoring you. To be fair the cats are doing everything else in this game - all they are asking you to do is use your opposable thumb powers to roll the die. Roll better puny hooman.
This game definitely suits the competitive cat. While it's fun moving around the board collecting toys and flipping them to make them more valuable it is MUCH more fun trying to steal or flipping other cat's toys to make them worth less. The stealing action is really satisfying because if you are equally matched, even though the poor kitty you attacked gets to keep their toy, they still have to flip it so it scores less. I feel it really embodies the dickish nature of cats. I'm just relieved there isn't a thwack the whole lot off the table action.
It's quick and easy to learn and play. With two players it is really good, competitive fun but with four it is brutal. Some of the games we played were very close indeed so the higher scoring cat nip was useful in ensuring there was a clear winner. Cats don't want draws. One cat must reign supreme.
This will be available for you to try out at future events.
You can sign up to be notified on 13th July when the game launches here.