Cat in the Box: Furry trick game – Gus and Co

???? Cat in the Box, a clever card game in which you have to cleverly choose the colors of the tricks. Subtle mix of chance and strategy.

Cat in the box

⚠️ warning : In the interest of transparency with our community, we would like to point out that this article reflects our personal opinion on the game. We have not received any compensation from the game publisher. We have this I purchased and tested the game independently, without any commercial connection with its publisher. The reviews presented here represent our honest and unbiased analysis of the game based on our own experience.

Cat in the Box is a colorless card trick game. These are selected by the players as the game progresses. But beware ! It is not possible to have the same color-value combination twice in a round, and each player can only play if he or she still has a color available…

Cat in the Box is played with a deck of 45 cards numbered 1 to 9. So there are 5 cards of each value in the game. These cards are black and therefore have no suit. In the middle of the table there is a board with 4 lines (red, blue, yellow and green) and boxes numbered 1 to 9, on which you can keep track of the color-value combinations that have already been played. Each player is also given a personal game board with a betting space in the middle and 4 spaces (one of each color) on the sides of the board where a figure is placed.

Once the cards have been dealt, players take one from their hand and place it face down in the center of the table. They then bet, in order of play, on the number of tricks they think they can take in that round (between 1 and 3). Once bets are placed, the round begins with the first player placing a card in front of them on the side of the board that matches the color called. The following two rules must be observed:

  • The location corresponding to the color-value combination being played is available on the central game board
  • There is still a pawn on the field that corresponds to the color of his personal board

The color-value combination played is marked on the middle board by a pawn in the player’s color. The round then continues with the next player, who must follow the same rules.

It is not possible to start a trick with red, the trump, unless another player played trump in a previous trick.

Cat in the box at the back

A player who cannot play the named color (or does not wish to play that color) may play another color subject to the placement rules. In this case, the pawn used to mark the combination is the one located on the color square of his personal board. This player cannot play this color again this round.

The player with the highest card in the called suit (or trump card) wins the trick and becomes the first player for the next trick.

If a player cannot play during a round (either because he has no color left on his board or because the value spaces corresponding to his cards are already occupied), the round ends. It immediately ends with a paradox. If there is no paradox, the round ends when the players only have one card left in their hand.

At the end of the round, the players who did not cause a paradox receive one point per trick won and a bonus if their bet was correct: one additional point per figure in the largest group of adjacent figures of their color on the central plateau. The player who caused the paradox receives no bonus and loses as many points as tricks won.

A game lasts as many rounds as there are players. The winner is the one with the highest total at the end of the game.

Careful packaging

The cards and boards in Cat in the Box are made of cardboard, but the game pieces are made of plastic. And there is a thermos in the box. It is clearly an aesthetic effort that is quite successful, with small tokens in the shape of a cat, a planet, a mouse, an apple, an atom and a titration flask, relating to physics and its various components. Everything is cute, but still plastic. It’s a shame. The cats drawn on the cards are cute, and even if there is no (or very little) color on the cards, the result is not sad. The colors on the game boards and the game pieces balance each other out sufficiently.

The rules are extensive, but still easy to read, with explanations and examples. On the last page of the booklet we also find a summary of the rules with references to the pages where the rule is described in more detail, so that you can easily find your way around the booklet (even though it is only 12 pages long). ). ).

Cat in the Box Hardware

Simple rules but a complex strategy

Cat in the Box is announced as being playable for two players. This is technically true, with some adjustments to the rules including waiving the betting phase. But this version of the game is not interesting. It is better to forget it and especially not to start with this version, at the risk of hating the game and missing out on the fun of the version with three or more players.

In fact, the game only takes full effect when there are at least three participants. You have to bet on the number of tricks and manage your cards and the available value-suit pairs. This requires a certain level of attention and a lot of calculations from players to avoid getting into the situation of not being able to play and thereby losing points, in addition to the end of the round.

In the event of a successful bet and if the player was able to place his chips strategically, large gaps in the scores can then arise. However, the strength of Cat in the Box is that it keeps everyone interested in the game, even if a player knows that he or she has no chance of winning at the end of the game. The score is ultimately anecdotal, the game itself is sufficient.

???? Also read: Meow. The 5 best board games with cats.

A breath of fresh air in trick games

As with any trick-taking game with card distribution, the element of chance is of great importance. However, this part of the chance is balanced by the fact that not all cards are played, since it is possible to part with a card at the beginning of the round and the last card in hand is not played, and, above all, by the possibility of changing the color of the cards to choose. Most blockages do not concern the value of the card, but rather the suit.

You have to know when to play a different color and, most importantly, know how to choose which color to play, since you won’t be able to play it after that. If you play a color very early in the game that hasn’t come out yet, you’ll almost certainly get blocked and cause a paradox. However, this can also happen later in the game if the player does not pay enough attention to what has already been played and what is left in his hand.

This means that knowing how to take care of your available pieces, but also those of other players and the remaining spaces on the center board, is a huge advantage in winning. However, card counting is difficult as one card is removed per player, and this is unlikely to be part of a winning strategy.

It’s actually entirely possible to play (and win) without strategy or special attention to other people’s games, which is a good thing. And that doesn’t detract from the fun of the games, as it is related to the game itself and not, as already suggested, to the victory.

Refreshing change to the trick game mechanism, well done thanks to the aesthetics. We can highly recommend it!

Cat in the Box Furry trick game – Gus and


Rating: 5 out of 5.

1703493030 884 Cat in the Box Furry trick game – Gus and

  • creation : Muneyuki Yokouchi
  • Illustrations :Osamu Inoue
  • editing : Matagot
  • number of players : 2 to 5 (runs better at 4-5)
  • Recommended age : from 10 years (good estimate)
  • Length of time : 30 minutes
  • Theme : Cat and physics
  • Main mechanics : Bet it fits. To learn more about the different game mechanics, click here.

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Article written by Clement. As a fan of fast games, his worst enemy is the Paralyzer. Specialist in trick games, puzzles and bears. He has two cats, too many plants and a poor memory. Motto: “It has to bang!” »

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