|| Ages 14+
|| 2-5 Players
|| 30 minutes
Cat in the Box is a crazy what-if experiment progressed to fruition: What if we had a classic trick-taking game like Spades, Hearts, or Euchre, but your cards could be any suit? And you didn't say which suit it was until you played it?
This game is absolutely astounding for a lover of Spades, Pinochle, or Euchre, and will quickly become a favorite of anyone else who plays it as well. It is ideal for 4 players but is flexible enough to play down to 2 or up to 5. It's a puzzle and a race all in one, which keeps the gears turning in your head as you try to puzzle out what your opponents have in their hands and what they'll try to do next.
Players each play a card from their hand on the table; the first player declares which suit their card is, and each other player must play a card from the same suit. The person who played the highest card of the declared suit wins the round of laid cards (called a "trick"). If you chose to play a card of a different suit, you might be setting yourself up for better turns later. That said, you can no longer play cards of the suit that led that trick, so you're also limiting your options.
That's the basic trick-taking stuff. On top of that, whenever you play a card, you also mark which card you played on the board. No one else can play that specific card going forward. Quickly, Cat in the Box becomes a race to claim the spaces on the board before others do as options become more and more constrained.
If you ever run out of options - for example, if you only have a 5 and a 3 left in hand, but all the 5s and 3s on the board have been claimed - you've caused a Paradox and you'll earn negative points for the round.
An abstract game quickly becomes a quick puzzle that sharp minds will love to gobble up. If this sounds like someone you know, they are sure to love Cat in the Box.
Description from the Publisher
Cat in the Box: Deluxe Edition is the quintessential quantum trick-taking card game for 2 - 5 cool cats, where your card's color isn’t defined until you play it! Hypothesize how many tricks you will win, and record your bid. Place tokens on the community research board as you play your hand, and connect large groups of tokens to score even more points. Plan your tricks carefully as you cannot claim the color of a card with the same number that has already been declared. Doing so would be pawsitively catastrophic as you have just created a paradox! (Notice this does not say pair o' dogs. Gross.)
- 55 Cards
- 1 Research Board
- 5 Player Boards
- 64 Tokens
- 1 Score pad
- 1 Rule book