Here, Kitty, Kitty from Fireside Games is as fun to play as it is adorable. It combines the outright cuteness of cats with strategic gameplay based on maximizing one’s ability to attract cats from the neighborhood to come home.
The immediate draw of Here, Kitty, Kitty is its production quality. Plastic figures representing the kitties take different poses for the different breeds, going the extra mile to engage players, who may find themselves playing with the figures as much as with the cards.
The art by Tony Steele is bright and entertaining, featuring cats in all kinds of poses, from being passed out face-first in a sunbeam, to sticking a single-footed landing as if in the Olympics, to a momma cat cuddling her kittens. Cards such as “Alarm System,” which shows a cat creeping through laser sensors, and blurry-eyed “Catnip!” make the deck so entertaining that players may have to work to focus on their game.
Beyond its adorableness, Here, Kitty, Kitty offers an engaging balance of luck and strategy. Each player receives a tile with three spaces: yard, porch, and house. These are arranged around the middle of the table, where the clowder of cats is piled. On each turn, players can perform two actions. They may move a kitty one space, play a card, or discard their hand, redrawing at the end of their turn.
Players must analyze their cards to determine the best possible action, especially when cards may move multiple cats or multiple spaces. Special cards can steal cats from other players’ boards or protect a player from being thus cat-burgled. Clever-minded players may carefully play their cards, while more conservative players might collect cats one at a time to avoid too much attention from more aggressive players, who in turn will focus their attention on capturing kitties or knocking the leading player down a few spots.
Through the course of the game, players work to collect the most kitties or combinations of kitties to gain points. Social play to keep an eye on opponents is as necessary as managing one’s own strategy.
Adding an element of chaos, red-outlined Instant cards can throw a wrench into the works of any player’s overall plan by causing cards to be passed to the left or cats to spring free from the houses.
These factors all combine into fun gameplay that is light enough for casual gamers while still giving more hardcore players opportunity to analyze strategy.
Here, Kitty, Kitty is a card game for three to six players aged 10 and up. Game times are short to moderate, lasting about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how quickly players make their decisions to act each turn. Gameplay is lively with laughter atop its solid base of scheming, making it a perfect game for cat-lovers and game enthusiasts alike.