Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow! Okay, now that all the dog lovers are gone, let’s begin! Welcome to The Isle of Cats – a majestic island filled with glorious felines. The island and its residents are in danger, though. It’s up to you to rescue as many cats as possible before Vesh Darkhand arrives to destroy the island and all the cats. You’re the island’s last hope! There’s no time to waste!

What Is It?

A polyomino game for 1 – 4 where players are trying to pack their boats full of cat families and treasures to rescue them before Vesh arrives to the island. Players will draft cards to help them rescue cats (by spending fish), find treasures, and study lessons (goals that may help earn them points later). Players want to make sure they always have enough fish and baskets for their rescues each round and, as they pack their boat, they want to keep like-colored cats together for larger scoring combos, and fill up rooms and cover up rats to avoid losing points. After 5 rounds players calculate scores, and the player with the most points wins!

Who Is It For?

  • 1-4 Players — Works well at any count
  • Solo gamers — if you like a good puzzle
  • Ages 8+ — I’d recommend the Family Game for younger audiences, or less-experienced gamers, to cut down on time and weight
  • Fans of Tetris style games
  • Cat lovers

Components / Quality

Cat Figures / Vesh Boat – Really nice wooden pieces. The cats are all unique, and very cute.

Cats / Treasures / Fish / Baskets – These are all nice, sturdy cardboard pieces. The cat & treasure pieces, which all go on the boat boards, fit nicely and don’t get stuck together. The cat pieces also have different tail styles to assist if you can’t tell the colors apart, which I love!

Bag – The bag for the tiles you put on the boat is huge, so it’s easy to shuffle everything up in the bag before pulling things out. Nice quality bag too.

Player Boards – Very sturdy folding boards. The rooms are the same on each, but the set-up is unique for certain elements (i.e. maps, which give bonuses when covered). Clear which side is for which style of game by an icon, and the round layout.

Cards – Average quality. All the iconography is clear and everything is easy to understand. Everything is well-labelled to differentiate solo, family, and standard games.

Scorepad – Nicely detailed, plenty of space, double sided, and lots of sheets included!

Rules / Box – Really well-written and well laid out rules; no problems learning from them. Box is massive and really sturdy quality. The cover is eye-catching, with some UV Spotting. There’s no insert or anything inside, so you just have to bag everything up and toss it in, but there’s plenty of extra space for expansions!


Solo Mode – In solo mode you play against the game-character of your sister who collects cats and treasures, but does not have a boat. The AI will have a speed, which will determine turn order, and a certain number of baskets which will allow her to collect from the available cats and treasures. The AI will score points at the end for cats and lessons based on what is in your boat though, so it is important to pay attention to which cats are most valuable to the AI, and what lessons they have, so that you aren’t necessarily letting the AI score a lot of points for them. Very puzzley, and a nice, smooth flow that works well.

Family Game – This is a slightly shorter and simpler version of the game. It eliminates drafting (players get a few private lesson cards each to help them score at the end), and fish costs for cats (players take turns choosing them at no cost). Scoring remains the same as the standard game. It’s nice if you’re short on time, or are playing with younger players or those who don’t like making as many decisions (as you would if drafting a bunch of cards). I prefer the standard game as it’s fun to see who goes for lots of private lessons versus who tries to combo anytime cards, but this is definitely nice to introduce players to the game before hitting them with more mechanics.


  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Smooth gameplay / turn flow overall
  • Many strategies available and ways to score points
  • Scales well for different number of players
  • Various options for play – solo, standard, and family
  • Various mechanics that work well together


  • Drafting and puzzling out where cats can fit may cause a bit of AP, which leads to longer plays
  • No great storage solution for the components (no insert)
  • Negative points at the end of the game – something I’m never huge on
  • Disconnect from theme – no reason why cats have certain costs, un-rescued cats just disappear at the end of a round, et cetera; not a big deal to me, but might be to others

Final Thoughts

This game definitely lives up to the hype! It was pretty “thinky” trying to figure out how to best fit your cats on your boat, but the puzzle aspect was neat and worked well. It’s neat that you can try to go for huge families of one color, or a bunch of smaller ones, and there are a lot of opportunities for treasure to help fill in gaps.

I was a big fan of the solo mode. It was difficult to balance getting points for yourself, without giving too many to your “sister,” since she scores off your boat as well, but it works well and I like that you can ramp up the difficulty the better you get to keep it challenging!

I see the value of the Family Game, because it cuts out the drafting and just gives players a few lessons to work on throughout the game from the beginning. It’s shorter, simpler, and great for, well, families! Personally, I was a much bigger fan of the standard game. I like the draft and being able to decide what’s worth keeping, since you have to pay for the cards each round. Both are good, so it’s mostly a matter of how much time you want to invest in the game.

There are a lot of different paths to victory, and I see a lot of replay value in this game!

My Final Ratings:
Overall Game – 8/10
Aesthetics – 8/10
Replay Value – 7/10
Difficulty – Varied – depending on mode played – medium weight game on average

Additional Information:
Designer – Frank West
Artist – Dragolisco, Frank West
Publisher – The City of Games
MSRP – £45.00 (~$62 USD)

*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*

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