Number of Players: 2-6
Time : 15 Mins
Game Type: Collection
Gamer Type: Casual
I love pirates, which means I jump at any chance to review a game involving pirates. When Mayday Games reached out with me to review a pirate game, of course I was excited. Then they said it was about pirate kittens… Since it was a cool concept I had never seen before, I decided I should review it and I am glad I did. Ahoy Kitten is a fast, fun game that anyone can play and will challenge even the most seasoned gamer to be the best pirate captain at sea.
You are a cat and you are at sea. What else is there to do but collect fish? In this game, you are the head of a crew of kittens who are looking to get the best catch by the time the game is over. Now, if this was just fishing – where would the pirates be? In this game, you can also raid your opponents booty to ensure that not only you have the best catch, but also that they have less fish to work with. It is a fun little concept and it really gets you into the game (7 of 10).
Ahoy Kittens has anime-style cartoon art which really adds to the surreal feeling of the game. In the suspension of reality story line, you are a cat. Since you are not really a cat, you need to be able to envision yourself as a cat. Your character card helps you do this and the cartoon nature helps you draw yourself into the game. The sea tiles are well drawn and fit onto almost any table, which means you can play with a very small footprint. Finally, the box is a little off a small medium standard box size, so it can be tricky to fit onto your shelf. Overall, the artwork is excellent, right down to the little plastic fish (8 of 10).
Eurogamers rejoice! There are no dice in this game. The game’s randomizer is simply drawing the little plastic fish out of the bag and placing them on given tiles. Therefore, you know the number of fish and you know the odds – if you cannot base your play on that, work on your basic probability. For the rest of the gaming world that loves a little chaos, this game is a blast.
Depending on the number of players, there are tiles on the board. Each tile will have fish on it. You have three choices to make: 1. Point at a tile; 2. Point at your opponent’s card; or 3. Claim your fish and give up your next turn. When you point at a tile you collect the fish, as long as no one else points at that tile; if they do, no one gets the fish. If you point at your opponent’s time and they do not claim their fish, you get their fish; if they do claim their fish, you get nothing. If you claim your fish, you get your fish off the boat and you give up your next turn. rinse and repeat until all the fish are gone (the fish on tiles replenish). 7 of 10.
In this game, it is a choice of offense or defense. Rush and engine building are not really on the table. This game is basically a risk/reward game, where you determine what your opponents will do and how much you want to risk. Do you go for the tile with the most fish, or do you think your opponents will do the same? The tiles with less fish can be tempting, but opponents may be thinking the same as you. When you have fish, do you go for more or do you play it safe and claim them (giving up basically two turns of collecting)? These choices lead to how many fish you have at the end of the game. 8.5 of 10.
Cat games are popular – I have seen dozens of them; however, this is the first game I have seen where the cats are pirates. The concept is novel. The mechanism for play, however, is amazingly novel. While most collection games rely on wrought chance, this one is all based on strategy (if playing with adults; playing with kids can be chaos, but in a good way). This leads to a very high novelty score, 9.5 of 10.
This is a simple game that is right between a gateway game and a shelf game, which means that it is good for anyone to play. Because of its fast time, kids can play it without getting bored. Further, it makes a great little game to play while waiting for friends to arrive for a larger gaming session. With an overall score of 40 out of 50, this is a monster score for a complexity 4 game. This is a game I expect to see on a lot of shelves in the near future because it is one of those ‘must have’ games.
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