Catlantis Review

Catlantis
Ravensburger
2019
Prospero Hall
2-4

Catlantis is an adorably silly drafting/set collection game that features just enough strategy to keep things interesting with its 'I cut, you choose' core mechanic.  But most importantly, it's got Purrmaids!

Purrmaids. The strange yet alluring fuzzballs of the sea. The unlikely pairing is not only cuteness made manifest, but also makes for a pretty fun little game called Catlantis.

Set in the undersea kingdom of Catlantis, the purrmaids are vying for the position of Grand Purrbah, leader of all mercats. Each of the factions has named a representative to gather supporters to their cause – that’s you! – and the faction who manages to get the right purrmaids on their side will be the winner!

 


We received a review copy of Catlantis from Ravensburger


Andrew: Purrmaids?  Grand Purrbah?  The cat puns are just everywhere, and these photo-realistic cat heads on fish bodies are –

Jess: SO FANTASTIC!!!

Catlantis is an ‘I cut, you choose’-style drafting game.  At the beginning of the game, each player will receive a Purrmaid card to act as their objective – it tells you what factions of fur & fin will score you points at the end of the game (meaning you’ll want to collect purrmaids with either or both of those features).

Each turn, 4 cards will be laid out as the market, and the active will choose 2 cards from the market to offer another player. That player must choose one of the offered cards to take into their score pile, with the remaining card going to the active player. They will then flip their gem over to show that they have taken a card. The market is then refilled and the active player makes a new offer to a different player, repeating until all players have received a card, then it’s the next player’s turn to be the active player.

Besides purrmaid cards, there are also treasures which can earn you points based on who has collected the most of each type.

Once the entire deck has been distributed, the game ends and players tally up their scores. Points are earned for groups of matching tails, heads, and for a perfect match.  Majorities determine who gets points for the treasures, and the player with the most points is now the Grand Purrbah!

I had a good time with Catlantis. It is a simple I-Cut-You-Choose style game, but the addition of the gem restriction means that every player is getting the same amount of cards. This means that the strategy of the game is really in psyching out your opponents. You need to mask which cards you are trying to collect while also keeping tabs on what everyone else might need.

Jess: Overall, I don’t think that Catlantis would be half as fun without its ridiculous theme. Each time I looked at my purrmaid I cracked up.

Andrew: Uh, it was definitely silly, I’ll give you that.  But like you just said, there is actually a bit of strategy here – if you let other players figure out what you’re hunting for too easily, then they will try to block you.

Jess: Sort of a game of cat and mouse? Eh? EH?!

Andrew: I will never endorse that statement, Jessica.

At 2 players, Catlantis is definitely an easier game, in the sense that it’s often straightforward to figure out who is looking for what purrmaid.  On the other hand, you have to offer cards to your opponent, so there are definitely times when you’re forced to either offer them something they want or offer them something you want, which they will probably hate-draft away from you.

With more players, though, things get really interesting.  You can offer cards that player A wants to player B, hoping they absorb them in order to control the scoring (meaning that scores at 2 players also tend to be waaaay higher overall).  Of course, that can totally backfire if you haven’t figured out what player B is collecting, but that’s the fun of Catlantis!

Andrew: So you really liked this one, eh?

Jess: Well yeah!  Between the cats, the mermaids, and the gameplay, this was great!  You didn’t like it?

Andrew: Kidding aside, I did have a good time with it, but I definitely think it’s better with more players.  At 2 players the best things about Catlantis, the mind game of the drafting, didn’t quite shine.

I’ll tell you what does shine, though – these cards are iridescent and as impractical to photograph as they are adorable, so apologies for all the glare.

We had a fun, silly time with Catlantis, and we definitely recommend it for anyone who is looking for an accessible drafting game with just enough strategy to keep things interesting and enough purrmaids to keep things awesome!

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