Reviewer: Alex Morse
Overview: Cat Tower is a pretty quick and straightforward game, which could most simply be described as a combination of Jenga and Uno. You start off with seven cards (cats) in your hand, and the goal is to get rid of all of them. On your turn, you roll the die, and do what it says, which usually involves some fashion of folding one of your cat cards and stacking it on top of the tower. However, the die can force other people to stack your cats, for things to be upside down, to stack multiple cats, or to use a token which performs a special action. If you knock the tower over, you must pick up each cat that fell and add it to your hand. That’s basically all there is to the game, but it’s tremendous fun, and is great with kids, or those that don’t usually partake in the hobby.
Quality: One concern I had with the game initially was the idea that I would have to fold my cards. So far it hasn’t been a major issue, but it’s certainly true that cats that have been folded more times are easier to manipulate for stacking purposes. Because of this, when I play, I make sure to use the same group of cats as often as possible. The appearance of each cat doesn’t matter in terms of gameplay, so they don’t need to be shuffled or anything, making them more durable than you would otherwise suspect. My other concern was that they would lose their structure over time, but that hasn’t happened at all. Overall, I’ve been impressed with the durability and longevity of the cards for this game.
Estimated Playing Time: 15-20 minutes
Players: Officially 2-6, but I have played a 7-player game. It wasn’t a problem, but it’s possible there could be a shortage of cats to go around in some games.
Expansions Available: Cat Tower Plus offers more variety in the way the cards can be stacked. Unfortunately, this appears to have been a Kickstarter bonus, so it’s not widely available. Hopefully this will change.
-Quick and easy to learn
-Great for kids and those less interested in board games
-Good for larger playgroups
-Questionable build quality (although still sufficient)
-Not a lot of variety in gameplay
-Expansion content is difficult to find
Conclusion: Looking for something fun, light, suitable for all ages, and even for those family members that don’t typically play board games? Look no further than Cat Tower. Especially if you have a cat that looks like one in the game.