Publisher: The Original Sasquatch
Play Time: 30-45 Minutes
It’s a good thing that cats have nine lives because players in CATastrophe: A Game of 9 Lives are sure to lose a lot of them.
A Brief How To Play
In CATastrophe, each player takes on the role of a cat that is being haunted by the Grim Reapurr. Chaos is underway, and players need to compete to be the last one standing. Players set up by placing their respective characters on the ninth life of the board with a hand of five cards. They also begin with 3 yarn balls and two power cards that can turn the tides of the game. That’s it.
The players’ turns are nearly as simple as the game’s setup. Players are free to play whatever cards they desire and are actually playable on that turn. There is a wide variety of cards available to players. Most of the cards are mean attacks that exist just to make other players lose a life or two. Others help players gain a life. After players have exhausted their options for the turn, they will draw a few more cards and then flip a catastrophe card that usually challenges every player to a mini-game for their lives.
Throughout the game, players will move down the board when they lose a life and move up when they gain one. The Grim Reapurr can also move along the track, effectively giving the players fewer lives. When a player lands in the same space as the Grim Reapurr, they are eliminated.
Pacing and Interactivity
CATastrophe is a party game, so interactivity is a must. Fortunately, players will constantly abuse each other as they attempt to claw their way to victory. While CATastrophe isn’t a game to be taken seriously, it’s one of the meanest, most aggressive party games on the market. It’s highly interactive, with mostly negative interactions, but that doesn’t mean it feels bad to play. It’s silly, and since it is so full of luck, it’s hard to take seriously. It’s just the right party game for a group of friends who love to backstab each other.
The pacing is solid, and it’s just the right length for a party game. At around 30 minutes a game, there is room for multiple playthroughs in a single night. While this is important for most party games, this is especially vital for CATastrophe since it features player elimination. Bad luck results in a player meeting the Grim Reapurr early and just sitting around while the other players have a good time. In fact, an eliminated player can still find tons of joy in CATastrophe just by watching the players make fools out of themselves during challenges. Again, this just isn’t a game that feels bad to play if it isn’t being taken seriously.
There is a good variety of cards in CATastrophe that can keep the party going for quite some time. The most rewarding part of the experience is the catastrophe mini-games. These can range from dexterity-based skills like stacking the yarn balls or throwing the dice into the box to other skill challenges like impressing a player who acts as a judge. These are the most entertaining parts of the game since they lean into the party-game style of CATastrophe, so it’s unfortunate that there aren’t too many of these challenges. There is a decent amount of replay value in CATastrophe, but it could be a much more permanent part of one’s party game rotation if there were more challenges.
Maybe we will see more in an expansion.
Theme and Components
CATastrophe is a party game about cats, and it fully embraces the theme. It is filled with pop culture references and cat puns, making it a joy to look at. The game is silly, and charming, and features delightful artwork.
The card quality itself is not particularly exceptional, but it is also not offensive. The cards are decent, with a solid weight to them. The power cards stand out due to their size and visual appeal. The game board is colorful and easy to navigate.
CATastrophe Is Great For Fans Of…
CATastrophe is great for fans of party games that strike a balance between being mean-spirited and entertaining. It doesn’t rely on offensive or excessive elements but rather focuses on being fun and lighthearted. The game is highly interactive, making it perfect for those who enjoy messing with others at the table.
CATastrophe is a delightful and interactive party game with hilarious minigames and an excellent theme.
Pacing and Interaction
Theme and Components