Calico: Calling All Cuddly Cats!

Board games offer us the opportunity to see who can be the most strategic, the most conniving, and the most knowledgeable. But have you ever played a board game that required you to be the coziest? Calico is a tile-laying board game that gives you the goal of sewing the coziest quilt possible in order to attract some super cuddly cats.You’ll sew in patches of various colors and patterns in order to earn the most points and win the hearts of felines everywhere.

Sew It All Together

Each player begins Calico with a playing board that represents a quilt that they have to sew. The patches of the quilt are arranged in hexagonal spaces, which come in six different colors and patterns. Players begin with two random tiles from the bag, while three tiles get laid out in the center of the table for players to choose from.

Three spaces on your quilt will be used to place scoring tiles. You get to draw four out of six scoring tiles, selecting whichever three you’d liked to place on your board at the beginning of the game. These scoring tiles will set your objective for the rest of the board game, giving you unique placement rules and patterns to follow. 

You can earn extra points for the way you place the surrounding six tiles, earning points for things such as having three sets of two matching colors or patterns. If you satisfy both of the conditions on the scoring tile, then congratulations! You’ve just earned extra points. However, there will be some overlap with the six tiles that surround the other scoring tiles, so you’ll be hard-pressed to make too many of those combinations.

Attracting the Cuddliest Cats

In addition to the three tiles that sit in the center of the table as a central market, you also get three little cat tokens. You’ll pick these randomly from the twelve cat tokens of the game, and each will come with its own scoring rules and patterns. In order to attract these cuddly little cats to come take a rest on your quilt, you’ll have to satisfy their conditions.

As you go along in the game, you’ll place one tile and draw one tile each turn, always keeping a hand of two tiles. You must always draw from the three tiles in the center, replacing them from the bag as you go along. There isn’t much competition with the other players until the end of the game, as you’re mostly focused on sewing the best quilt you can rather than disrupting the other players.

Buttons, Patterns and Cats Galore

You earn points throughout the game by satisfying the requirements of your scoring patterns, attracting cat tokens, and earning buttons for your quilt. In order to add a button to your quilt, you must place three of the same color in adjacent spaces, which earns you a matching colored button. If you manage to get a complete set of six buttons, then you earn a special rainbow button for your quilt.

There are some hexagonal spaces that are built into your Calico board on the surrounding edges of your quilt, which can help you to make matches and attract your furry feline friends. Once everyone’s quilts have been completed, you’ll tally up the points from the scoring tiles, cats, and buttons to determine the winner.

Embrace Your Cuddly Side with Calico

Calico is playable by 1-4 players. It’s just as good as a single player game as it is a game for small groups since your main objective is simply to earn the most points. Calico is suitable for ages 13 and up, so teens and adults alike can enjoy the fun of the cuddly little cat tokens. Playing time for Calico lasts around 30-45 minutes, which makes it a decent board game for weeknights or parties.

Calico is a great pattern building game for people who are more into abstract strategy than crushing the competition. The cat tokens are obviously the selling point of the game, as you’ll do whatever it takes to fill your board with these cute creatures. Buy Calico today and enjoy the coziest board game you’ll ever play!

 

Exploding Kittens: No Cats Were Injured in the Playing of This Game

When looking for a fun new game to play with friends and family, you might be looking for something with higher stakes than UNO and a little more entertaining than charades.  What could come with higher stakes than a board game literally inspired by Russian Roulette?  Exploding kittens comes with the same nerve-racking concept of Russian Roulette without the risk.  Cat-lovers and thrill-seekers alike will enjoy the wild intensity of Exploding Kittens.

Avoiding The Exploding Kitten

Exploding kittens is a card game that involves people taking turns drawing cards from a deck.  Card by card, each player draws until BOOM—one player draws an exploding kitten and loses the game.  The game only gets more and more intense as the deck continues to shrink, leaving everyone to wonder who will be next to explode.

Once you explode, you’re out of the game.  However, there are a few tricks you can use to stop the kitten from exploding and leave you to fight another day.  Defuse cards can be used to keep the kitten from exploding, with hilarious distractions such as kitten yoga, catnip sandwiches, or laser pointers (every cat’s favorite nemesis).

Sabotage Your Competitors

Sabotage is another unique feature of the game, as you can play certain cards that will allow you to attack one of the other players, sneak a peek at the deck, or even skip your turn entirely.  Some cards will even allow you to secretly move an exploding kitten to somewhere else in the deck, giving you the opportunity to strategically remove another player from the board the next time they draw.

The Nope card is a particularly nefarious move you can make that will allow you to stop another player in their tracks.  If another player uses a special move card to peek at the deck or skip their turn, you can play your Nope card at any time to keep them from using that card.  While this may not be a very subtle way of sabotaging your foes, it’s sure to stir the pot and add some spice to the game (while making enemies along the way!)

Cat Cards

While the kittens in Exploding Kittens can be deadly, the cats will be your friends.  Cat cards give you special powers you can use to get ahead.  Collect two of the same cards (Tacocat and Hairy Potato Cat are some of the best) to steal a random card from another player.  Collect three of a kind, and you can choose a specific card to steal.  These cats are more than just cute—they may end up being the key to winning the game!

Exploding Kittens Expansions

If the original edition is too tame for you, the NSFW edition of Exploding Kittens is sure to spice things up.  Both editions support 2-5 players, although the original is suitable for ages 7 and up while the NSFW edition is better suited for adults.  There are also several expansions including the Barking Kittens and Imploding Kittens expansions that can extend gameplay and add fun new rules that mix things up.  

Because the original edition features a game time of around 15 minutes, consider adding one or more of these expansions for a longer game.  Combining multiple editions also allows you to include up to 10 players, making Exploding Kittens a perfect game for parties with bigger groups of people.

Play The Game But Don’t Blow Up!

Exploding Kittens is a wicked good time that capitalizes on humor appropriate enough for all ages.  Adults and kids will both have a roaring good time avoiding the exploding kittens and collecting the special Rainbow-Ralphing Cat cards.  Exploding Kittens is a creative and imaginative game that shows that there’s plenty of humor anyone can enjoy.

Gameplay isn’t that long at 15 minutes, so Exploding Kittens is more of an appetizer of a game rather than a main event.  However, it’s funny and complex enough that you’ll want to pull it out anytime you have friends over to the house.  Pick a card and choose your cats wisely, because Exploding Kittens will quickly become one of your favorite new card games!

 

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