Feed the Kitty

  • Designer: Bob Bushnell
  • Artist: Russell Benfanti
  • Publisher: Gamewright
  • Plays: 2–5
  • Ages: 4+ (according to the game); more like 2–4 in reality
  • Initial Release: 2003
  • Elevator Pitch: It’s an extremely simple roll-and-move game in which you pass wooden mice back and forth. The last player with mice wins!

Feed the Kitty is an unbelievably simple game to play. Gameplay is essentially as follows:

  1. Roll the dice.
  2. Depending on what you rolled, you either (1) throw a mouse into the kitty’s food bowl, (2) give a mouse to another player, or (3) take a mouse out of the food bowl.
  3. The last person with mice wins.

That’s it. Really. It’s War with cute wooden mice. There’s not much here for older kids or adults. However, this was the first game that my daughter truly fell in love with. She adored it and demanded that we play every day.

As a starter game, you could do a lot worse. It teaches the basics of simple game mechanics. As an introduction to board games, she learned

  • how to roll dice
  • that dice rolls have consequences
  • patience as she waited to take her turn
  • that it is in fact possible to lose

I have to give her credit, though—she doesn’t often lose.

The complete absence of strategy here actually increased the fun quotient for her, I think. With no decisions to make, the game plays quickly and smoothly. Little ones can’t get outsmarted, even unintentionally, by their adults. Once they’re ready for a little strategy and are receptive to more decision making, Feed the Kitty will probably be too simple. Sadly, Zoey has already outgrown it. Feed the Kitty was on heavy rotation when she was 3 years old, but now she seems to be choosing games that have more depth. I can already see a fierce opponent developing when we play games that have more of a “gotcha” element.

I must admit—I’m a veritable Gamewright fanboy when it comes right down to it. They make some of the most charming and enjoyable kids’ games around. The rules are never too complex, the art is generally adorable, and gameplay is usually entertaining for all ages. We have a vast Gamewright library, and many of Zoey’s favorite games right now—even the ones that are a bit beyond her abilities—are made by Gamewright. We’ve yet to find a Gamewright title that doesn’t stay in the collection and make it to the table multiple times.

Those pieces, though? Super cute. How can you go wrong with purple mouse meeples? Plus, the two dice are extra big and chunky—perfect for little hands.

Verdict? A solid A for a first game and younger kids.

 

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