Action Cats is a story driven party game for 3-6 players currently on Kickstarter. I was sent a prototype copy to review, and I was able to play it a couple times at 5 players. Note that I have the prototype version, which has fewer cards (the game doesn’t last as long) and no box, but the gameplay should be similar.
This is the current draft box art for Action Cats
The gameplay to Action Cats is similar to popular party games like Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity. The game consists of a deck of cards full of cat pictures. Each card has two halves to a sentence - the Action part and the Cats part. In the game, each player has 4 cards, and players take turns being a judge. The judge takes one of the cat cards and names it, and every other player picks two cards from their hands to create a sentence, embellishing the story if they want to. Then the judge picks their favorite, and that player gets to keep the cat card.
Here’s Fuzzy Mouth. Fuzzy Mouth will eat anything in front of him, but he does it with style and panache.
As a disclaimer, I neither like cats nor Apples to Apples. But I found this game slightly more interesting than the typical Apples to Apples clone, since you have more creativity in choosing two cards and embellishing the story. The cards are pretty humorous, and I noticed that if you read both sides of one card, it usually makes a funny sentence. But because this game is similar to Apples to Apples, it has the same problem - once you’ve read all the cards, the amusement value in replaying the game significantly drops. But if you have a creative group that like storytelling, the embellishments can add to the game and the replayability.
The groups I played the game with enjoyed the play. One of my friends has a cat, and she was super excited when she found out that the Kickstarter backers can send in pictures of their own cat to be featured on the cards! Most of the players liked the creativity of putting together the sentences and making a story, but they were also frustrated with the limited options in having to choose 2 cards out of only 4 in their hands. If your group likes party games like Apples to Apples, and you like cats, then you'll like Action Cats! Conversely, if you dislike Apples to Apples and storytelling party games, then Action Cats is not the game for you.
Each card has a different cat on it
Encourages creativity with adding embellishments to your story
Accessible to everyone - easy to learn and family-friendly theme
All the cards are actual photographs of cats (Kickstarter backers can enter their cats in to be on a card!)
Limited in choices with only 4 cards to choose from
The judge knows who told which story, so giving out points can be biased
More cats! And some example cards
If you’re interested in Action Cats, check out their website or the Kickstarter, which ends August 1.