SNAP Review – Cloaked Cats
Meeow! Be sneaky and hide your identity while guessing about your fellow cats. A loose transcript is below.
Cloaked Cats is a deduction game for 2-4 players, designed by Connor Reid (who also designed 5-Minute Dungeon).
It’s published by HABA and is best for players over age 7.
There are two kinds of cards in the game: cat cards and feature cards. The feature cards are very clear, each showing a single aspect that a cat might have (color, pattern, pose, or accessory).
Each cat card pictures a cat! All cats have a color and a pose and at least one other feature – either a pattern (spots/stripes), an accessory (ball of yarn, fish cocktail) or both. Some are more realistic than others (a blue cat?) but all of them are cute.
Unfortunately, we found that we often mixed up the “yellow” cats and “brown” cats. I wish this particular color choice was a bit better. But all the other colors were great.
Each player chooses a fan and a matching set of mask tokens. Then shuffle the feature cards and deal three to each player to place in their fan – but keep them secret!
Each player also gets three cat cards to make up their hand.
On your turn, play a cat card from your hand into the center of the table. Every player needs to carefully check if that cat card has any of the features they were secretly dealt. Any player who matches, places one of their masks onto the cat card.
After this, the player who played the cat may choose to guess one feature of one other player. If they get it wrong, the guesser gives the accused player a mask as a point. But if they get it right, the accused player must reveal that feature from their fan, placing it face-up so everyone can see it. and they give the guesser a mask as a reward.
Don’t forget to refill your hand (at the end of your turn)!
Keep playing cat cards and guessing features until one player has revealed all three of their hidden features. Finish the round, so that all players have an equal number of chances to guess features. Then the game is over! Receive one point for each mask you’ve been given from other players, and one point for each unrevealed feature card still in your fan.
The player with the most points wins!
The Family Gamers parents enjoy deduction games, but our kids aren’t always big fans. We had high hopes that the cute cat theme of Cloaked Cats would lure our children in.
And since it’s HABA, we expect simple rules that would be easy for our kids to follow.
Since the age range listed on the box is 7-99, we were surprised at how hard it was for our 6-year-old to understand the game. Something about the hidden features not belonging to any specific cat but shared among many was hard to communicate.
Even once everyone understood, it was hard for our younger players to stay focused every time a new cat card was played. It was very easy to get distracted and miss a cat card that I should have placed a mask on, and this is key to being able to deduce other players’ secret features!
It’s not great at 2 players, because it ends up being pretty dependent on the luck of the draw. One player may have cat cards that allow him to hide his features, while the other player doesn’t. This is less of an issue with more players, since more cards will come out and it’s unlikely to be a single player over and over again whose attributes are revealed.
At 4 players, turns get long near the end of the game as each player tries to analyze the available clues and narrow down possible attributes for guessing.
Cloaked Cats is a pretty good game. It’s not our favorite, but the cute cats help it a lot. We rate it 3 masks out of 5.
Find it on Amazon or at your local toys and game store.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Cloaked Cats from HABA USA for this review.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
Age Range: 7+
Number of Players: 2-4
Playtime: 10-30 minutes