Every Week It's Wibbley-Wobbley Timey-Wimey Pookie-Reviewery...

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Kitten Killing Kuriousity


You have a kitten. You leave the room. The kitten follows you because you are not in the same room. You come back into the room and close the door behind you. The kitten miaows because you shut it out and not because it was kurious. You open a kupboard. The kitten climbs in because it can. You shut the kupboard. The kitten miaows to be let out because you shut it in the kupboard and not because it was kurious. You take a bath. The kitten jumps up on the side of the bath and almost falls in. The kitten looks at you because it is your fault and not because it was kurious.

As the saying goes, “Kuriousity Killed the Kitten.”

The Kitten Killing Kuriousity is the subject of the possibly tastelessly titled kard game, Kittens in a Blender. Published by Red Shift Games, it is a light, silly, simple kard game designed for two to four players aged eight and over. Both the title and the theme of the kard game are both its selling point and its downfall. After all, would you play a kard game in which you try to send your rivals’ kittens to the blender whilst trying to save your own from the whirring blades that can only give you a fur-fang feline smoothie. The problem is the kuriousity of kittens – they will klamber onto anything and that includes the kitchen work surfaces where there are innumerable dangerous appliances, one of them a lidless blender into which the kurious kittens will inevitably klimb. All that it takes is one kurious kitten to lay a fluffy paw upon the switch and MIAO-whirr!-SCRUNCH!!

Which sounds like a hideously tasteless theme for a kard game.

Then again, this is just a kard game and Kittens in a Blender is a great title.

The game consists of one-hundred-and-ten full-kolour kards, two large full-kolour kards, the rules sheet and both the lid and tray of the box that Kittens in a Blender comes in. One of the large kards is The Blender and is placed in the lid of the game box, whilst the other large kard is The Box, which is placed in the tray that the game came in. The rest of the kards konsist of four sets of Kitten kards, each set a different kolour. Each set konsists of sixteen kitten kards and each kitten is given a name, and looks ever so, ever so kute. The remaining kards konsist of the following: 
  • “Kitties on the Move,” which allow a player to move between one and three kittens.
  • “Blend,” which turns The Blender on, blending all kittens in The Blender, but saving all kittens in The Box and sending all kittens on The Kounter to The Blender (though not blending them… yet!).
  • “Blend/Pulse” works like “Blend,” but can also be used to stop another player using a “Blend” card.
  • “Dog’s in the Kitchen” forces players to swap hands.
  • “Kittens in the Blender” moves all kittens in The Box and in The Kounter into The Blender.
  • “These Kittens in the Blender” works like “Kittens in the Blender,” but only affects kittens of one kolour.
  • “Kittens on the Kounter” moves all kittens in The Blender and in The Box onto The Kounter.
  • “Kittens in the Box” moves all kittens in The Blender and on The Kounter into The Box.

The game starts with The Blender and The Box being placed on the table with a gap between them known as The Kounter. Each player picks a kolour of kittens, his aim being to get as many of that set into The Box and safety as he can whilst sending his rival’s kittens into The Blender. If there are less than four players, then the sets of kittens not in play are removed from the deck. Every player then receives a hand of six kards.

On a turn, a player plays two of his kards, in any order, follows any instructions on them and then draws back up to six. Any player can play any kard, including kitten kards belong to his rivals – these kittens are destined for The Blender. Play continues until all sixteen of the “Blend” and “Blend/Pulse” kards have been played. Then all of the surviving kittens for each player are counted and skored two points apiece. Similarly all of the kittens that were blended – how exactly you can tell one blended kitten from another is not explained – and a point is deducted from a player’s skore for each of his kittens that got blended. The player with the highest skore is the winner.

Objectives and tactics are twofold. Get your kittens into The Box, either from your hand, The Kounter, or The Blender. Get their kittens into The Blender, either from your hand, The Kounter, or The Box. Once there are enough of your kittens in The Box and their kittens in The Blender, play a “Blend” or “Blend/Pulse” kard – your kittens will be safe and go towards your end game skore, whilst theirs just need ice to be a feline frappé and deduct from their skores at the end of the game.

Physically, Kittens in a Blender is an attractive kard game. The kards are bright, breezy, and every one of the kittens on the sixty-four kitten kards is kute. Really kute. The rules are simple and easy to pick up. It could do with another set of kittens and kards to bring up to a maximum of six players, but then we are still waiting for a six-player full game of Ticket to Ride, so there is the possibility.

All right, so the idea behind Kittens in a Blender is a bit tasteless. Ket over it. Ket over yourself. It is just a game and no kittens are actually hurt during play. There is no “Live Action” version of this game. Seriously.

Konsole yourself with the fact that Kittens in a Blender is a not a kreat game. It is too light, too silly, too throwaway. It is though, a fun and silly well done filler of a game, one that can be fitted in between more serious games with kreater depth. We all need a filler game if not a klowder of them. Kittens in a Blender is a kute addition to your filler game klowder.

Plus Kittens in a Blender is a really kreat title.