As a family, we just love to sit down and play a variety of different board and tabletop games. They are great fun and an excellent way of spending quality time with each other. They are also an excellent way to help with the kids education when using maths or words games and also help promote skills like patience, logical thinking, teamwork and cognitive skills; decision making, higher level strategic thinking, and problem solving.
But like any family, we don’t always want to sit down and play at the same time. That’s where single player games come in and we have a few of them on our shelves, mostly in the form of single player logic games. One of these games is Cat Crimes from ThinkFun – a moggy whodunnit!
Cat Crimes is a single player tactile logic game, suitable from ages 8 to adult, where with the aid of a clue card you have to deduce which cat has committed a crime. It is a “who’s to blame” logic game.
What’s in the box:
- Game Board
- 6 Cat Tokens with Token Stands
- 6 Crime Tokens
- 40 Challenge Cards with Solutions
- Instruction Manual
With Cat Crimes, you have been asked to look after your neighbour’s six cats (Ginger, Mr. Mittens, Pip Squeak, Duchess, Sassy and Tom Cat). But instead of a relaxing weekend of cat stroking and cat cuddles you repeatedly find spilled coffee, ruined shoes, an eaten bird, a swallowed fish, a broken flowerpot and unravelled balls of yarn. But with a bit of logic and deduction skills you have to figure out what cat committed what dastardly crime from available evidence on the clue card and playing board.
They are 40 crimes to solve on the 40 challenge cards, a crime on each one with all the clues you need to solve the crime. There are 10 beginner (green), 10 intermediate (yellow), 10 advanced (blue) and 10 expert (red).
To play, select a challenge card from the pack, they are numbered 1 to 40, making sure you choose the correct difficulty level. The card will tell you what the crime is (has the crime token icon in top right corner). Place the corresponding crime token on the game board (the game board looks like a table) and start deducing to find the furry criminal.
The card has a series of clues telling you if specific cats are upstairs asleep (and therefore not a suspect), who’s sitting next to who at the table, who’s opposite who and even things like a certain cat can’t sit next to a cat with a bell, or can’t be sat near a mouse. Once you figure out clues and work out what cat is sitting where at the table (or not even at the table) you can place that cats corresponding cat token on the game board in position and slowly work out who the culprit is. Once you have gone through all the clues, sometimes several times, you should be able to work out the villain and you can check you answer on the rear of the challenge card.
Having physical token pieces to place on the board to keep track of what cat is where was really helpful in allowing us to visualise possible solutions and it’s amazing how much this game allows you to test and develop critical thinking. The beginner levels start off really simple but the skill level soon ramps up and require a higher level of logical thinking, making the game an excellent challenge for kids and adults alike.
As you progress through the levels, analytical thought becomes more prevalent and having the pieces to move around the game board is very useful in testing out your hypotheses.
Cat Crimes is described as a single player game and it is. We also adapted it slightly so that if one of the kids wanted to play with us, they could by discussing possible solutions and working through the answers, explaining theories and reasoning for possible solutions. It can be quite interesting hearing how different people deduce different things from the same set of clues whilst giving a valid reason as to why they think that would work.
The kids have really been enjoying the beginner and intermediate levels, whilst us adults have been enjoying the harder, more advanced levels (which sometimes the kids want to help with). Cat Crimes is an excellent logic game that tests visual perception, reasoning, deduction, logical thinking and problem solving whilst being lots of fun (sometimes frustrating fun). Playing it with the kids is also an excellent way to encourage and develop communication and language skills.
The solutions are all printed on the backs of the cards too, so you can easily check not only which is the guilty feline but also the full seating plan, so you can hopefully see where you’ve gone wrong if you do accuse the wrong cat!
We have all loved playing Cat Crimes, as a single player game and working together. It is a top-quality game and we thoroughly enjoyed it. If you love logic and puzzle games, then it is an easy game to recommend for hours of fun.