Gather your friends and fam­ily and get ready to make some mis­chief with this smart, fun, and beau­ti­ful game for cat lovers!

Modern Cat - - The Scoop -

A re you ready to fill your Fri­day night with “cun­ning, mis­chief, and schaden­freude?” We sure are, at least in the form of Can­tan­ker­ous Cats, a fe­line card game cre­ated by game and graphic de­signer Al Gon­za­lez and artist and il­lus­tra­tor Elise Spacek. De­signed for play by two to six hu­mans, or “Hoomins,” as Al and Elise would have it, this may well be the ul­ti­mate game for cat lovers. It’s cer­tainly a ton of fun. “Al asked me, if we were to make a game, what kind of game should we make? Elise rec­ol­lects. “Nat­u­rally, I said ‘a game about cats!’ It just popped into my head, an ob­vi­ous an­swer.” Thus, the project that would be­come Can­tan­ker­ous Cats was born. In the game, you are a cat (yes!) and the aim is to cause heaps of trou­ble for your hu­man ser­vants with­out get­ting thrown out of your house. “At ev­ery turn, we wanted the player to FEEL like they were a cat toy­ing with their name­less Hoomin ‘pets,’” Al ex­plains. All of the game's art­work is drawn and painted from a cat’s per­spec­tive—hu­man faces are never seen; all dogs and chil­dren look the same. For artis­tic in­spi­ra­tion, Elise ref­er­enced the turn of the last cen­tury, se­cret­ing cat el­e­ments in the busy art style of the late 1800s. “If you look closely, you will find mice, paws, hearts, tails, whiskers, cat­nip, and many other small touches,” she says. “Elise is the one who came up with the core me­chan­ics of gath­er­ing af­fec­tion points with your Hoomin then turn­ing around to ter­ror­ize them (mis­chief points) with­out get­ting thrown out of

the house,” Al ex­plains. “Af­ter that, we jot­ted down an ex­ten­sive list of adorable and trou­ble­some things cats have been known to do and gave each of them a ‘weight.’ How much af­fec­tion was some­thing as com­mon as a cat­nap worth com­pared to, say, cud­dling in your lap or squeez­ing into a box? Ex­actly how an­gry does one get when a cat scratches some­one, coughs up a hair­ball, or leave a sur­prise in your favourite shoes?”

As you play the game, you strate­gi­cally build up af­fec­tion points in or­der to shield your­self from the con­se­quences of all the mis­chief you’re try­ing to cause. But if you cause too much mis­chief, you risk be­ing thrown out of your house as a feral cat! Though you can be tem­po­rar­ily halted from scor­ing, there is al­ways a means to con your way into another un­sus­pect­ing house where you may cre­ate more mis­chief. Tread lightly, though—the other cats in your neigh­bor­hood will be do­ing their best to thwart your mis­chievous machi­na­tions!

The game took three and a half years to com­plete, with the duo rais­ing over $22,000 on Kick­starter to see their project to fruition. Al kids that his favourite part of work­ing on the game was “fin­ish­ing it!”

“Jok­ing aside,” he con­tin­ues, “my favourite part of this whole project has been see­ing the com­mu­nity on Kick­starter re­spond.”

The on­line com­mu­nity’s com­mit­ment and en­thu­si­asm def­i­nitely helped the duo stay the course and see the project to com­ple­tion. Its fin­ished form is some­thing Al and Elise are un­der­stand­ably proud of.

“A lot of love, tal­ent, and care from dozens of peo­ple over three years went into this box,” Al says. “At the end of the day, I hope peo­ple see that when they open a copy of Can­tan­ker­ous Cats. This is a game we made be­cause we wanted to share our love of cats with the world in a way that can be fun for any­one, but still re­spects the player’s time and in­tel­lect. I think we’ve cre­ated some­thing in­ter­est­ing, witty, and adorable with just the right amount of sin­is­ter hu­mor and ag­gres­sive pos­tur­ing— ‘purr­fectly’ ap­pro­pri­ate for the com­plex preda­tors that have shared our homes for thou­sands of years.”

This beau­ti­fully de­signed game prom­ises a rol­lick­ing good time. Get yours for $20 at can­tan­ker­!

Al and Elise

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