Colossal Cat in the Box

by Ted Alspach August 17, 2023

Colossal Cat in the Box

Colossal Cat in the Box

by: Ted Alspach

Everyone who sees the prototype of Colossal Cat in the Box gets very, very excited about it. It’s a little uncanny how much enthusiasm they have. Then when I tell them it isn’t just bigger, but we’ve improved it in several ways, including adding two expansions, they literally cannot wait to sit down and play.

However, just telling someone about Colossal Cat in the Box, they aren’t quite sure what to think. Sure, expansions are nice, and the original pieces were a little small, but they wonder if it is really necessary? Since most people won’t have a chance to see it in person before deciding whether or not they want to back the game on Kickstarter, I wanted to write up why it is that those people who see it in person are so excited.

Colossal Cat in the Box start token

Player Tokens

The thing that grabs people right away about Colossal Cat in the Box is usually the player tokens. Just like the original game, they are smooth, translucent heavyweight plastic, but now they are 4 times the size of the original, so they feel nice and solid in your hand. Gathering up your tokens at the end of a round is delightful, as they fill your hand (and then some). Declaring you are out of a color enables you to make nice heavy “thunk” with the token you remove from your player board. Even just placing a token onto the giant research board is much more satisfying than it should be.

The printing of the token design is now on both sides of the tokens, so you won’t be fumbling around to set them right side up. Instead of storing them in a communal tray in the box, each player gets their own cat-shaped GameTrayz storage bin for their tokens, complete with a clear plastic lid.

And while they aren’t player tokens, there are now 4x size cat head tokens for marking off spaces on the research board…and they’re screen printed with eyes and nose now too!

Player Boards

The player boards have been redesigned to be laid out horizontally, so you can place the card you are playing above your player board for each color. It makes it easier to see by all players, and players are much more likely to use this function of their player board due to the new shape, which means there’s less chance of them unintentionally playing a card they’ve declared that they are out of. Because the player boards are larger, it’s even easier to see the 1 - 2 - 3 or 1 - 3 - 4 on them, so its less likely you’ll have the wrong side up when placing your initial bid.

Cards

While the cards have remained the same size, we’ve made them higher quality, and included a white edge around them so regular wear and tear doesn’t mark them up. If you’re really concerned about keeping your cards pristine, you can get custom Cat in the Box card sleeves for your game, too.

And there’s one other thing specifically for 5 player games: a new 10 card. Five player games now go from 1-10, because the research board is larger and can support it, and because the 5 player game could be a little too short when it was only 1-9. That allows one more trick in a 5 player game, so that there are 8 tricks in it now, just like 3 and 4 player games.

Central Research Board

In the original Cat in the Box, the research board consisted of two small cardboard panels measuring about 6” x 4”  that you could slide 4 cards into. One side of those cards was straightforward 1-9 numbers, while the other side provided offset numbers. The research board in Colossal Cat in the Box is much larger, coming in at an unfolded size of 22” x 8”, and instead of inserting cards, you insert printed cardboard pieces. There are now 14 slots across instead of the original’s 12, which allows for numbers up to 10 (for 5 players).

In addition, the new expansions take advantage of this new research board, with a new set of inserts for each expansion. It’s easy to slide them in and out to change which expansion you’re playing with.

The Expansions

New to Colossal Cat in the Box are two new expansions:

String Theory offsets each of the numbers on the board, and adds string "connectors" that allow for larger contiguous areas containing more tokens. The focus in this expansion is maximizing your connected token bonus (while still being careful to avoid a paradox).

The Doppler Effect reduces the chance of a paradox by about 50%, allowing players more flexibility when placing their tokens on the research board. Spaces contain 2 numbers instead of just 1, giving you more options and control for winning or losing each trick.

GameTrayz™ storage bins

There are six cat-shaped storage bins that players can place next to them during the game to contain their player markers. Each bin has a clear cover and the base is colored to match the token colors.

The box has a larger GameTrayz tray that stores everything nice and neat (including the aforementioned cat-shaped storage bins), making setup and cleanup a breeze. And of course the slot for cards supports both sleeved and unsleeved cards.

The Whole Package

The game fits in a standard 12” x 12” x 3” (Ticket to Ride size) box, but when taken out has immense table presence.

Colossal Cat in the Box will be on Kickstarter August 29th! Click here up to be notified when it launches here.




Ted Alspach
Ted Alspach

Author




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