Those that’ve been long-time readers of TGN know that I have a love of “gaming backpack games.” Those are games that are very small and compact, tend to have few rules and a small footprint on the table, and can be played at almost a moment’s notice. They’re so named because you can toss them in your gaming backpack and whip them out whenever you’ve got a spare moment, be it before the rest of your group shows up for an RPG session, or between rounds in a miniatures game tourney, or just whenever you and some friends have a couple spare minutes. Super Kitty Bug Slap, from Steve Jackson Games, fits firmly into that category. But how does the game work?
Well, the fine folks over there sent me a copy, so I can tell you all about it.
Please, leave your fly swatters at home (they’d be cheating). It’s time for another TGN Review. This time, it’s Supper Kitty Bug Slap.
There’s an old game out there that is known by various names. One of the more G-rated of them is Egyptian Rat Screw. It’s a game where players flip playing cards from a standard poker deck out and if two numbers match, you slap your hand down on the pile as fast as you can. If you’re a fan of that game, you’ll probably be a fan of Super Kitty Bug Slap, too.
The game consists of 52 cards, divided up into 48 Game cards and 4 Player cards. On each card is a picture of a kitty. The kitties come in circular, triangular, and square varieties. They are also orange, purple, or green. Some have a fly on them, while others have a ladybug, and others have no bug at all.
At the start of the game, each player receives one of the 4 Player cards. This will determine what types of kitties they are trying to match during the game. The rest of the deck is shuffled and one player is designated the dealer for the round. They won’t be scoring points, but will have a chance later on when another player takes over the role as dealer.
The dealer will take the top card of the deck and flip it out into the playing area, so it’s face-up. Players must then try and be the first to slap the card, if it matches any of the aspects of their Player card (I.E. – if the color, shape, or bug type matches, they want the card). Whomever slaps the card first, gets it and puts it into a pile. If nobody slaps the card (since it doesn’t match any of the Player’s cards), it is removed. When all the cards have been played out, points are tallied. Players score 1 point for a Game card that matches their Player card in some way (again, either color, shape, or bug type). They get -2 points for each card they slapped that doesn’t match in any way. Once the points are tallied, the Game cards are shuffled, and the next player will be the Dealer. Once everyone has had a chance to be the Dealer, players total up their final score. The player with the highest total is the winner.
And… that’s really about it. I did say that the game was really quick. Just play some cards, slap ‘em if they match, and hope you weren’t mistaken. It’s interesting because not every Game card will match a Player card. So, at the end of the round, there should be some cards that go unslapped. The Player cards are square and circle, along with orange and purple, and have both types of bugs. But there’s triangle cats and green cats in the Game deck, so the game isn’t simply about having fast reflexes. You have to actually look at the card and make sure it’s right before you bring your hand down. Not the tactical depth of Chess, of course, but it’s not supposed to be. And with the bright colors, cartoony artwork, and simple rules, it’s a game you can play with your little niece or nephew just fine.
If you want something quick-playing to just have around, it’s easy to grab this one and go.
You can order your copy now from the Steve Jackson Games website here.