AMERICAN SPECIALTY TOY RETAILING ASSOCIATION (ASTRA) MEMBERS NAME RAT-A-TAT CAT TO THE 2016 “BEST TOYS FOR KIDS AWARD” LIST!
What a crazy and fun game! My daughter, who is 6, was really excited to play Rat-A-Tat Cat. We have two cats so anything that has to do with cats is her thing. This game proved to be a lot more fun and exciting than I originally had anticipated. I’m going to do my best to describe it and I’ve also included the PDF file below that has the rules to the game just in case I confuse anyone! This game deals with numbers, but also has a lot of strategy and awareness tied to it that makes it very hilarious and keeps your attention. The most fun was teaching Brooke how to keep a straight face while playing. It can be a tough skill for young kids, but this is a great way to learn how to not ‘let the cat out of the bag’ if you are not pleased with a card. Let me explain……
Rat-A-Tat Cat is a game of suspense, strategy, and anticipation. Players are working to get rid of the high “rat” number cards and go for the low “cat” number cards. The entire point of the game is to get the lowest number of points and each player starts out with four cards lined out in front of them. However, there is a lot of twists. For one (we played the version for ‘younger children’) you can only see two of your four cards at all times, so most of the time you have no idea about the total of all your cards! Note: You can also play a version of the game where you only get to ‘peek’ at your two outer cards and have to remember them without looking for the rest of the game, but that may have to wait a year or two before we play that way with Brooke. There are three special ‘power cards’ that can come up while playing. If you get them on the initial draw, you can use them, and if you end up with one at the end of the game, you have to draw a card from the deck and keep those points, so it’s a risky move. The power cards really need no explanation since they are called ‘peek’, ‘swap’, or ‘draw 2’. Need more info? Well, ok! A ‘peek’ card means just that and just happens to be our FAVORITE CARD TO GET. You get to peek at any of your four cards to know what you have. If you are playing the version we did, you have two cards that are facing down, so you get a chance to look at one of the two. A ‘swap’ card means you can swap one of your cards with another player, or you have the option (if you don’t want to take that chance) of just discarding the card. A ‘draw 2’ card means you get to take two turns in a row.
Rat-a-tat Cat gives kids a way to develop a keen sense of timing and an understanding of basic, but essential, mathematical concepts. You have to use your noggin to remember cards that are face down if you get a chance to peek and you have to figure out strategies in trying to guess what other players have. As Gamewright calls it, you get to develop an ‘intuitive sense of probability’. There is definitely skill involved and it is actually challenging for Bob and I as parents almost as much as Brooke. Sure you can get rid of your two face up rat cards pretty quickly, but if you get no peeks, you just have to remember that there are only 17 rat cards and 28 cat cards, so you start to develop strategies in your mind the probability of having one or two high numbered cards in your pile. While we are all competitive, we actually had fun showing and adding up all our cards at the end, so there is a definite element of fun that makes you want to keep playing. We are all working on our poker faces, too!
Check it out! Watch this video on how to play Rat-A-Tat Cat!
- Ages 6 and up
- 2 to 6 players
- Playing time: about 20 minutes
- Stock #: 204
- see additional specs
- 54 Cards
- rules of play – Download PDF
- rules in Spanish
Rat-A-Tat Cat Card Game Awards Received:
- Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award
- Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Products
- Mensa Select
- National Parenting Publications (NAPPA) Honors
- Games Magazine Top 100 Game
- Canadian Toy Testing Council *** (Highest Rating)
- Canadian Toy Testing Council “Children’s Choice” Award
- Dr. Toy’s Best Classic Toys
- Major Fun Award
About Gamewright: Gamewright was founded in 1994 by four parents in Newton, MA whose kids wanted great games. From the start, their mission has remained clear: Create the highest quality family games with outstanding play-value. Guided by themes and experiences that transcend age and salted with a bit of irreverence, their games are designed to foster laughter, learning, friendship and fun. Over the years their family has grown to over 50 games, 150 awards, and countless happy players.
List Price: $ 11.99