Cats! Cats, cats, and more cats! Scott Brady’s boop. is a new game from Smirk & Dagger and it’s all about cats. Each player has starts with kittens and maneuvers the kittens on the board to try to “upgrade” their kittens to cats, so they can make the moves to win the bed! Be very careful, though, because these cats and kittens are very skittish!
What’s in the box?
Smirk & Dagger’s Scott Brady’s boop. game from Smirk & Dagger’s comes with a quilted bed top, 8 ginger tabby cats, 8 ginger tabby kittens, 8 Maltese cats, 8 Maltese kittens, and the instructions. The cats and kittens are solid wooden pieces with a good heft and easy to grip for smaller fingers. The bed topper is quilted into squares with six squares along each side. It is made of fabric and, yes, it has batting. It’s firm, though, so your cats and kittens won’t roll around unless you want them to.
How to play Smirk & Dagger’s boop:
The game board is the bottom of the box! Take everything out, turn it over, and cover it with the quilted bed top. The sides of the box (hidden when the box is closed) are designed to look like the edges of a bed, with a bed skirt and even a couple of playful kitties peeking out from under the ruffle. Each player chooses a color and takes their cats and kittens. The cats become the reserve and game play begins with the kittens.
Game play is simple (just place a kitten or cat on the quilt), but very strategic! Every time a kitten is placed next to another kitten, every kitten adjacent to the newly added kitten (including your own!), boops one square away from the invading kitten, including on the diagonals. In order to upgrade your kittens to cats, you have to place your kittens in such a way that you can get three of your kittens in a row, so you can see why strategy is very important when every time a kitten comes near yours, they get moved one square away. If your kitten is on the edge of the bed, it gets booped right off the bed and back into your reserve to play again.
Don’t worry about not being able to line up kittens, because the booking is restricted to the kittens touching the newly placed kitten. There are no chain reactions. And, when two kittens are already cuddled up, side-by-side (even diagonally), they can’t be booped at all.
Each move, after the kittens have finished their booping, check to see if there are any rows of three kittens. If you do manage to get three of your own kittens in a row, you upgrade them to cats. The three kitten pieces get removed from play (or become a delightful tableau built by your opponent) and you then have three cats to play. This counts for both players. Kittens can be upgraded regardless of whose turn it was.
Cats are important and not just because you need to get three in a row to win. Cats do not boop away from kittens, so it’s easier to line them up if your opponent hasn’t graduated any cats yet. Cats can boop each other, though, so be mindful of the required boops on each play, especially if you have cats or kittens at the edge of the bed. For upgrading kittens to cats, the rules apply to cats, as well, so if you have two kittens and a cat or two cats and a kitten, you remove them from the board, retire the kittens and add the same number of cats to your pool.
How to Win Scott Brady’s boop:
There are two ways to win. You either get three cats in a row (after all of the cats and kittens have been booped) or you get eight cats on the board at once. Sounds simple, but strategy is key when your cats and kittens are skittish and boop themselves around the bed!
Smirk & Dagger’s Scott Brady’s boop. is a 2-player strategy game for players 10 and up. If you want your younger children to play, either play in teams, with at least one player 10 and up on each team or play it yourself a few times to see if your little can manage. The pieces are so nice, though, that even if they end up making their own game of it, they’ll enjoy it. Each piece is about 1” by 1” (accounting for the shape of the kitten/cat), so very littles probably shouldn’t play with them. If you play strictly by the rules, you can get through a game in about 20 minutes. If you’re playing with very creative people, the storytelling might push it a little longer. It’s super fun, though, so you won’t mind!
I can see a lot of potential for customization sets and a magnetic version for travel would be a great addition to your travel bag. Can’t wait!