French publisher NosyCats is adapting its first title, House of Cats, from a Taiwanese roll-and-write game that wrinkles the now popular genre by allowing players to strategically withhold information.
The group of friends that composes the studio played T-Rex’s Holiday, designed by Wang Yu, at Essen 2019. They reportedly fell in love, bought a copy and immediately began modifying and adapting it for wider distribution.
Like T-Rex’s Holiday, House of Cats builds on a roll-and-write system wherein one player tosses several dice and everyone records the results on a scorecard designed with various blanks. The die faces represent cats in need of a snug box or nook in which to nap somewhere in the towering house. The already adorable looking art for the game will be done by French artist Ophélie "Honey" Ortal.
Most dice can be placed anywhere on the sheet, allowing each of the two to five players to chase their preferred strategy according to the rolls. But a cat tower allows the player rolling the dice to hide one of the results until after the public-facing results have been recorded. This secret die can only be placed in specific sections of the house that change as the game progresses - your best-laid plans may be disrupted by the devil-may-care attitude of an errant cat.
NosyCats acquired the rights to adapt and ship its take on T-Rex’s Holiday since the distribution footprint of Taiwan Boardgames Design doesn’t reach European and American markets. Before release in March of 2021, the publisher plans to tweak gameplay for smaller groups to cut down on long match times - the title advertises a succinct 15 to 20 minutes per game - and add dedicated solo and six-player cooperative modes.
The Kickstarter campaign for House of Cats will run until December 22nd and is only available through backing - NosyCats has no current plans to take the game to retail.