Cat Crimes Game, a Feline-Friendly Game of Logic for One Player
Cat lovers and gamers rejoice! Your overlords, er I mean favorite feline friends, are up to some antics and their owner needs your help to figure out which cat is committing which crime! Cat Crimes Game is a pawsome game of logic for one player from Thinkfun. We heard about the game from some friends who were checking out the Torchlight Curriculum and I loved the idea of a solo-play logic game (I also love the idea of a curriculum that uses games!)
I apologize for none of the puns in this post.
About Cat Crimes Game
Disclaimer: I was not asked to do this review. This is a game we purchased on our own.
Published by educational toy company Thinkfun, Cat Crimes is a classic who done it game with a twist, the criminals are felines and the game is played by one player.
The premise: You’ve agreed to check in on your neighbor’s 6 cats while they’re away. Every time you walk in the house a new crime has been committed. Socks have been purrrloined, floors are clawed, not even the pet bird is safe. But what cat is committing which crime? It’s your job to find out which cat committed which crime, and to do so you’ll need to interview the cats.
How To Play Cat Crimes Game
Cat Crimes is actually a litter of mini-challenges. The game comes with 40 challenges ranging from beginner to expert. As of the writing of this review there are no expansion packs, but a kitty can dream.
To set up the game lay out the main game piece, a living room tile, on the table. Draw a challenge card, you can either start at 1 and work through 40 or select a card randomly. For the first few rounds I suggest following card order as the cards increase in difficulty as you progress. Each card features a crime scene and details about the crime committed. The player uses the clues given on the card along with the information they already know about the cat (an interview sheet is in the instruction booklet) to place the cats around the living room. You will shift the cats around based on the clues, with the guilty cat eventually being placed in front of the crime.
PRO TIP: Your child needs to know left and right from both their perspective and the cat’s perspective to play this game without adaptation.
How to Adapt Cat Crimes Game
To play Cat Crimes Game on their own, as intended, your child needs to have solid reading skills on a 3rd to 4th grade level. Due to the reading requirement the minimum suggested age by the publisher is 8. If your child isn’t on that reading level, no worries, your child can still play the game if you read the clues to them.
If your child has trouble with left & right or other directional commands, you can easily make a map or write a small L and R on your child’s thumbs. Encourage your child to walk around the game table to see it from the cat’s perspective.
Team playing of Cat Crimes adds chances for kids to learn how to work together to solve a problem. You could even mix a reader & non-reader as teammates so they can learn from each other. Cat Crimes also makes a great ice breaker game for tween and teen groups.
For kids who may live with anxiety, games can be a big source of frustration. Cat Crimes Game is a wonderful, non-competitive, solo play game to give kids who are working through issues like this. Because there is no need to play the entire game at once your child can take as much time as they need to think about and solve a level.
Skills Learned in Cat Crimes
Observation – Your child will develop a keen sense of observation while playing Cat Crimes. The game trains your child to look for clues and match them to other clues and facts.
Critical thinking – You may think the queen of cattitude, Dutchess, is the obvious perpetrator, but you’d be remiss to overlook tiny Pip Squeak. Your child will need to sort through multiple pieces of information in order to ascertain which cat committed the crime.
Logic – Cat Crimes is first and furmost a logic game. Logic games encourage children to use their reasoning and deductive skills to solve a puzzle.
Independence – Cat Crimes Game is a 1 player game, untimed, and non-competitive.
Reading comprehension – Your child will get lots of practice reading instructions and making their moves based on what they read.
Memory & study skills – While not a memory game per se, your child will find their memory & study skills improving as they start referring to the cat interview material less and less.
How Does Cat Crimes Play?
I have a special place in my heart for brain teaser puzzles so I asked my sons, ages 11 & 13, to take a look at the game. Both were able to easily complete the first few levels, which gave them confidence to continue once they hit some of the more puzzling challenges. Both kiddos were able to easily play the game alone and they spent several evenings playing it together and separately.
What I Love About Cat Crimes Game
-Cat Crimes is ONE PLAYER! One player games that retain their playability factor are rare, but Cat Crimes is one of the rarities.
-Cat Crimes is highly adaptable to meet your child’s developmental level.
-High interest. Let’s face it, some of us spend an abnormally concerning amount of time watching cat videos, so why not change focus and play a cat game for our ameowsment?
Is There Anything I Don’t Love About Cat Crimes Game?
Nope! My only wish is that there were expansion packs. I’d love to see some new carpets and challenge cards, or even a larger version. This isn’t the type of game you can expect to own forever, once your child finishes the initial 40 challenge cards they’re probably going to be done with it, but considering the very low price point I think the game is an absolutely worthwhile purchase!
Fast Facts about Cat Crimes
Buy it: Get it on Amazon
Cost: Very reasonable
Players: 1 player
Reading Required: Proficient reading skills necessary
Adaptability: Easily adapted
Skills taught: Observation, critical thinking, logic, independence, reading comprehension, memory, study skills
Worldview: Safe Secular Choice
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Meg Grooms is a long-time homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle and currently call Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.