Our oldest daughter has a birthday in April and is a huge cat fan so in honor of her, we are reviewing cat-related games. At the top of our list is Sequence, Cat edition. Unfortunately, you won’t find a bargain on this edition of Sequence. It’s a couple of years out of print and resellers seem proud of that. Look to the original version of Sequence if you’d like to save some cash… and just imagine an overwhelming amount of cats instead of playing cards.
Apparently, we are late to the Sequence game. It’s always a popular game when on sale and we have had a cat version for well over a year sitting just on our game shelf, a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law for her cat-loving granddaughter. As a family, we had discussed breaking it out several times, but always had so many other games that have commanded our attention instead.
Finally, looking for a new lunchtime game, we broke it out. I have to admit, the simple one-page instructions and easy setup were a massive relief. For far too long our family has played in-depth, complicated board games with small novels for instructions. The last few games we have tried, although absolutely beautiful in design, have resulted in frustration when reading the instructions and ended with the kids wandering off, and usually my husband and I boxing the game back up. We have even resorted to looking at multiple YouTube videos for instructions on play- Everdell, I am looking at you. It was with great relief and little disbelief when I was able to read through the instructions and understand Sequence in less than five minutes.
The play is simple, think Memory meets Bingo. Each player is dealt a hand, depending on the number of players, and given marker chips. In this version, each card has a different cat breed on it with the name. The board has corresponding images of each breed with two purr (sorry, I couldn’t help it) breed randomly divided on each side of the board. On each turn, a player must lay down one card and place a token on one of the two images on the board matching their card. The first player, or team, to get five marker discs in a row to make a sequence twice wins.
The game has a few catveats (I promise, it’s the last one). There are two Meow cards and two Purr cards in the deck. A Meow card allows you to remove an opponent’s marker unless it is in an already completed sequence. A Purr card provides you the benefit of placing a chip anywhere you want. If you play a card and both cats are already taken on the board then you discard the card, draw another, and continue with your turn.
One point that put us off at first was that there were only three bags of discs. Since we are a family of four, this seemed to be an issue, however, you can play with up to three individuals or you can play on teams. Playing either way creates different challenges. When playing as a team you kinda have to follow your partner’s lead, but playing three individual players puts a lot of discs on the board and your options dwindle quickly as turns progress.
Some players have found it difficult to tell some of the breeds apart when trying to decide where to place a marker. We found the same issue, but once you have played it a few times you get a feel for where most of them are. Plus, our daughters have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of reading the different breed names and trying to figure out which one our older, adopted pile of fluff might be descended from. Compared to the original version of Sequence, which uses the suites of a deck of cards as the board tiles, you also lose wild “Jack” spaces when playing the cat version. It’s really up to you which one you want to go with, there are several different versions.
We love that Sequence is such a simple game. The gameplay is easy and quick to explain to new players, and kids can especially pick it up quickly. The box suggests players ages 7 and up, but I think the manufacturer underestimates younger kids. These kids are playing games on tablets at younger ages, so to expect a little one under 7 to pick up on Sequence is no stretch of the imeowgination. (sorry, not sorry)