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Subject: Loved By Lady X - A Good Gateway Card Game For Youngsters rss

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A Maracle
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I can still remember how sick and tired I was getting of playing Candyland over and over with my dear daughter, Lady X. Being 4 at the time, our options for games were really quite limitted. I decided to scope out a few good Geeklists and see if I could pull a Snake Pleskin and Escape from Candyland. Rat-A-Tat Cat came up a on quite a few lists as a winner with the young ones and I decided to give it a try.

Two years later, we're still playing and loving every minute of it.

Initial Thoughts

I like to refer to Rat-A-Tat Cat as a "milk and cookies" game (since beer and pretzels are not suitable for Lady X). It is a great, quick little game that is nice to play two or three times as a warm-up before you plunge into a serious session of Gulo Gulo or Hunters and Gatherers.

Object Of The Game

To have the lowest total of the four cards in your possesion after someone knocks and says "Rat-A-Tat Cat".

Componets

Inside the box or tin, you recieve a rulesheet and 54 plastic coated playing cards with images of cats and rats on them. The cards are numbered from 0 to 9, but there are a few cards that allow you to take a special action on your turn, such as Draw 2, Peek or Swap.

As a travel tip, I have discovered that you can also pack a Junior Uno deck inside the box in addition to the Rat-A-Tat Cat deck, so you can have the option to change games if you are getting trounced by your young one.

Gameplay

(1) Each player is dealt 4 cards face down and is not permitted to look at them.

(2) During a players turn, they can either draw off the top of the deck or take a card from the discard pile. If they choose to keep the card, they must discard one of the cards in their possession.

(3) Instead of drawing on their turn, a player can knock and say "Rat-A-Tat Cat". Everyone is allowed one more turn and then the game ends. Every player totals their cards and the one with the lowest total wins.

Easier Version - The rules make a suggestion for playing with players younger than 5. After the cards are dealt, players can flip over two cards and then play proceeds. This is a great variation to the game and not only makes it easier for young child, but also for adults who have a bad memory.

Strategy v.s. Luck Factor

I will not kid you: this game is pretty much all luck. You are truly at the mercy of the cards in this game, but they can often work to the young players advantage.

I've tried the strategy of ditching my two face down cards on the my first two turns so that I know exaclty how much I have. Far too often I have wound up discaring lower cards than the ones I keep.

Still, the special cards can bring a little strategy into the game. Lady X takes full advatange of the Swap cards and has learned how to read my face after I have used a Peek. She has also learned to knock on her first turn if her face up cards are signnificantly lower than mine.

Closing Thoughts

I still love playing this game with Lady X and now, her three year old sister Princess S has joined in our sessions. I would not want to play this for like an hour straight, but three or four games is just enough to get me warmed up for a little more "in depth" game.

Your millage may vary with this game depending on how game orient your child is. Lady X has proven she is well on her way to becoming a hard-core Game Geek, so she really enjoys this game.

Recommendation Summary

Wyll's Recommendation: thumbsup

Fun Factor (5 Point Scale): 3

One Line Summary: Great light, gateway card game for ages 4 to 6.
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Davido
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Thank you for the review-I was thinking of this for my soon to be 5 yo daughter and worried that the 'math' might be too advanced. I'll definitely put this on the 'to get' list
 
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A Maracle
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At 5, we really didn't find the math to be much of a problem. Lady X didn't so much learn to add as she understood that "this number is smaller than this number" and by doing that, she really caught on to the game. I would like to think this game really helped her adding and math skills.

Now that she is six, she can add... like "0+0 is zero (ducks fingers under the table and mumbles a bit)... Rat-A-Tat Cat!".
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Sifu
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Re: Loved By Lady X - A Good Gateway Card Game For Youngster
Quick, painless, and occasionally fun for adults - I think this one is a must have for households with 4-7 year olds. It's a great option when you don't have time for longer, more involved games.
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Take joy from your wins; take lessons from your losses.
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Re: Loved By Lady X - A Good Gateway Card Game For Youngster
    A good review for a kid's game -- not enough of these on BGG. Keep up the good work.

             Sag.
 
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Larry Welborn
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I bought this recently and my 6 and 4 year old both enjoy it. Quick playing, it is an easy game to get in right before bedtime.
 
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