I am a fan of long, involved and relatively serious games. This post is not about one of those.Hello there, you are very welcome. Recently I went on a road trip to Hadrian’s Hobbies, in the village of Brampton. It is the local hobby/wargame/some boardgames and train stockists. I go there regularly with a friend as we are friends with the owner. Plus he gives us tea and coffee. We were there because Warhammer 40k 8th Edition was just out and my friend was going to demo a couple of games, but that never happened. But that didn’t matter because we got to play Kittens in a Blender, by redshift.
Kittens in a Blender is a shortish game, of black comedy/kitten survival horror (ok that might be overstating it, but not by much) where up to four players try and save as many of their kittens as they can whilst eliminating the other teams’ kittens via the blender.
Play is simple. Each player has six cards in their hand, and they can play two per turn. These can be kitten cards (of the 4 player colours), Move cards,
and the much feared blender card. There is also the blender spike which can prevent a blender.
In front of all players there are three play areas. The box (represented by one half of the game box), the counter (whatever surface you are playing on), and the blender (the other half of the game box).
When playing kitten cards, you can play them to any area. Box, counter or blender. The object being to have as many of your kittens in the box when the blender goes off. When someone activates a blender, any kittens in the blender are put under the Blender – they are out. Any kittens in the box are put under the box. They are safe. Any on the counter are added to the blender after it is finished. Play passes to the next player once you have played two cards, and drawn two.
This game is simple, silly and fun. It is not as quick as exploding kittens as there is much more to and fro. And kittens in a blender are not necessarily doomed, as a move kitties card allows you to move kittens one space multiple times, or multiples kittens once (or any combination in between) depending on the value of the card. So, I might put two blue kittens into the blender, but then blue player might play kitties move 3, and take those two from the blender to the counter and one of mine from the counter to the blender.
I think the most fun that comes from the game actually arises from the artwork. All of the kittens are unique, as far as I could determine. They all have their own names and expressions, and therefore personalities.
That was amusing but also hard because at one point I knew I had to save as many of my kittens as I could, by triggering a blend, before someone else moved my kittens out of safety. I had to use my move kitties card as one action to save as many as I could, then activate a blend to secure their safety. I had to make a decision about which kitties lived and died. It was heartbreaking. And hilarious.
I didn’t win, though I was second. The winner was gleeful for two reasons (aside from winning).
- He hadn’t activated the blender once in the game
- His final action was to force the losing player to blend his own last kittens.
I suspect cat lovers might find the idea a tad difficult to find funny.
If taken for what it is, then Kittens in a Blender is an amusing game that can pass half an hour. My only criticism, it actually felt a tiny bit longer than I would have liked. But that is only a minor thing.