So I checked out this game from my library (yes my library does this cool thing) called Cat Crimes because………Cat Crimes.  Anyway it’s fantastic and I’m gonna talk about it for a minute.

So….basically Cat Crimes is a series of logic puzzles in a box disguised as a game about cats wreaking havoc, which we are all aware that they do, right?  What role do you play in all this? You have to deduce from the clues given which cat ate the bird, or swallowed the fish or spilled the coffee and so on.

It’s really quite clever. In fact, let’s just run through one so you can see it played.

First off, there are six places around the rug that the cats can be sitting. Anytime the clue card says cats were upstairs sleeping, that means they won’t be used in this puzzle. If the clues say a cat is sitting in front of something, it means that is their position, if the clues say next to, then that means not in front of something, but to either side. When the clues say across from, that means directly across from, not diagonal.

So, let’s take it step by step:

Mr. Mittens and Pip Squeak were upstairs sleeping. This means they won’t be used in this puzzle, which is a shame because they are my two favorite cats (maybe it’s the bells).

Tom Cat was sitting in front of catnip & a sock. There is only one spot on the rug that has both Catnip and a Sock. So Tom Cat has to be sitting there. There are other spots with Catnip and Claw Marks, or a Sock and a Bell Ball, but those aren’t the ones we need.  So we place Tom Cat in his spot.

Sassy was sitting across from Tom Cat. Since across means directly across, we know exactly where to put Sassy.

Ginger was sitting next to the fish bowl. This means that Ginger was not sitting in front of the fish bowl but to either side.  We can guess that it’s beside Sassy, but we really don’t know which side yet, so let’s move on to the next clue.

Duchess was sitting to the left of Sassy. Since Duchess has to be sitting to the left of Sassy (from Sassy’s point of view), that means Ginger has to be sitting on the other side of the fish bowl (from our previous clue). Now we know where everyone was sitting.

And since Duchess is sitting in front of the Ruined Shoes we can determine that Duchess is the culprit. Cat Crimes!

So, we flip over the Clue Card to get our answer:

Yes! We got it right. Duchess was the culprit and we have solved our very first Cat Crime.

See what I mean? It’s adorable right? This little game has it all for me. It’s very well produced. The Cats are great both in their personality and their durability. The opening puzzles are really great at warming you up. I played the first 20 cards in one night with my 5 year old niece and it wasn’t until around the tenth card or so that she really started having issues with the logic and asking for help. But we were able to talk it out and keep going, and since this is 100% a cooperative game that is exactly what you want to do. Around card 15 she started fading, but I kept going and she cheered along, yelling Cat Crimes and high fiving after each solution.

I will also tell you that I have been doing Logic Puzzles for years so in my bravado I skipped ahead to puzzle 39 (I accidentally peaked at the solution to 40, so I couldn’t do that one. Well puzzle 39 almost got me.  I finally figured it out after about 30 minutes of constant placing and moving of cats, but it was NOT easy. There is some real challenge to the later puzzles.

This little game is not for everyone. Some people just don’t like logic. But it is awesome for kids. It teaches critical thinking skills while being incredibly cute and gives a real sense of accomplishment when you solve the puzzle. I’m hoping that there will be more puzzles like this forthcoming from Think Fun, either in the form of more cards or a whole new game. Either way, me and Olivia are in. Until then we will be playing this one over and over.

Cat Crimes!

Tiny Ninja Approved!!!