OBJECT OF RAT A TAT CAT: The object of Rat a Tat Cat is to be the player with the lowest score at the end of the game.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 6 players
MATERIALS: 28 Cat Cards, 17 Rat Cards, and 9 Power Cards
TYPE OF GAME: Strategy Card Game
OVERVIEW OF RAT A TAT CAT
This game is an awesome strategy game for families that have younger participants. It will quickly teach them to be competitive, strategic, and they must learn to memorize their cards if they want to be the winner. The goal of the game is to have the lowest points, and that can prove difficult when you can’t see your cards!
Each player has four cards. Throughout a round, players attempt to replace their cards with cards of lower point value. Hopefully you can remember your cards and not give yourself more points on accident!
To setup, the group chooses one player to be the dealer. The role of scorekeeper is assigned to the oldest player in the group. The dealer will shuffle the whole deck, give four cards, face down, to each player. The players should not look at their cards! Each player may place their cards in a line in front of them, still facing down
The rest of the deck may be placed in the middle of the group, face down, to make the draw pile. The card on top of the draw pile is then flipped, face up, and placed next to the draw pile. This will create the discard pile. The game is ready to begin!
To begin the game, all players can look at their two outer cards of the four face down cards in front of them. If one, or both, of the cards are Power Cards, their powers do not work. They only work when drawn from the Draw Pile.
The player on the dealer’s left begins the game and gameplay continues to the left around the group. A player may do one of two things during their turn. They may choose to draw the last card that had been discarded and use it to replace one of their cards. The card that has been replaced is discarded, faceup, into the discard pile. The other option is to draw a card from the draw pile and use it to replace one of their cards.
There are three types of Power Cards that may provide special abilities to the player that uses them. There are Peek Power Cards, which allow the player to peek at any one of their facedown cards. The Swap Power Cards allow the player to swap any of one of their cards with one of another players. This is optional, and the player who drew the card can decline, as they are unable to look at either of the cards they are swapping.
The Draw 2 Power Card gives the player an option to take two more turns. During their turn, they draw from the draw pile. The first turn, they may discard the card drawn and continue to their second turn, or they may use the card that was drawn and forfeit their second turn. Power Cards have no point value, and they must be replaced by a card drawn from the draw pile at the end of the round. They can make or break a winning streak!
If a player believes they have the lowest score of the group, they may knock on the table during their turn and say “rat a tat cat”, ending the round. Each player then flips over their cards, replacing Power Cards with cards from the draw pile. Each player adds up the point values of their cards, and the score keeper keeps up with the scores of each round. The player to the left of the dealer becomes the new dealer.
END OF GAME
The game may end three different ways, depending on what the group decides. The group may play for a certain number of rounds or for a specific length of time. In these cases, the player with the lowest points at the end of the game is the winner.
The game also has the option to play to 100 points. Once a player reaches 100 points, they remove themselves from the game. The last player to still be in the game wins.