You are cute. You are cunning. You are fierce. You are a magical kitty and it's time to save the day.
How does Magical Kitties work?
In this all-ages roleplaying game (RPG), each person roleplays a magical kitty. With the guidance of a character sheet, each person chooses their name and description from their imagination. Then they select their talent, flaw and magical power from a list provided in the game book.
The game master (GM) leads the players through an adventure in which the kitties need to solve two problems: their hometown problem and their human (their owner) problem. An example of a hometown problem might be that the river is polluted, creating zombie mutants. An example of a human problem is that their human is lonely.
The starter kit comes with a pre-made adventure in the hometown of River City. The problem is that a spell-casting librarian has created a portal to send people into their favorite books. However, since the people didn’t ask to go into the portal and probably don’t want the trouble that is awaiting them (maybe they are thrown into jail or being chased by dinosaurs), the kitties must stop the librarian from continuing her spell casting. However, they are not allowed to use their magical powers in front of humans.
What is it like to play a roleplaying game?
Of course, the kitties don’t know any of this at the beginning of the game. Part of the game is solving the mystery of what the problems are. The GM describes a scene to the players, and they say what they would like to do in response. For example:
GM: You realize that your human hasn’t come home for dinner, but no one else in the family seems worried. You decide to investigate. Where do you go?
Me: I go outside and see if there’s any suspicious footprints.
GM: There are no suspicious footprints, but you smell an apple pie baking. What do you do?
And on it goes, until the kitties have managed to figure out the library is where they need to be. As with other RPGs, players decide what they want to do, and the roll of the dice determines whether they succeed.
Our first play experience
The GM has to have a good imagination to fill in details and flesh out the starter storyline. Once you’ve done the starter kit, the GM will make up entire storylines for new adventures. My youngest, who has always loved writing stories and has led his friends through RPGs before, was a perfect fit for our GM. Even with his past experience as a GM, he had to learn the specific rules of Magical Kitties, so the first time through was a little bumpy.
The rest of us were comfortable being in character and playing our roles, though for some families, this could be a stumbling block. My husband and I fully embraced our characters and looked for opportunities to use our various skills and flaws. My kitty’s flaw was that she jumps to conclusions a lot, so I took every opportunity to throw out theories about what was going on in the library with each clue that we received. My husband’s kitty had the magical power of being able to flatten himself like a sheet of paper, so he frequently used that to get into and out of places.
My middle son has played other RPGs and could give good advice when we should use something we hadn’t thought of. As a silly 14-year-old, he sometimes used his powers gratuitously.
For example, when he needed to escape the custodian in the library, he announced, “I’m going to make an athletic jump [his talent], burn a hole into a tree [his magical power] and hang from it.”
My husband asked, “Why burn a hole? You can just jump into the tree.”
My youngest, the GM, also felt it was a bad move. “That’s a waste of two dice.”
But there was no reasoning with him. “I’m burning a hole!” he declared.
Our first experience with it was fine; it was entertaining and used both our imagination and thinking skills as we tried to unravel the mystery and then figure out how to solve it, but as the GM was still learning the rules of the world, some things didn't go as smoothly as they will when we have more experience with it.
Is it a good fit for your family?
The game can be played with as few as 2 people (a GM and a kitty) or as many kitties as the GM can handle (it could get tricky keeping each human problem straight). It can be played in as little as an hour or could go on as long as you please. In other words, the experience of the game is very dependent on the GM and the storyline they choose and whether the kitties focus on solving the problems or if they’d rather add side quests just for fun.
The more you play together, the more confident you’ll become in the game play and the more world building that will happen. Other reviewers on Amazon seemed to make it a regular gaming experience and enjoyed it.
Since we've played as a family, my youngest has also played with some friends, and they enjoyed it. Magical Kitties Save the Day is a unique game that will be a great fit for some. If it intrigues you, go to Atlas Game's YouTube channel and watch some videos to get a better sense for your own family.