Frequently asked questions

The Isle of Cats

Welcome to the official FAQ for Explore & Draw, on this page you will find answers to all the frequently asked questions about the game.

Card clarifications

I have a question about a specific card:

You can find a list of card clarifications here.

Which cards should I use to play?

Family Mode

Use all of the green backed cards only.

Standard mode

  1. Place all of the lesson module cards to one side (see page 23 of the rulebook).
  2. Shuffle all of the remaining blue backed cards together to form your discovery deck.
    • If you have the Kickstarter pack (cards with the purple bag in the bottom left corner) you should include all of the non-lesson module cards everytime you play.
    • If your have the Late Arrivals expansion (cards with the brown treasure chest in the bottom left corner), you should only include these cards when playing with 5 or 6 players.
  3. Select 3 sets of lesson modules (each module contains 8 cards) and shuffle them into the discovery deck.
    • If you are playing with 5 or 6 players you should add an additional 2 lesson modules, 5 in total.
    • The first 3 times you play we recommend using lesson modules A, B, and C, after that we recommend switching lesson modules every 3 – 5 times you play to add more variety.

Solo mode

Form the discovery deck in the same way as the standard mode, you will also need the solo colour, basket, lesson and advanced lesson cards.

The rulebook says I have 150 discovery cards, but I actually have many more?

If you backed one of our Kickstarters, or have since purchased any of the available expansions, then you will have more cards than are stated in the rulebook. You can find a full list of them at the bottom of this page.

Public Lessons

Can I discard public lessons?


Any cards that refer to lessons, for example “discard 1 lesson card” or “gain 1 fish for each lesson card” do not include public lessons.

Once played a public lesson does not belong to any player and is in play for the rest of the game.

Oshax clarifications

Do the Oshax have their own colour?

No. The Oshax are the colour that you choose for them when placing them on your boat, for example, red.

As such there are only 5 cat colours in total, and the Oshax do not have their own colour.


If I have to discard a treasure from my boat, can I leave a gap creating 2 groups of non-connected tiles on my boat?


Whenever you play a cat or treasure tile it must touch a previously placed piece. If you later remove a tile, it is ok to leave non-connected tiles on your boat.

Where do discarded treasure tiles go?

Discarded treasures are removed from the game.


How do I pack away the game?

You can find a video tutorial on YouTube here.

Can I target other players boats/cards with actions?


Any card that refers to played cards, treasures or cats always refers to your cards and tiles only. You may never discard or interfere with other players pieces.

How many cards should I have?

Every card in The Isle of Cats is numbered, you can find the number in the bottom right corner.

The Isle of Cats game comes with 219 cards:

  • 001 – 006 Oshax cards (6)
  • 007 – 066 Rescue cards (60)
  • 067 – 097 Anytime cards (31)
  • 098 – 112 Treasure cards (15)
  • 113 – 126 Lesson cards (14)
  • 127 – 134 Lesson Module A cards (8)
  • 135 – 142 Lesson Module B cards (8)
  • 143 – 150 Lesson Module C cards (8)
  • 151 – 168 Family cards (18)
  • 169 – 173 Solo Colours cards (5)
  • 174 – 196 Solo Rescue cards (23)
  • 197 – 206 Solo Lesson cards (10)
  • 207 – 215 Advanced Solo Lesson cards (9)
  • 216 – 219 Cat/Map Reference cards (4)

The Kickstarter Pack comes with 36 cards:

  • 220 – 227 Lesson Module D cards (8)
  • 228 – 235 Lesson Module E cards (8)
  • 236 – 243 Lesson Module F cards (8)
  • 244 Treasure card (1)
  • 245 – 247 Lesson cards (3)
  • 248 – 249 Anytime cards (2)
  • 250 – 255 Rescue cards (6)

The Late Arrivals expansion comes with 70 cards:

  • 256 – 257 Oshax cards (2)
  • 258 – 287 Rescue cards (30)
  • 288 – 301 Anytime cards (14)
  • 302 – 308 Treasure cards (7)
  • 309 Lesson card (1)
  • 310 – 317 Lesson Module G cards (8)
  • 318 – 325 Lesson Module H cards (8)

The Kittens + Beasts expansion comes with 15 cards:

  • 326 – 333 Lesson Module I (8)
  • 157b Family card (1) this card replaces the existing family card 157
  • 334 – 339 Family cards (6)

The Kickstarter Pack 2 expansion comes with 12 cards:

  • 340 – 345 Rescue cards (6)
  • 346 – 347 Anytime cards (2)
  • 348 Treasure card (1)
  • 349 – 351 Lesson cards (3)

If you have a question that is not answered above, then please post on our Facebook group, on Board Game Geek, or leave a comment below and someone will respond as quickly as possible.

As the questions come in, we’ll continue to update this page.

I have a different question

If you have a question that is not answered above, then please post on our Facebook group, on Board Game Geek, or leave a comment below and someone will respond as quickly as possible.

As the questions come in, we’ll continue to update this page.

How to play

Learn how to play The Isle of Cats by watching a video or download the rulebook for the game here.

Learn how to play


Watch The Isle of Cats being played and hear from independent reviewers about their thoughts on the game.

Watch a video

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