With the recent announcement of The Isle of Cats: Treasure Pack, a new expansion for The Isle of Cats, I’d like to spend today talking about what to expect from this pack.
The Isle of Cats expansions
Ever since The Isle of Cats first released I have always monitored community discussions and listened to feedback. I have been careful in not rushing expansions and to make sure every one that is released has a purpose.
It is important to me that the overall feel of the game does not change and that expansions have definable goals that make impactful changes.
- Late Arrivals was designed to support more players.
- Boat Pack was designed to add more variability without adding complexity.
- Kittens + Beasts was designed to make boots more impactful on rescue cards via Kittens, to add more direction at the start of the game via beasts, and to add more complexity for those who wanted it via events.
- I should also note the two Kickstarter Packs which have been focused on deluxification and variability.
These 5 expansions have really helped to shape the game but there has been one area which continues to be a less preferable option for many players.
The Isle of Cats has 2 types of treasures:
- Common treasures reward no points but are smaller and help to fill challenging spaces.
- Rare treasures reward 3 points and are slightly larger.
While you can build strategies around rare treasures, many players often opt for the smaller common treasures as they can gain more points by filling rooms and using them to complete lessons.
As most sources of rare treasures give you the choice of either 1 rare treasure or 2 common treasures, it has resulted in rare treasures being less popular than I would like.
The Treasure Pack was designed to empower rare treasures, making them more valuable to players.
The box contains a replacement set of rare treasures, which are identical to those already in the game, but with additional icons. Your existing rare treasures can be discarded as these new treasures will fully replace them, meaning that everything will still fit comfortably in your chosen box.
There are enough rare treasures for the full game and also for anyone who has the Late Arrivals expansion.
Any rare treasures you have collected via promotional tiles remain unchanged and will not be replaced.
Rare treasures follow all the existing rules, and are still worth 3 points each. However, they now also include a triggerable bonus that activates every time you place a cat that touches it.
For example, you may get a rare treasure that rewards you with 2 fish every time you place a cat next to it. You will want to place the rare treasure in a practical place, but also in a way where you can place as many cats next to it as possible. With the right positioning you could earn 10 or more fish if you manage to put 5 cats next to the treasure tile.
Another bonus featured on these treasures is gaining a single common treasure. Now you may take a rare treasure instead of 2 common treasures, but then try to earn those common treasures later by placing cats around the rare treasure tile. Not only does this give you the ability to gain extra treasures, but it also allows you to get extra treasures when you want them, perhaps saving the triggerable effect until later in the game.
If you happen to have multiple rare treasures on your boat, then you can trigger all of their bonuses at once if the cat you places touches all of your rare treasures.
With each rare treasure giving you a triggerable bonus, they are not only more powerful, but they now open up the possibility to create combos that were previously unachievable.
I am really happy with how this expansion has turned out.
It’s made a noticeable difference to how players view rare treasures and adds some interesting decisions to the game without much of an increase in complexity.
The Treasure Pack will be available from November 21st and you can sign up for a launch notification here.