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Inside the Treasure Pack box

16th November 2023 14

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.

Rare Treasures

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.

Box contents

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.

Building combos

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.

In conclusion

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.

Frank West

Frank West is a gamer and designer based in Bristol, UK. He published his first board game, The City of Kings, in 2018 and now works on other games and organising events in the local area. His goal? To design and publish games focusing on immersive themes, fun mechanics and beautiful components. If you have any questions or would just like a chat, feel free to get in touch at any time!


  • Edward Motley

    16th November 2023 at 5:17 pm

    How will this affect sisters scoring in solo mode? Considering some rare treasures will later gain the common treasures that could have been chosen, is there a concern that now people will always choose rare treasures?


    • Frank West

      16th November 2023 at 10:10 pm

      Great question Edward.

      In the solo mode, the player can use these bonuses but your sister does not benefit from them. They do make rare treasures more powerful, but there is still a balance in how many you will want to take and when you will want to take them. Just like in the multiplayer game, the intention was to bring rare treasures up to be inline with everything else, rather than make them a must have.


  • Rich

    16th November 2023 at 11:29 pm

    I always love the thought you put into your expansions. Regarding the promo rare treasures they are not being replaced with this expansion, is there a quick list of them to make it easier to know which to keep when replacing other rare treasures? Thanks!


    • Frank West

      17th November 2023 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you Rich.

      The rulesheet in the box has some guidelines on what to replace and how to identify it, so this should be everything you will need.


      • Rich

        17th November 2023 at 3:45 pm

        Thanks for the response. One other question – does the expansion come with any additional cards or rules on how to earn rare treasures? I always love getting one in a game, but there’s no guarantee many cards enabling that will actually appear for a given player each game. Thanks!


        • Frank West

          17th November 2023 at 4:01 pm

          There are no new cards that increase the frequency that you can collect rare treasures. As with all strategies in the game, there will be some sessions where they work better and others where they don’t, knowing when to focus on each will be key. The focus of the expansion is to make sure in the times where you can focus on rare treasures that they are worth focussing on.

          With that said, one of the bonuses on some rare treasures is to collect another rare treasure… So with that bonus and careful planning you can gather a lot of rare treasures.


          • Dan

            17th November 2023 at 7:19 pm

            When comparing bonuses, the “get another rare treasure bonus” seems pretty powerful compared with the “get a common treasure bonus”. The former provides an additional 3 points and 1 additional square coverage compared with 0 points and one less coverage square for the later. Looks like the only adjustment is these rare treasures come with one rat on them. Still seems overpowered (2 point delta with 1 additional coverage square).

          • Frank West

            17th November 2023 at 8:58 pm

            Hey Dan,

            There are a number of other factors that come into play with these which hopefully will become apparent when you get a chance to try them. It’s certainly been tested considerably and I am happy with how they work right now.

  • Dan

    17th November 2023 at 7:21 pm

    I’m curious as to the bonus that is hiding behind the “thunder shaped” rare treasure? Also wondering what is the bonus tied to the square shaped rate treasure. I might just be getting ahead of myself. 🙂


    • Frank West

      17th November 2023 at 8:59 pm

      More will be revealed in time but I am glad they’ve got you intrigued!


  • Dan

    21st November 2023 at 3:00 am

    Hi Frank, just wondering when this expansion will be available in retail Canadian game stores? I’m assuming later than the 21st?


    • Frank West

      21st November 2023 at 11:35 am

      Hi Dan,

      There are currently no plans for the Treasure Pack to go into retail, this may change in 2024 but for now it will only be available via the City of Games online store.


      • Dan

        21st November 2023 at 6:00 pm

        Ok looks like my timing was off by a week. Just put in an order for the additional expansions which is on its way now. Placing a second order for just this expansion is too steep of a shipping cost. Will wait for a retail version on this one if that ever comes to be. Thanks.


        • Frank West

          22nd November 2023 at 4:47 pm

          Sorry Dan! I wish I could keep shipping costs down for smaller shipments but it’s a real challenge these days. Hopefully you’ll get a better option for getting the expansion in the future.


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