Kittens in a Blender is a card game by Redshift Games and let’s face it, it sounds so absolutely morbid, that one might easily pass it by at the games store without much more than a disturbed glance. However, if one was fascinated oddities of the game world, much like myself, they might not hesitate to buy the game and get blending.
The basic game is very simple. Color-coded kittens of varying levels of adorableness move around on the table. They can be in one of three places: the counter, the box, or the blender. Kittens are moved around by playing cards; each player can play two on their turn. The cards have different functions: one type will simply move kittens around a set number of steps; others will move the kittens into the blender, the box, or onto the counter depending on the card; and one will move all kittens of a specific color into the blender. The dog will make players pass cards around and, of course, the blend cards will activate or deactivate the dreaded blender.
The goal of the game is to save as many kittens as possible of your own color, which you’ve chosen in the beginning, while simultaneously trying to make sure that as many other-colored kittens as possible get blended into lovely little kitty-smoothies. Saving your kittens is done by making sure that as many kittens of your own as possible are inside the box when someone plays the blend card. When the big, scary blender activates, all the kittens in the box get startled and move away from the kitchen, or – if you will – into your protective arms. In other words, they are removed from the game to await the scoring at the end. The ones in the blender though… Well…
The game is very simple to learn and could be a fun addition to a boardgame night with friends, but for my taste it’s a bit too simple. I didn’t feel there was much room for strategizing, and after a couple of games, moving the kittens around became a little boring. It was a bit too easy to move your own kittens away from the blender while still moving your opponents’ kittens inside on the same turn, only to have your opponent move their kittens out the next turn.
I’d say the main strength of the game is the unquestionable cuteness of the kittens. The illustrations are great, and the creators have clearly put time and effort into coming up with and naming all the kittens. After the second or third game, all the players were just trying to get as many of the kittens out of the blender and into the safety of the box before their cute little faces were devoured by the blades of the evil blender.
So, in summary, Kittens in a Blender is a weird yet fun addition to a game night. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have much replay value unless you really like looking at pictures of cute cartoon kittens.
Note: if you don’t want to kill the kittens, you can just do what one of the players in our group did and pretend the blender only scares the kittens a little.
Publisher(s): Closet Nerd Games, Redshift Games
Designer(s): Brent & Brian Knudson
Artist: Anne-Julie Painchaud
Genres: family, party, animals, humor
Age suggestion: 8+
Play time: 20–40 minutes