Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cheese Chasers - Review

I played Cheese Chasers for the first time this weekend and I fear I may be in danger of becoming addicted to this solitaire game. It is a very neat little game.

The theme of the game is cats, mice and cheese. The artwork is a very good cartoony style that will have an immediate appeal for kids, but dont let that put you off. As I'll explain it's not just for kids.

When you download the game ( it's free Print and Play ) you get one PDF of the rules. These only cover a single sheet which is formatted in a pocket-mod format so that you origami it into a tiny booklet. This little booklet explains the rules and even manages to squeeze in 7 diagrams explaining play.

The next two PDFS are a single page each and contain the tiles you use in play. One page is entirely made up of Mouse tiles, these are the good guys, you will use them to generate your score.

The next PDF contains a mix of tile types, including the Cheese, Cat and Mouse Trap tiles.

The final PDF contains tile backs. When I made my copy of the game I didn't bother with tile backs as I used a plain card backing for my tiles.

Setting up to play is simplicity itself, turn the tiles face down and shuffle.Then you draw a tile and place it face up in the middle of the table.

From here on you simply draw a tile and must place it adjacent to the previous tile, either diagonal or orthoganal. That's very simple, but you have a descision to make with every tile based on what your've drawn and how the tiles in play are already laid out.

The non mouse tiles all have different effects on play.

A Cheese tile when in play is a way of gaining a lot of points. If you manage to orthoganlly surround the Cheese with Mice you get a bonus 10 points. Wether you surround it or not each mouse adjacent to the Cheese gains a bonus point.

There are four mouse trap tiles in the deck. If three of these come into play and aren't deactivated the game ends immediately. You can deactivate a trap by orthogannly surrounding it with mice. So you must deactivate one or two of these in order to play all of the tiles.

The last tile type is the Cat. A Cat tile will deactivate any mouse ties that are orthoganally adjacent to it. If those mice are deactivating a trap then they no longer deactivate it, if they are surrounding a Chees they no longer count for that either. Furthermore the poor mouse doesn't score you any points.

Another point to keep in mind is that if you can get two or more Cheese's orthogannly adjacent and then surround them all with mice they count double.

It all sounds rather simple, but in play you'll find yourself trying maximise points and avoid pitfalls with every tile you lay.

It plays quite quickly, just a few minutes really and when all of the tiles are laid, you count up your score. 100 points is a good target but in this game your always trying to beat your best score.

I would suggest this as a great "hand crafted present" for your friends and a great addition to your own collection.

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