FAQ

The rules for Box O'Cats have been reviewed thoroughly to make sure the explanation is clear and concise. However, some of the following answers are merely implied or stated by omission, so here are some clarifications (Cat Box FAQ--Replacements etc.):

What is the age range for Box O'Cats?
While actually designed for adults and tweens on up, Box O'Cats is fun for any group who can playfully deal with issues involving cards with global calamities and having bombs, guns, and poison as potential solutions along with the lighter options. If the kids play with army men or see superhero films or even play Clue® it may be a fit. We play regularly with families with children around 8 who enjoy the game with adults, but the formal age is 12 so the government doesn't come in and do safety testing with rats and chimpanzees.
We have more than 5 players, can we still play?
Sure, you may just have to go through the deck again or team up, or get The Cat Box.
The rules, situations, and items sometimes seem vague. Can you clarify?
We have intentionally made the rules as simple and lean as possible while providing a solid framework. Both the situations and items range from specific to open-ended. This allows players to fill in the missing details. As in improv theater, the details become clear through agreement and persuasion. For instance, we may assume the Obedience Ray only works on certain living beings. But if the only solution to stopping a comet from smashing into the Earth is that comets obey your obedience ray, you may just have us convinced! Have fun playing the situation out!
Can we add elements to the situation stories?
Absolutely. As long as the other players are led to work on that understanding, that is the situation. Often times players with cards that support each other will strongly influence the "storyline" or solution outline, for instance if one person has a car and another has fuel. At the same time, the storyline is generally kept in a very simple form--for instance, "we can take the sports car and all this fuel and escape." The depth of immersion is all up to you.
The debate goes on!
The rules are configured to stop debate once a majority is convinced. Both parties get to present their points, then all other players can join in. Then, the moment a consensus is reached via thumbs up or thumbs down, the players' votes are locked and the discussion, for all game intents, is over. Yea, you can still whine we didn't choose your Dalmation over a rubber chicken, but we just didn't know where to put the fire engine.
Can I change my vote?
Yes, but only before the moment a majority is reached.
Am I out for the round if my card was replaced?
No. A person is only out for getting voted thumbs-down on their own replacement attempt.
We forgot if I was out or not for the round!
Though it seems trivial, if a person is knocked out for a round they must set down their cards and put an indicator such as a rules card over their cards to ensure everyone can know they are out.
Can a player who was knocked out of a round still debate and vote?
Absolutely. Yes.
Can I replace my own card?
Though the need would be rare, there is no rule prohibiting this.
Can a player pass on the initial round?
Players must play a card in the initial round. Even without a good card players may find this useful--and sometimes it even scores a point!
Can a player who passed still replace a card later in the round?
Yes. But if all players are out or pass, play may not return to them.
Do we have to vote for the best card?
Well....no. Particularly if it is not yours! But remember, the ultimate goal is to resolve the given situation. Gameplay should always revolve on that premise. Sometimes the case is very clear--but sometimes surprisingly good arguments steer the players away from what seemed obvious on to a new solution. Different groups enjoy different playing styles in the range from cooperation to competition. The Box O'Cats should get the benefit of the doubt if the explanation is good, but it does not formally violate a rule to vote against it (though once established it cannot be replaced). Bottom line: If the Box O'Cats card explanation is a good solution, vote for it.
Do I have to vote?
Interesting question, which frankly is knowingly omitted from the rules because the effect is to vote for the winning card the other players choose. Sometimes a vote comes down to one or two undecided votes. Players may wish to abstain and there is no rule explicitly stating they must vote. But technically a non-vote in a tie has the effect of deferring to the defender or the always-tie-winning Box O'Cats card. So that really comes down to the interpretation of "majority vote," which we would suggest should be an interpretation that lets the game continue.
We can't agree on a small game detail, what do we do!
Though very rare, any disagreements over the gameplay itself should be solved expeditiously with brief explanations and a thumbs up / thumbs down vote, just like in the game. In a tie over game rules the person who most owns the game, by making the purchase or receiving the gift, may decide. Feel free to use our contact form with any questions!
It's a tie!
Box O'Cats allows for ties at the end, as it is a game of both cooperation and competition--ultimately the goal is for the group to succeed. Rather than being a zero-sum game (one with a winner and a loser) Box O'Cats is more like a team choosing a leader or leaders who helped everyone win. Box O'Cats is uniquely both competitive and cooperative, and people usually had so much fun a tie is fine. (See House Rules for options.)


The Cat Box

Please clarify the card replacement rules for The Cat Box
The Cat Box cannot replace anything before the replacement round. It can replace anything in The Cat Box except the Ketchup in the replacement rounds. It cannot replace the Box O'Cats from the original game, but can replace anything else. An item card always counts as one item, even for instance the Genius Mice.
What else may The Cat Box remove?
The Cat Box may also remove any item that is clearly introduced to a situation, such as a mentioned alien leader, island, spaceship, planet, etc.. If the item was not clearly introduced to the situation, such as The Moon being assumed to exist but not specific to the situation, or an alien leader that may or may not exist, removal would be up to a standard vote with risk of losing the card. If something is a group of objects introduced to the situation, like an invading army, that group may not be removed from the situation as it is clearly not one object, and that could easily cost the player the card with no benefit. However a vehicle, and perhaps any current passengers, could possibly be considered one item. The Cat Box may itself be replaced, so play it strategically!

Still Curious? Feel free to contact us with any game questions!
We will let the cat out of the bag!