Hey! Remember those cute cats I was trying to herd in the game 9 Lives? I released Prototype B for public blind playtesting a while back to some mixed results.
The response was mostly mild and quiet, which said to me that it could be put behind some other games in development that were drawing much more interest. That's mostly how I decide what to develop first, whatever strikes my interest at the moment or what seems to excite the public... hopefully both at once!
But then came this excellent, long feedback from
3-6 Players. Shuffle the whole deck and deal five random cards to each player and set the rest as a deck in the center of the play area. Each player should have space for a card tableau and a method of keeping score.
A GAME of 9 Lives is 5 ROUNDS. Each round is three PHASES: The Search phase, the Rescue phase, and the Escape phase. A player who has most total points at the end of the five games wins.
Exactly the same as the Bidding phase as in Prototype B
Starting with the player with the lowest bid and proceeding in ascending order, each player takes a corresponding turn marker, indicating their turn order.
On your turn, you may taking one card from the center of the play area, from the cards other players have bid, or from the deck. Regardless of where you take it from, acquired cards are kept FACE UP in your tableau.
ESCAPE:In the same turn order as noted above, each player takes turns doing one four actions. On your turn, you may:
- Exchange two cards with the same number of scratches between one opponent's tableau and your own tableau,
- OR exchange cards with the same number of scratches between one opponent's tableau and the center.
- OR discard a card in an opponent's collection and replace it with the top card from the deck.
- OR do nothing.
Draw the top card from the deck and add it to the center of the play area. The game continues with four other rounds until all five cards in all players' hands have been played.
Variety Bonus: Each player scores 1 point for each sequence of two or more matching cats. Single cat cards do not count towards this score.
Reward Bonus: Now, players may score points for each cat, but only if they were scratched the least by that cat. For each cat, the player with the fewest scratches from that cat earns 1 point for each card in their tableau featuring that cat. If some players are tied for the fewest, all tied players score their respective points.
At the end of a game, all cards are shuffled back at the bottom of the deck and a new game is set up.
The final score is tallied over the course of five games. The player with the most total points wins!