Preview : Neko Boss – an new game by Yamamoto san

● Designer: Mitsuo Yamamoto
● Publisher: Logy Games
● Players: 2-4
● Time: 20 minutes
● Theme: Grow your cat stack & take control of Nyan Town
● KS link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/logygames/neko-boss

I recently had the chance to take a look at Yamamoto san’s new game ‘Neko boss’.  This game is a newer version of Yamamoto san’s previous game Sky Scrapers (2010).  The standard version is upgraded with the ability to play with up to 4 players, it will have 24 spaces to move on. and has a fun cat theme.  Neko Boss may come in different sizes.  The artwork and ceramic components are all handmade by Yamamoto san.  This is a preview and the images here are of the prototype version.  This game will be launched from Japan on Kickstarter around June 2022.

Logy Games creations combine Yamamoto san’s ceramics craftsmanship with his passion for games.  The games are usually hand-made from ceramic or wood, and are portable with a wonderful tactile feel.

This image is of the prototype version.

Summary:
In Neko Boss players must move their cats to try to get as many stacks of cats of 4 or more  to be the boss of Nyan-town. The player who has the most ‘stacks of 4 or more cats’ at the end of the game is the winner.  

Setup:
Choose the first player.  Players take a set of matching colored cat tiles.  On the standard version of the game (24 spaces), 2 players (12 tiles), 3 players (8 tiles) 4 players (6 tiles).  Starting from the first player, and going clockwise, players take turns placing one cat tile at a time on an empty space on the board until all the tiles have been placed. 

Gameplay:
Play proceeds clockwise starting from the first player.  

On a player’s turn, they move one cat/stack they own ‘onto’ another cat/stack.  Then it is the next player’s turn.

Movement rules: 
If a player’s cat is on top of a stack, they own that stack of cats.  They may move the cat/stack a number of spaces in a straight line determined by how many cat tiles are in that stack.  Example: If there are 3 cat tiles in that stack, they need to move 3 spaces in a straight line, and land on top of another cat/stack.  

Once every player is unable to move their tiles, the game ends.  (If a player run out of moves early, they must pass for the rest of the game.  But don’t worry, the game doesn’t take too long, so there’s not a lot of waiting).

Count up the number of ‘stacks of 4 or more cats’ for each player.  The player who has the most ‘stacks of 4 or more cats’ is the winner.  

Impressions
The rules are very easy to learn, and the game plays really quickly.  I like the new theme of using cats and groups of cats moving around town.  The cat theme makes the concept easy to explain, and feels less abstract.  The ceramic components also give the game a wonderful tactile feel and sound that makes it different to other board games.  The standard sized Neko Boss is a nice small portable size, which I love.  The cute illustrations, and cat theme make it suitable to be played with friends or family.

Neko Boss details on BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/365196/neko-boss

About missmerc007

A board gamer living in Japan who loves to help Japanese designers, and share news about board gaming in Japan.
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