Review: If It Fits (Jolly Dutch) – English

Admittedly, I am more of a dog person than a cat person. Dogs are enthusiastic, loyal, playful and emotional. A dog will comfort you when you’re sad, feel guilty when he’s eaten half the couch, and goes all happy when you go to his favorite spot in the park together. Cats are loutish, demolish things for fun, want attention when it suits them and see you mainly as a slave who provides food, drink and a place to live. At least… I think cats mostly tolerate you in their home as an (unwelcome) guest. Where dogs get super excited when they see a peer, regardless of size, color, breed, smell or appearance, cats can’t stand each other. These territorial pussycats hiss and hit as soon as another cat dares to step foot in their yard. Bwoah, the world is not big enough for other cats. The foregoing may sound like a letter of praise directed to dogs a message of hate directed to cats – it may be that – but I must admit that I am sometimes a fan of cats.

Cats are quirky and peculiar creatures. The Internet is full of absurd videos in which cats play a starring role. Many of those videos are also about cats’ obsession with sitting on or in objects. Cardboard boxes in particular are a cat’s favorite sitting surface. Or at least it seems that way. A little anecdote: friends of ours once purchased a cardboard palace for their cat inspired by Moscow’s Basilica Cathedral (the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Mother of God), because their cat has a penchant for cardboard. Their line of thinking was obviously “if the cat loves cardboard, this palace must be his ultimate paper dream”. The cat was more interested in the packaging the palace was shipped in than in the cat house itself. This is proof that cats have a mind of their own and prefer to go where they are not supposed to go. As long as the cat fits in something and irritates their human owner, then the cat will sit there: “If it fits, I sits…”

Long story short: in If It Fits, by Jolly Dutch, players will stuff cats into boxes to score the most points. Will you be able to collect the most box toys or will you have to get out your plant sprayer to chase the other cats out of your territory? It’s all about hissing away the competition!

In If It Fits, players take turns laying out cards to form cardboard boxes on the table. These boxes can be the weirdest shapes, as long as they fit on the table. Players may also place their cats in these boxes. At the end of the game, a player gets points for toys in a box that contains the most of his or her cats and minus points for the amount of water squirting. Players also get bonus points if they manage to cram several of their cats into a box. In addition to normal cats, there are also sleeping cats that don’t do much, but do provide tactical choices since they are placed as dead and count toward the amount of cats played. Once box cards, cat cards and/or play space on the table are in short supply, the game comes to an end.

The comparison to Carcassonne is quickly made. Alexander of Jolly Dutch jokingly told me that during Spiel, where this little pussycat game attracted more than enough attention, visitors affectionately called the game Catcassonne. By the way, it is not just Carcassonne with cards instead of tiles and a cat theme, because the game gives me a different feeling while playing. Yes, you put cards together and try to get the majority to score points, but that’s really where the comparison ends for me. The way of scoring points is substantially different. During If It Fits you only score at the end of the game, where during Carcassonne you are constantly scoring during the game and making your tactical considerations there. In If It Fits, you actually have cards in hand from which to choose and choose which card to apply. In addition, the If it Fits has a different level of interaction due to the bullying element. Water sprays score minus points, so players literally try to flood each other’s strategy by throwing sprays into another player’s box. There is also a black cat that can literally mean bad luck. In fact, with the black cat, you can chase another player’s or your own cat out of the box. In this way you can prevent other players from taking points or avoid minus points for yourself.

If It Fits is a cute card game with enough interaction that players can easily play in between. If you are looking for a similar card game, you are not averse to some bullying (as befits a real cat) or you are a crazy cat lady? Then If It Fits is definitely not a cat in the bag.