Calico Critters are classic cute little animals that have been around for quite some time and have a large following, so it makes sense they should also have a fun card game. Who’s Missing? A Calico Critters Card Game is for 2-4 players ages 3 and up and features 3 different games that you can play with the cards.
Game 1 – Who’s Missing? is where the dealer is playing against the rest of the people at the table. The dealer will deal 5 cards and after the other players either cover their eyes or turn around the dealer will remove a card. The first player to name the missing critters is given the card. The dealer adds 2 more cards for a total of 6 and does the same thing as before to see if someone can name the missing card. If no one can name the card removed the dealer gets to keep it. Two more cards are added to the row after each turn which can make the game harder and harder. The first player (or dealer) to earn 3 cards wins the round and then the person to the left of the dealer gets their turn at dealing. The game ends after each person has taken a turn at dealing, and it case of a tie you play one more round. My boys both loved this version and it really taught them to pay attention to the cards. Plus the boys loved when they were dealing and had the opportunity to trick us when they pulled a card away. Things can get real hard by adding 2 cards after each round.
Game 2 – No More Critters is a game where the first player to get rid of all of their cards is the winner. The youngest player goes first by placing a card on the discard pile that is either in the same critter family as the card turned over or is the same number. A bit like Crazy 8s without the 8s. I think you could play that Buttercup Cats can be played on top of Fisher Cats, I felt you could interpret the rules that way. That is how we played, where you could put any cat on top of any cat and it seemed to work out fine. The game could get a bit longer if you only allowed Buttercup Cats to be placed on Buttercup Cats or the same number card. If you do not have a card in the same critter family or a card numbered the same you have to pick from the draw pile until you find a match. For a shorter game we have played where you only have to pick one card from the draw pile and play moves on. Another fun game to play with this set of cards. It also allows for house rules to be applied for a longer or shorter game.
Game 3 – Calico Critter Rummy is the game where you have to collect 7 cards of the same number. Each player is dealt 7 cards and a card is placed face-up on the table to start the discard pile. The rest of the cards become the draw pile. The youngest player starts by either taking the card in the discard pile or the top card of the draw pile. They then must discard one card so they still only have 7 cards. If the discard pile is all used up and no one has won the game it should be shuffled and used again. My younger boy took a few games before he really caught on, but now he has a fun time playing with all of us.
The first thing you notice about the game is the the quality of the cards. They are oversized with a nice laminated coating and a robust thickness. They are cards that will stand the test of time from what I have seen so far. Also by being a bit thicker card it allows the children to manipulate them from a slick tabletop a lot easier. We all know how hard it can be to pickup a thin card from a table while playing a game. Who’s Missing is a perfect game to throw in the bag when you go on vacation. While both of our boys enjoy playing, I can not wait until I can introduce our baby girl to Calico Critters of Cloverleaf Corners.
Review copy of Who’s Missing? A Calico Critters Card Game provided by International Playthings, Inc.