Cat Capers By Cheeky Parrot Games

Pledgeme projects

About Cat Capers

Project 2015-04-28 15:21:12 +1200

Catching a rat, summoning the fire department, and sneaking into someone’s house may not be your idea of a good time-–and in the latter case may even constitute a felony….

unless you are playing Cat Capers! In this family-friendly board game you are a cat, your owner is away at work and the world (well, your block anyway) is your oyster. Unfortunately, a big dog named Rex and the other cats keep trying to prevent you from experiencing all the feline fun your neighbourhood has on offer.  Still, with careful allocation of your four paws and crafty use of special cards, you can be the one who emerges from this cat fight with the lion’s share of the points.


The game is played in six rounds.  At the beginning of each round, colour-coded activity cards worth 2-4 points are displayed at each house on the block.  Players secretly allocate each of their paws to a house to contend for its activity card. Or any number of paws can stay behind in the basket; each will earn an extra cat card at the end of the round.  Certain cards are worth a bonus point to particular cats, which helps guide choices. After players lift their screens, reveal their choices, and move paws to the appropriate houses, cat fights break out, as competing players use cat cards to try to outnumber or outmanoeuvre each other and win the card and its points.

At the end of the game, the player with the most points is the winner.  

Two to four people can play Cat Capers, it's intended for people age 8 and up, and games take about 20 minutes.

Cat Capers was developed by Claire Ahuriri and James Dunning of Sky Bear Games. Auckland's Cheeky Parrot Games is providing production assistance and expertise and will publish the title under its label with Sky Bear listed as the designer. Cheeky Parrot Games is an established card and board game designer whose existing titles include Granny Wars and Raid the Pantry; Cheeky Parrot also distributes its own and other games to about 60 retail outlets throughout New Zealand.

Cat Capers has been playtested by a wide variety of people and its prototype has been on tour this year, appearing at events such as Board Games by the Bay and Wellycon.  People are saying:

  • Straddles the line between 'game for kids' and 'game for adults' really well.
  • As a family, we very much enjoyed this.
  • Quick and easy to play but requires strategy to win well.
  • CATS!

We will use manufacturing and logistics companies Cheeky Parrot has dealt with on other projects. Claire and James are prepared to cover some of the costs and in fact, they have already invested in professional artwork for the game. Over time, Cheeky Parrot expects to be able to sell copies via its existing retail network and distributors, but a successful PledgeMe campaign enables us to set the recommended retail price at an affordable and competitive price for families. We also hope the campaign generates excitement and awareness about the game prior to its release. Finally, the funds we raise will enable the inclusion of three extra features:  a modular board, a one-piece magnetic closure box, and the Dog Dilemmas expansion.

Time frame: we expect to initiate manufacture by early August and to have the games in New Zealand by late October, which means you should have your copy well in advance of Christmas.

Thank you for your consideration; we appreciate any pledge you can make to support our project!



The People Behind Cat Capers

Logo Cheeky Parrot Games Project admin

Julia Schiller is the creative mind behind Cheeky Parrot Games.  

She got her start in the industry working with Amanda Milne as half of SchilMil Games.  Together, Julia and Amanda designed and published:

  • Komodo, a tile-laying species survival game. NZ New Game of the Year Winner 2012
  • Kenakalan, a card game of Monkey Mischief, set in beautiful Bali
  • Manifest, a pick up and deliver big box board game, set in the '20s, with pirates and other nautical hazards, successfully Kickstarted and published in 2014

In addition, Julia was the lead designer of these two SchilMil-developed titles which are now owned by Cheeky Parrot Games:

  • Raid the Pantry, a cooking themed card game that is "Recommended by American Mensa", recently reprinted
  • Granny Wars, a fast-playing card game of secret identities and nefarious senior tricks, successfully funded via PledgeMe and published in November 2013

This year Cheeky Parrot Games has been working with Claire Ahuriri and James Dunning. Under the umbrella of their company, Sky Bear Games, James and Claire designed the game that was to become Cat Capers and gave Julia a demo earlier this year. They have been working together to tweak it to perfection and get it to market so that everyone can know the joy of being a cat.

Julia says, "I'm looking forward to the moment when Claire and James see their names on the finished product. That's exciting! Cat Capers also adds another great family game to Cheeky Parrot's range of products, helping me to grow my company."

Cat Capers artwork is being done by Jade du Preez of Forrest Creative. Forrest Creative is an Auckland-based design business that is proud to collaborate on innovative projects that promote creative thinking and community.




    Feeling Warm and Fuzzy

    02:20PM Sat 05/12/15 on Cat Capers

    Kia ora Cat Capers backers,

    One final update to say thank you one more time, tell you how Cat Capers is doing, and invite you to stay in touch with us.

    A festive crowd of about two dozen people launched Cat Capers in style with cake, door prizes, and game playing at Cakes n Ladders on November 18. We also showcased it at last weekend's Board Games by the Bay, running a play-to-win-a-copy event which was won by Gareth Lamb. Presently, 29 of our retailers have taken stock, and three of them have even reordered. This is quite promising for a game that was released less than a month ago!

    Our next project will be a card game called Hoard. Invented by two Weta artists and tweaked by Julia, the plan is to Kickstart it by May of next year. To keep up with this and other developments, please follow Cheeky's Facebook page and/or sign up for our quarterly newsletter by scrolling down on the landing page of the Cheeky website

    Yesterday, something unexpectedly heart-warming happened. We received a homemade card (above) from one of our pledgers, who wrote:

    Dear Cheeky Parrot,

    As a non-gamer I can't understand why I'm so excited by this game. I had to unpack it and look at everything for no other reason than I'm excited. It makes me wish my kids were young enough so they could receive this as a birthday present. As they're not I might just have to find someone to play it with me.


    Suzie reminds us how lucky we are, to be involved in fostering creativity and innovation to bring a bit of beauty and joy to the world. And because one good turn deserves another, check out Suz's Space, Suzie's online business and blog. Her passion is books, but it sounds like she might be on her way to becoming a board gamer too!

    We wish each of you a happy and safe holiday season. 

    Claire, James, and Julia

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    The Cats Are Out of the Bag!

    03:02PM Fri 13/11/15 on Cat Capers

    Kia ora Cat Capers backers,

    We hope you've received your copy of Cat Capers by now. It would be especially reassuring to hear from our furthest-flung backers, in Australia, the US and the UK; please let us know if your copies have arrived safely.

    Some of Cat Capers' components

    Today is Cat Capers' official launch date. We're delighted to report that the game is already available for sale at 20 Kiwi brick-and-mortar and online retailers.  We expect most of the rest of Cheeky's retailers to come on board soon.

    Remember, everyone who pledged $20 or more is invited to the launch party next Wednesday evening. You do need to RSVP to go on the guest list for free admission and cake since the launch is scheduled during regular Cakes n Ladders business hours. There will be door prizes and a chance to play Cat Capers and other games, including Hoard, a card game that will be Cheeky's next published project. There is a Facebook event with more details here.  You can RSVP by emailing [email protected] or send a text with your name to 021 905 110.

    Hoard prototype

    If you've already played and enjoyed your copy of Cat Capers, one way you can help us is by adding your thoughts and a rating to its entry on the BoardGameGeek website. You do need a Geek account to do this. A way to add a quick rating for any listed game is to search for its title, which will yield a one line entry where you can type in your rating according to this scale:

    Have a great weekend and we hope to see lots of you at the launch.

    Claire, James, and Julia




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    Our Wait is Over!

    10:08AM Thu 05/11/15 on Cat Capers

    Kia ora Cat Capers Backers,

    Yes, Cat Capers arrived yesterday! After a bit of lag in the manufacturing process, our logistics company, Blondi, truly delivered.  John, who drove our shipment from the Otahuhu depot to Cheeky's location in St Heliers, was the last link in the chain. Julia recognised John, as he was also the man who delivered Cheeky's Raid the Pantry reprint earlier this year, and got him to pose for this photo. He was bemused, but had the presence of mind to quip, "that'll cost extra."

    A worrying spot of rain and a hilarious battle with a tarp in the wind ensued shortly thereafter, then things settled down, Claire and James arrived, and we began wrapping games for the post. We stopped to take a copy out of its shrink wrap and can report that Whatz has done another stellar job. There is always anxiety when your game contains 'bits' other than cards, but everything has been rendered perfectly. Check out the Cat Capers album on Cheeky's Facebook page for product shots.  As you'll remember, this is Claire and James' first published game, and they are/were so excited, they started delivering a number of pledged copies in person yesterday and will be hitting the road again today.

    Most other copies are going in the post today, with one exception. Aucklanders, please let us know if you're attending the launch party* and if you're happy to receive your copy there.  If we don't hear from you by the end of the weekend, your copy will go in the post on Monday, which will still get it to you before the official release date, Black Cat Friday, November 13, as promised.  Retailer pledges will be on their way on Monday as well.

    Launch Party details:

    Wednesday, November 18

    8:00 - 10:00 PM


    173 Symonds Street, Auckland

    This is during CakesnLadders normal opening hours, so if you pledged more than $20, please email [email protected] or text your name 021 905 110 to be added to the guest list and receive free admission and cat cake. Remember to let her know if you are OK to receive your pledged copy at the launch.

    Thanks again for helping us achieve this goal.

    Claire, James, and Julia

    PS Cheeky's spokesbudgies are still singing.


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    An ETA!

    11:16AM Thu 22/10/15 on Cat Capers

    Kia ora Cat Capers backers,

    Manufacture of Cat Capers was completed by October 1, but presumably because of delays caused by the Golden Week holiday in China (and did you see  the attendant traffic carpocalypse!) the shipment didn't make it onto a boat until October 12. But the good news is that we can now confirm Cat Capers is definitely on its way and could reach the ports of Auckland as soon as October 30. I'm told the shipment is 507 kg, does that make it a fat cat? (Groan)

    With a bit of padding for margin of error, we are calling Friday, November 13th as the official launch date, which means we'll get the pledged copies on their way in the days before then, starting with the ones going out of the country.

    We're now working out the details of the launch party with Cakes n Ladders; it is expected to take place the following week.  In the next update, we'll send the details and ask you to let us know if you can attend and if so, if you are happy to get your copy of the game there.

    Meanwhile, several of you Feline Fame pledgers have yet to send in a photo of your cat for inclusion on the Wall of Fame page.  Here's how it looks so far, but we'd love to get a few more of your furballs on there, so send them to [email protected] :

    Wall of Fame

    Claire, James, and Julia

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    Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty (groan)

    11:05AM Fri 11/09/15 on Cat Capers

    Kia ora Cat Capers backers,

    Two bits of news. Yesterday, the blank sample and digital colour proof arrived from China. The blank sample is literally that, the same materials, but unprinted, that will be used for the various components. The edges are a little rough on some items because they weren't cut with the same machinery that will produce the finished work. The box is especially impressive, incredibly sturdy. Everything fits snugly inside. And all the colours look right on the digital proof.

    Samples from the manufacturer

    Whatz is 'crazy busy' and of course, ours is a small project, but it should be completed by early October. Then it's in the hands of our logistics company, Blondi, who will strive to deliver it within a month. So we are still on target to have Cat Capers officially launched sometime in November.

    Meanwhile, the Cat Capers website has already launched, but one page is conspicuous in its absence, the Wall of Fame. Entreaties were sent to Feline Fame pledgers via email a couple of weeks ago but we are still waiting to receive your cat photos to include on the Wall.  Please email them to [email protected] along with a caption of up to 50 characters.  Thanks!

    Claire, James, and Julia

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    Manufacture Underway

    10:47AM Tue 18/08/15 on Cat Capers

    Kia ora Cat Capers backers,

    We didn't want to leave it any longer without giving you a brief update. The files for Cat Capers were sent to our manufacturer on Wednesday, August 5. Last week we went back and forth a bit over the box and punchboards, but everything has now been laid up correctly, and the 'eproof' approved so it's full speed ahead.

    The eproof for the cards is one huge sheet showing all of them laid up, fronts and backs, with the cut lines, so that's a small piece of the whole you're seeing above.

    Whatz Shanghai is our manufacturer. They are the company that made Granny Wars and Manifest, so we know the quality will be excellent. We still don't have an exact timeframe, though we expect the games to be ready to ship within two months, and in the meantime we should receive both digital and production line proof copies.  When the first of those arrive we will update you again.

    We'll also be working on getting the Cat Capers website up and running, and we'll soon be in touch with Feline Fame backers to get photos of their cats to grace it!

    Claire, James, and Julia

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    Spokes-Budgies Non-Plussed at News of Reaching Target

    11:01AM Thu 30/07/15 on Cat Capers

    Kia ora Cat Capers backers,

    We did it!  Thanks to the contributions, large and small, from all of you, Cat Capers met its funding target yesterday.  Cheeky Parrot's mascots, as you'll see, were less than thrilled at the news, but the rest of us are ecstatic.

    We set our target at $2500 because we believed it was achievable and because we calculated that after PledgeMe and credit card fees were deducted and rewards fulfilled, there would be enough money left over to make a healthy dent in the cost to manufacture and import the game.

    Claire and James could have opted just to receive royalty payments from sales, but they wanted a bigger stake in the project. Cheeky Parrot was happy to oblige. Our mutually beneficial agreement means the game will be published and distributed under Cheeky's label and the designing duo will receive a healthy percentage of proceeds from future sales through Cheeky's retailer network.

    So we hope our early success won't deter any new pledgers from joining in during the campaign's remaining twelve hours, as their contributions allow Claire and James to turn a bit more profit from their catty creation. 

    We also want to share the happy news that both Cakes n Ladders, Auckland's soon-to-open boardgaming cafe on Symonds Street, and the Cat Lounge have also met their targets, so there will be two venues where people can play Cat Capers as soon as it's released.

    Thanks again and we'll keep updating you periodically about our progress.

    Claire, James, and Julia



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    Nimue's Games Night

    04:06PM Tue 28/07/15 on Cat Capers

    Kia ora Cat Capers backers,

    We can hardly keep up! You helped us crash through our latest mini-goal of $2250 and we're now only a little over $200 to our target, so we're fairly confident we'll get there within the next 55 hours or so. In the meantime, we promised another silly cat video and here it is.

    Attached is the video of Claire and James' games night with Nimue. After some trial and error, you'll see she excelled at a certain classic dexterity game. Next we'll have to get her to try her paw (groan) at Operation.

    Julia continues to finalize artwork for the manufacturer, with the punchboards, cat and activity cards, and board pieces now ticked off the list. We'd love your input on the player screen interiors. Which option do you prefer? Do you have any other feedback? We'll also post this graphic and question on the Cheeky Parrot Facebook page, so please weigh in on the discussion there or leave a comment here if you're not a Facebook person.

    Auckland-based cat lovers: have you heard about the Cat Lounge? Half typical cafe, the site's other half will be a unique place where patrons can cuddle the resident kitties (rescued from shelters) and amuse themselves with DVDs, books, and a copy of Cat Capers. We think this is a great idea and should prove popular with people who love cats but are unable to have one of their own. Mike and Vicky hope to open their doors in September. Check out their Kickstarter campaign; like us, they are tantalizingly close to their goal and have three days to go.

    See you next when we reach the other side!

    Claire, James, and Julia

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    Dance with a Cat for 2000 Points

    06:40PM Sat 25/07/15 on Cat Capers

    Kia ora Cat Capers backers,

    Thanks to your support, last night we crossed a significant threshold: we reached $2000 in pledges (80% to our goal). James and Claire felt like celebrating, so they teamed up with their beloved Nimue, spokescat from the campaign video, and did some dancing. As you can see, Nimue was thrilled to be included...

    So it's looking pretty good. We have 500 dollars and 6 days to go and it's well known that people do like to swoop in near the last minute with their pledge to get a campaign to its target. Perhaps they are lying in wait? We are expecting several people who have clicked that they are 'going' to the Facebook event to come through for us, but please keep helping us spread the word.

    If you've had a chance to play Cat Capers, another way you can help is to visit its entry on BoardGameGeek. You can become a fan, rate the game, add comments, and vote in the polls regarding ideal player numbers, language proficiency needed, etc.

    When we reach $2250, Claire and James will be playing a board game with Nimue and again, we will share the results with you. Here's hoping it won't be a catastrophe (groan).

    We'll touch base with you again then.

    Claire, James, and Julia





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    New Reward Level and an Unveiling

    12:14PM Sun 19/07/15 on Cat Capers

    Kia ora Cat Capers backers,

    We're so excited to be closing in on our goal with 10 days of the campaign to go. Please help us get to our target by telling your friends about Cat Capers. A nice, no-pressure way to do this is to invite them to the Facebook event we've set up to promote the campaign.

    Board game enthusiasts will soon have a new hang out place in central Auckland, thanks to the efforts of Emma and James, who plan to open their Cakes n Ladders board game cafe to the public in late August. They have kindly supported our PledgeMe campaign and tell us the existing Cheeky Parrot titles will also be available for their patrons to play.

    Through July, Emma and James are running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to invest in the cafe's board game library.  Please check it out and lend it some support if you can.

    Emma and James have also kindly offered us their space to hold a Launch Party for Cat Capers.

    Everyone who has already made a pledge of $35 NZ or more will receive an invitation.  We've added a new reward level, called Catapult (groan) for those who don't want a copy of the game but do wish to support our efforts and receive an invitation to the launch party.

    We continue to finalize artwork for Cat Capers so that we can be ready to initiate manufacture as soon as our campaign is over (or perhaps sooner...)  The manufacturing process should take at least six weeks and it can take several weeks after that for the games to reach Auckland by sea, so the official launch should be sometime in November at the latest.  We will of course keep you informed.

    This weekend the last important piece has been finalised:  the first player marker and we are unveiling it here first.  As you can see, it adds a new cat to the mix:

    We hope you like it!

    Claire, James, and Julia

    Comment on this update:

    Cat Components Coming Together

    08:43PM Sun 12/07/15 on Cat Capers

    Kia ora Cat Capers backers,

    As the weekend draws to a close, we're delighted to announce that our campaign is now over the 50% mark, with about two and a half weeks to go. Thanks especially and welcome to our newest backers:  Antony, Joseph, Anna, and Alice!

    Our artisti, Jade du Preez, has nearly finished her work on all of the components and Julia has also been hard at work, finalizing the files for the manufacturer. Her next challenge will be laying out the punchboards for the cat tokens and the paw placement trackers. At that point we'll have an idea of how large the first player marker can be. The idea is that it will be on a piece of punchboard insterted into a plastic base, similar to the ones seen here from the Komodo board game:

    Do you have an idea for what the marker should look like? One thought we had was that it could be a cat that looks different to the four in the game, wearing a crown or sitting on top of the number 1. Let us hear from you; if there's a breed of cat you were sorry to see omitted from the game, here is where it could fit in.

    We'd also like to hear any feedback you have on this draft for the back of the box:

    Next update, we should be able to show you a 3D image.

    Thanks again for your support and we'll update you again by the end of the week.

    Claire, James, and Julia

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      Ecie Hursthouse
      2015-07-30 17:28:19 +1200

      Ecie Hursthouse has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Looks like fun! Good Luck!”

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      Tim Funaki
      2015-07-29 11:33:03 +1200

      Tim Funaki has pledged on 3 campaigns

      “Hey James and Claire- with your powers combined you are Team Skybear! Congrats on making it to the finish line😃 From 'All the Larps!' Tim”

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      Tim Funaki
      2015-07-29 11:16:37 +1200

      Tim Funaki has pledged on 3 campaigns

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      Tim Funaki
      2015-07-29 11:14:48 +1200

      Tim Funaki has pledged on 3 campaigns

      2015-07-29 10:36:36 +1200

      Shawn has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “I'm a cat lover and now I will know how to scheme like one!”

      Damon Ellis
      2015-07-29 09:29:57 +1200

      Damon Ellis has pledged on 3 campaigns

      “Almost there...”

      2015-07-28 22:36:10 +1200

      Kirsty has pledged on 1 campaign

      Renee Casserly
      2015-07-28 20:55:02 +1200

      Renee Casserly has pledged on 3 campaigns

      Brent Ahuriri
      2015-07-28 19:39:26 +1200

      Brent Ahuriri has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “Great work Claire and James, I can't wait to play!”

      Jared Abel
      2015-07-28 14:11:29 +1200

      Jared Abel has pledged on 1 campaign

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      Fredrick Wheeler
      2015-07-28 14:05:12 +1200

      Fredrick Wheeler has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Good Luck James and Claire.”

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      2015-07-28 05:02:32 +1200

      Holly has pledged on 1 campaign

      “I need some kitty cat capers in my life!”

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      Chris Williams
      2015-07-27 13:22:05 +1200

      Chris Williams has pledged on 1 campaign

      “All the best Claire and James”

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      2015-07-27 12:17:14 +1200

      Mark has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Mucho Aroha!”

      Hazel Whitley
      2015-07-26 22:30:13 +1200

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      2015-07-26 12:54:17 +1200

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      2015-07-26 11:45:30 +1200

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      2015-07-26 00:58:46 +1200

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      2015-07-24 21:29:57 +1200

      Annabel has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “Great stuff guys! ”

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      2015-07-21 21:30:37 +1200

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      2015-07-21 21:15:42 +1200

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      “Played this game at BGBTB and happy to support this campaign and stock this game for sale.”

      2015-07-21 15:34:51 +1200

      Melissa has pledged on 3 campaigns

      2015-07-20 20:39:14 +1200

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      2015-07-16 23:29:49 +1200

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      Followers of Cat Capers

      This project was successful and got its funding on 30/07/2015 at 11:00 PM.