Schrodinger's Cats

Game Overview: Based on the 1935 experiment by physicist Erwin Schrodinger, is a card game of uncertainty.  You will try to determine the number of alive cats, dead cats, or empty boxes by trying to prove your own scientific hypothesis or attempting to debunk the hypothesis of other players through the use of blind bidding.

Box Contents:  You won’t find a lot inside the box.  Included are 62 game cards, the rules manual, a single square wooden token, and an oversized cardboard “lab clipboard” card.  Everything stores nicely inside the box.  The art on the cards is acceptable for the game.

Clarity of Rules:  The 12 page rules manual is a thicker type of paper than what you normally find.  Throughout the rules manual, multiple words have different colors and fonts trying to draw attention to them.  While we understand the reason, it makes reading the rules more difficult.  The rules themselves weren’t necessarily always clear to us.  The use of the Lab Clipboard was very confusing to us, so we visited 9th Level’s website to watch a five minute video that failed to provide clear directions on its use.  Ultimately, we found other reviews of the game that helped explain the use of this.  They also noted the confusion in how it is used in the game.

Game Play:  The game consists of rounds where one player will be eliminated each round until one final player remains.  The number of rounds is the number of players minus one.  Each player is initially dealt cards for the number of players that currently remain in the game.

Each card represents a box in the famous Schrodinger’s experiment.  You will find alive cats in a box, dead cats in a box, or an empty box.  In addition, a wild card titled the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle will be found.

By reviewing the cards that were dealt to the active player, they must make a hypothesis to the group about how many cards of a certain type (Alive, Dead, or Empty) are currently in play.  To back up their hypothesis, the player has the choice of playing cards face up onto the table.  When they do this, they draw new cards to replace those.

Play moves to the next player.  They can choose to change the hypothesis by going in order on the lab clipboard.  For example, if the previous player had declared 5 dead cats, the next player (based upon the lab clipboard) can change the hypothesis by declaring 6 alive cats, 6 dead cats, 3 empty boxes etc… as they are all further along the clipboard than the previous hypothesis.

They also have the ability to ask the previous player to prove their hypothesis.  When this happens, all players show their hands to identify the cards they have.  Any Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle cards in play will count towards the current hypothesis along with any cards played face up on the table.  If the hypothesis is proven, the player that questioned it is out for the remainder of the game.  If the hypothesis can not be proven, the previous active player that made the hypothesis is out for the remainder of the game.

Replay Ability: There really isn’t much different from game to game as the actions are always going to be the same when it is your turn.  The one thing that will change things up is the use of the cat physicist cards, which gives the game more replay ability by giving you a single use ability.

Appropriate Audience: The game suggests 14+ and once you have the game play down, someone much younger than this should be able to understand the game.  While the game does deal with dead cats, the card representing this is not gruesome in any way that would upset younger players.

What We Liked/Didn't Like: We enjoy the humorous cat physicist cards that can be found in the game and how they reference real scientists.  You will find Madam Purrie (Curie), Mittens (Michael) Faraday, Neil Degrasse Tabby (Tyson), Albert Felinestein (Einstein), Stephen Pawking (Hawking), Cecelia Pounce (Payne-Gaposchkin), Sir Isaac Mewton (Newton), Sally Prride (Ride), and Maria Goeppertmeower (Goeppert Mayer).  The use of these cards adds another elements to the gameplay.  There is player elimination in the game, so be aware of that as players may have to sit and watch.  However, the games move along quickly, so the wait time isn’t too bad.  There isn’t much strategy to the game when it is your turn.  You have to either up the blind bid or ask to prove the current hypothesis.  It can be an okay game from time to time but not something you will likely play on a consistent basis.

Add-ons/Other Releases:  n/a

  **A review copy was provided to us.