On the surface Catch the Fox is a game that wouldn’t typically appeal to me. The game is obviously made for younger children with the age rating of 4+. I normally wouldn’t even give the game a chance as I am far from the target demographic. The fact that the game is made for such young children meant that it would be quite limited in complexity. I didn’t have high hopes for Catch the Fox. I decided to still give it a chance though as I have always kind of enjoyed silly children’s games. Catch the Fox has little appeal for adults or older children, but younger children may have a blast with it.
The premise of Catch the Fox is quite simple. Your goal is basically to fill your coop with chickens before the other players. Players will take turns rolling the die. The number they roll determines how many chickens they will place in the fox’s pockets. Each player will end their turn pressing down on the fox’s head. After a random number of head presses, the fox’s pants will drop. This will drop the chickens onto the table. At this point the players try to pick up the chickens as fast as they can and add them to their coop. The first player to fill their coop wins the game.
If you would like to see the complete rules/instructions for the game, check out our Catch the Fox how to play guide.
As I mentioned earlier, I was not the target audience for this game. The game was made with young children and their parents/grandparents/etc in mind. Adults and even older children were not the target audience for the game. Because of this, your enjoyment of the game will depend heavily on who you play it with. Therefore as you read the rest of this review, you need to keep in mind that this game was meant for a totally different demographic than me.
Basically it is hard to justify that Catch the Fox is much of a game. There is an ultimate winner even though I think a lot of games will end in a draw. The game for the most part plays itself. There is no strategy or decisions in the game at all. You roll the die and place chickens into the pockets based on what number was rolled. There is no reason not to place your chickens in the pocket closest to you, as it increases the odds that the chickens will fly out towards you. Otherwise players take turns waiting until the real game starts.
Pretty much the entire game is about the couple seconds after the pants drop. At this point you race to pick up the chickens as fast as possible. To do well in the game you need to have a quick reaction time and move quickly. The game only allows you to use one hand to pick up the chickens. As soon as you see the pants drop you need to start grabbing chickens as fast as you can. Whoever can grab the chickens quickest will likely win the game. The game usually entails two rounds of this as there usually aren’t enough chickens in play for someone to win in the first round.
There honestly isn’t a whole lot to say about Catch the Fox’s gameplay. It basically all comes down to who can grab the most chickens within those couple seconds after the pants drop. Those moments can be kind of fun as you race against the other players. There just isn’t anything else to the gameplay. Outside of being quicker than the other players, there is nothing you can do to improve your odds of winning.
Because of this, I don’t really see the game holding older children’s or adult’s interest for very long. Those couple of seconds can be kind of fun, but there really isn’t anything inbetween those moments. The dice rolling doesn’t really matter. All that matters is when the pants drop. This leads to a game that kind of feels like it plays itself. I became bored of the game rather quickly, and I think most older children and adults will feel the same way.
Despite the game not being for me, I do want to give it some credit where it is due.
First I would like to applaud the components. I was actually impressed by how well the pants dropping mechanic actually works. It appears to be completely random within a certain number of presses. This is critical to the game since it would ruin the suspense if it always happened at the same time. I could see it wearing out over time, but it actually works surprisingly well. The pants drop quickly and this leads to the chickens flying everywhere. This could lead to some of the chickens getting lost if you don’t pay attention to where they fly off the table. The components are only made of plastic, but they are sturdier than I thought they would be.
The other strength of Catch the Fox is that is plays really quickly. Most games will likely take two or three rounds. I would guess that most games could be completed in five minutes. I applaud the short length for a couple reasons. First the game would really start to drag if it lasted much longer. Second the shorter length will make the game more appealing to younger children.
That brings me back to the target audience for Catch the Fox. While the game has no real appeal for adults or older children, I could see the game working well with younger children. As long as a kid can count to two, I don’t really see how they wouldn’t be able to play the game. The chickens are kind of small so it might not be the best idea to play with really young children. Otherwise I see no reason why young children would have any trouble understanding how to play the game.
I think most young children will really enjoy the game. The game is meant to be silly. A fox is stealing chickens and hiding them in their pants. Eventually their pants get too heavy and all the chickens fall out. The whole premise is silly, and I could see the game being kind of funny when the pants suddenly fall down. I doubt all children will enjoy the game. If the premise sounds like something that they would enjoy though, I think they will have fun playing Catch the Fox.
Ultimately your opinion of Catch the Fox is likely going to depend heavily on whether you are playing the game with younger children. The game itself is really simple. This makes the game really easy to learn and it plays quickly. This along with the theme makes it likely that most younger children will enjoy the game. Unfortunately there isn’t much to the game for older children or adults. The game has no strategy or decision making. The whole game basically boils down to the couple seconds after the pants drop and players race to pick up the chickens. These moments can be kind of fun, but there is nothing else to the game.
My recommendation ultimately comes down to if you are planning on playing the game with younger children. If not, I don’t see Catch the Fox being for you. If you have younger children/grandchildren/etc, and the game’s premise sounds like something they would enjoy, I think you should consider picking up Catch the Fox as they likely will enjoy it.
Catch the Fox
Year: 2017 | Publisher: Goliath Games | Designer: NA | Artist: NA
Genres: Children’s, Speed
Ages: 4+ | Number of Players: 2-4 | Length of Game: 5-10 minutes
Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Moderate
Components: plastic fox, 21 chickens, 4 chicken coops, die, instructions
- Plays quickly and works better than I expected.
- Young children will likely enjoy the game’s silliness.
- Basically has no strategy or decisions.
- Outside of the brief scrambles to pick up the chickens, there isn’t much to the gameplay.
Rating: 1.5/5 (If you have younger children to play with, the rating would be considerably higher.)
Recommendation: For parents/grandparents/etc with young children who would like the premise.