I rethemed the original idea to wizards. It worked but it didn't have the pop I wanted. The idea was to reveal the gems of the other wizards. Once all of his gems are revealed he is out of the game. The board was laid out with cards and players would have to try to memorize the location of some cards. They would reveal a card and then look at some cards and trade with the one in hand. This version worked, but there wasn't much to it. You just flip a card and try to figure out where the other players' cards are.
I then added spells to the game. When you reveal a spell card on the table you can use the spell. Some of them were to look at cards, reshuffle the cards, swap cards, etc. This added a little more to the game. It was still just OK. It was still lacking something and I had given up on the idea.
The game mechanic worked its way into a new game I have called Catch Diego. Players are bounty hunters trying to catch outlaws for rewards. That's another post though. So far that's working out and I need to play test some more. I'll post more about it later.
Back to Noir Cats. I decided to go back to the idea of trying to prove the other cats pooped in the sandbox. The Noir theme popped into my head and I was thinking about the game again and thought they would go together well. However, the mechanics of the game had to change.
To start, I decided to give each player a hand of cards instead of one card. Then instead of having a draw deck and a table of cards to memorize, I will have a bunch of scattered cards in the middle. This is the sandbox.
So, there are cards scattered in the middle and each player has a hand of about 5 cards. On a player's turn he has a few options. He can: Draw a card from the middle, Play a card from his hand, or Flip a card over and play it directly from the sandbox. I think these are good enough for some basic actions.
Each person will have 4 clue cards for their cat. They will have a feces, hairball, paw print and something else, maybe another paw print. The goal is to reveal the other player's cards.
There are also action cards. These actions are played during your turn to do some special action. These include: playing 2 cards, looking at a card on the table, trading a card with the table or player, etc. The one card I'm still on the fence about is one where you ask another player 2 questions like do you have any green cards? The player being asked answers both questions and must lie on one of the questions. If the person asking can tell which one was the lie he can take a card from that player. If they get it wrong the person being asked gets a card. I thought this might help add to the Noir theme.
The end game is still something I'm working on. Do I end the game when 1 player is out and the person who revealed it wins? Or do I play until one person is not revealed to have pooped in the sandbox? I did the latter in the original and think that worked so I will first try that method.
I think this redesign will add more to the game and hopefully make it have a little more substance and player interaction. I'll work up a prototype and hopefully get some tests done soon. I'll try to make some print and plays of this and my other games for more people to try them out.
Play games. Always.