Build Your Stairway to Heaven in Catch the MoonFebruary 8, 2019
The term “table presence” often pops up whenever gamers get together and discuss their favorite board games. From the simple brilliance of The Mind to the sprawling table-devourer Twilight Imperium, the magic of board gaming shines when the game board, cards, dice, miniatures, meeples, and other components all come together to tell a story.
Upon seeing the cover art of Catch the Moon, you’re immediately transported into its dream-like world, where the moon awaits your arrival. Can you outplay and outlast your opponents in your attempt to reach the moon?
In this dexterity game up to six players are trying to climb through the clouds via a series of ladders, hoping to reach the moon. Using a set of slightly skewed wooden ladders, they’ll take turns placing them onto the increasingly unstable structure they build throughout the game. The player with the least amount of mistakes wins the game.
Setup is simple: take two of the starting straight ladders, put them into the cloud base, and you’re good to go. On your turn you’ll roll a die that has three possible outcomes: one ladder, two ladder, or a moon. You’ll choose a random ladder and place it according to your roll. If it’s one ladder, you must place your ladder so that it touches exactly one other ladder. If the die shows two ladders, your ladder must touch exactly two ladders. Finally, if it’s the moon, then your ladder may touch one or two ladders, but it must be the highest point of the structure.
If you fail at matching the die result or if a ladder falls or touches the base or table, then you’ve made the moon sad and you must collect a tear. When the supply of tears is gone, the game is over and whoever has the fewest tears wins. If there’s a tie, then the remaining players continue placing ladders as if a moon had been rolled. The last player standing wins.
Talk about table presence: the beautiful dream world of Catch the Moon is well-represented by its components. The cloud base is light yet solid enough for your growing structure of wooden ladders. It’s a sight to see as you build higher and higher and I loved how all of the non-starting ladders were askew. Not only does it make your task more difficult, it fits perfectly into the game’s theme. If you’re playing in a public space, be prepared to answer questions about the unique game on your table.
Dexterity games can be hit or miss with me, but Catch the Moon has been a huge hit with me and everyone I’ve played it with so far. My friend Meeple Lady taught it to me and my wife and we were instantly hooked, then when my buddy Oscar gave me a birthday gift card I ran right out to get a copy. It can be taught in a minute or two, so new gamers can jump right in. Turns go by quickly and games average about 20 minutes, so hardcore gamers can use it as a filler between longer games. No matter the setting, Catch the Moon is a crowd-pleasing game that you’ll want to play over and over, as you try to build the tallest structure to reach the ever-elusive moon.