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Chop! Chop!

The 6-99 displayed prominently on the box is the game's suggested age range rather than the price but Djeco's Chop! Chop! is very much a children's game that will primarily appeal to kids in the 4–10 age range.

The title, we guess, comes from the colloquial expression meaning 'Hurry up!' because Chop! Chop! is quite literally a cat and mouse chase game. Designed by Alexandre Droit with art by Christophe Gilet, Chop! Chop! is beautifully produced. Tiles are laid out randomly face down in the indentations on the board. A wooden table is assembled and placed in the centre of the board and there's a mouse hole on each side of the board. The game pits a cat (controlled by one player) against four mice (controlled by 1–4 other players). Tiles are turned over and revealed when a cat or mouse lands on them, and several have special effects (take an extra move or miss a turn) but the tiles the mice want to find are those that display cheese: the mice need collectively to gather 10 cheese tiles to win. Meanwhile, the cat is trying to catch the mice by landing on them. The cat can leap onto the table and move across it but only the mice can move under the table. The mice can also run to safety by moving to one of the mouse holes, provided it isn't already occupied.

Movement in Chop! Chop! is controlled by non-standard six-sided dice: the cat die is 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3 and the mouse die is 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4. Set up is random so players don't know where the cheese is until those tiles are revealed (and they are instantly claimed if it's one of the mice that's landed on them), so there's not a lot of strategy demanded. Mice will obviously try to keep out of range of the cat but even that cannot be guaranteed because of the special tiles that can give a player an extra move. You'll play this then as a fun asymmetric roll & move game. Tho', as the rules suggest, it's playable with up to five, Chop! Chop! is really primarily a two-player game: whether there are 1, 2, 3 or 4 mouse players, any of them can move any of the remaining mice, and if you do have more than one mouse player then the mice will always be playing cooperatively.

Much of this game's appeal is in the fantastic quality of production from publishers Djeco. Chop! Chop! is a game that children will enjoy setting up almost as much they'll enjoy playing!

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