Episode 360 - The Isle of Cats

Release Date: October 26, 2020

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  104 min.

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS


You are on a rescue mission to the fabled Isle of Cats. But you must hurry! The dread pirate Vesh is coming to loot and pillage, destroying anything in his path. Explore the island, gather cats and ancient treasures, and find a way to fit them all on your boat before Vesh arrives.

The Isle of Cats is a wonderful mix of puzzle and strategy. Draft a hand of cards and use fish to pay for them. Cards help you lure cats, find loot, learn lessons from past visitors, or even discover mythical kitties. Now the real fun begins, each cat and treasure you acquire is a tetris-like tile you must fit onto your ship, covering as many rooms and rats as you can to score.

The Isle of Cats fuses these elements seamlessly and presents them as a portal to a rich story which is part of a larger world. Listen in to discover why we think the Isle of Cats is a puzzle with a purpose - combining gameplay with a story that moves us to be playful and stand up for what is right - risking all to save what can be saved.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

The Isle of Cats   Publisher Site  |  BGG 

Designer: Frank West

Publisher: The City of Games

Artist: Dragolisco

1-4 players  60-90 min.  ages 8+ (family version) 12+ (standard)   MSRP 45 EUR ($53)

Time to teach/learn: 10 minutes



The Meal

Download the recipes here

Stephen's Selection

Recipe: Homemade Chicken Stock  |  Games: Shobu, Tak  

Doug's Selection

Recipe: One Pan Pork Chops and Rice  | Game: Happy Pigs

Meal 1 - Homemade Chicken Stock


a nice size chicken (cage free will taste better, no lie)

rough cut veggies :

1-2 onions.

4-6 carrots,



as much peeled garlic as you want

herbs: thyme, oregano, bay leaves, a little dill

spices: onion powder, garlic powder, peppercorns, paprika, salt

experimental ingredients: apples, a hot pepper (jalapeno, cayenne), honey

To Prepare

Use a stock pot or the biggest pot you have if you don't have a stock pot. fill with water submerge the chicken and keep filling until the water is at least half again as high over the bird, higher if you have the room.

Bring to a boil and leave for a minute or two, then lower to a very slow low simmer partially covered. Walk away and set a timer for 2 hours. Check the chicken. It probably wont be done yet but you’ll get a good sense of how far its coming along. 

The goal is for the chicken to be basically falling off the bone, so relaxed in this nice bath that when you get a pair of tongs to remove it from the pot you feel like the whole bird is going to fall apart. Thats when its ready to remove. I’d say this happens most of the time around the 3 hour or 3.5 hour mark but your mileage may vary. 

Keep that pot on the heat, we’re not done yet!

Get a big casserole dish to place the bird in and begin pulling the bones from the meat. This should be super easy. If it isn’t put the bird back in. The meat is part of the treasure you seek but the bones the bones are just as important! They go back in the pot. Check the liquid level in the pot. You probably want to add enough water to half again as much, partially cover and walk away.

Come back in another 2 hours. Now the veggies and such will have given their all. I use a big collander and simply pour the contents of the stock pot into  a strainer or colander and into another pot or a big bowl if you don't have a second big pot. Then transfer this strained broth back to the pot, put it back on the heat and add the chicken bones to the broth.

Almost done now. Double the liquid level one last time in the pot and then let the broth slow simmer for many hours until it has reduced back to its original level. You now have liquid gold.

You can use it to make chicken and noodles (recipes for another day) or matzo ball soup.

I always salt my stock to taste once the full flavor profile of the stock is set now. Some people salt along the way. I like to know what the final broth is like and then add salt to balance it out according to what I am going to use it with.

Some people will let it sit in the fridge and let the residual fat harden on the top and remove it. Unless it is an egregious amount of fat, I recommend leaving it. It gives the broth the amazing comforting velvety texture and flavor that you’re after.

Use some of it but with this amount and effort the best news is you can freeze it for later use. If you have ice cube trays, pour some into the trays and make stock cubes you can store for later in a bag and get out as many as you need for small or large meals later.

Shōbu     Smirk & Laughter Games  |  BGG

Tak: A Beautiful Game      Cheapass Games  |  BGG  |  Worldbuilders

Meal 2 - One Pan Pork Chops and Rice


4 pork chops

1 bell pepper

1 medium onion

1 can(10 oz.)(283g) diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 can(15oz.)(435g) black,pinto beans or black eyed peas

1 cup rice

1-1/2 cups chicken stock or broth

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

To Prepare

Season the chops(salt and pepper is fine). In a 12 inch skillet, brown the chops for 3 minutes per side, and then remove from the pan.

While the chops are browning, dice up the onion and bell pepper.

Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan and soften them for about 3 minutes.

If a little minced garlic hit the pan, that wouldn't hurt at all.

Add tomatoes and beans, undrained(you'll need the liquid).

Stir in the rice and add in the stock/broth.

Season with worcestershire sauce, and add the chops back on top of the rest.

Drop temp back down to simmer and put the lid on the pan.

Simmer for 25 minutes, or until liquid has absorbed.

Happy Pigs      Iello  |  BGG


Music credits include:

The Cat  by  Jimmy Smith |  the song

Copy Cat (Wack A Doo)  by  Quincy Jones |  the song