PopCats Fighter Kickstarter Preview: Fluffy Furry Fighting Frenzy | Casual Game Revolution

PopCats Fighter Kickstarter Preview: Fluffy Furry Fighting Frenzy

PopCats Fighter

Inspired by side scrolling one-on-one fighting games, PopCats Fighter will have you choose your cat and go toe to toe in a cat-themed game of vicious clawing and agile pouncing.

PopCats Fighter is now on Kickstarter, and is full of pirate cats, wrestling cats, mechanized cats, and many more!


Each player chooses a cat character. Each character has a unique ability, comes with one Super Move and one Mega Move, and is also dealt a random power-up card at the start of the game. Each player also takes a meter storage and a health bar, and is dealt eight cards.

A start player is chosen and the game begins. Each turn has three rounds: attack, defense, and counter. During the attack, the active player may perform up to four actions. These actions can be: make an attack move (play a hit card, a directional hit card, or a hit card in combination with a directional hit card), use an enhancer card to improve an attack, use an instant card (due to the powerful nature of these cards, a player may only play one of these per turn), draw two cards, or burn two cards. When burning two cards, you place one card from your hand into the discard pile, and one in your meter storage.

During the defense phase, the other player may take up to four actions, which include: playing defensive cards in response to your attacks, playing an enhancer card, playing an instant card, drawing two cards, or burning two cards. Defense cards also include counters which allow the player to attack back. If a counter has been played, the first can take one action per played counter card. This action can either be a defense (but no counter), an enhancer card, an instant card (if the player has not already used one this turn), drawing two cards, or burning two.

Cards you play during the round that are at least partially successful (such as an attack card that deals at least one point of damage) are placed in your meter storage while cards that fail entirely are placed in the discard pile. A character’s Super Move and Mega Move can be played once enough cards are in your meter storage.

Once one player brings her opponent to zero hit points, she wins a match. The player to win two out of three matches wins the game. It is also possible to play the game with four players in teams of two, in which case players may borrow cards from each other and players alternate who they attack and defend against each turn.

PopCats Fighter components


Right off the bat PopCats Fighter does a great job of capturing its theme of a side scrolling one-on-one fighting video game. You open the box and it’s made to look like a video game. Certain components like the health bars look right out of one as well. PopCats Fighter doesn’t hold back on its theme and the result is something creative, nostalgic, and a whole lot of fun.

The artwork of the game is fantastic, with each cat character having a distinctive and creative look. The artwork on the cards also fits the game well, and it treads a fine line between the cuteness of the cats and the clever humor of the game.

There is a nice layer of strategy in how you choose to play your cards. Do you hold off and play a more defensive game? Discard to build up your meter? Use your Super or Mega move early? Wait for your mega move? The fact that your character is dealt a random power-up card at the start also ensures variety when you play. And of course, you can’t have a true fighting game without combos, and some of the card combos are particularly enjoyable.

The rulebook could be clearer and certain of the game concepts explained a little more thoroughly, and less of the necessary information saved for the glossary. Still, once you learn the game it flows nicely and the back and forth of hits, defense, and counters is extremely enjoyable.

A solid fighting game, with a theme and artwork that takes it to the next level, PopCats Fighter blends tense gameplay with adorable bundles of fluff. Look for it on Kickstarter and prepare your claws.

Pros: Thematic with great artwork, great back and forth between players

Cons: Rulebook could use some refining

Disclosure: this preview is based on our evaluation of an unpublished prototype of the game, which is subject to change prior to publication. While a modest payment was received to expedite the review process, our thoughts and opinions expressed here are honest and accurate.