As the proud papa of two cats and the designer of Scythe, a game that features people and their pets, I understand why Jennifer asked me to write about my favorite animal companions in games. Here are three I pulled off my shelf:
Cat Companion (Near and Far) – One of my favorite little touches in Near and Far is that each player starts the game with an animal companion. It’s a tile with a dog on one side and a cat on the other. Ryan could have made this tile a human character, but I think it’s so clever that he chose a friendly animal instead. It’s a game about going on a journey, and there’s a certain comfort associated with having a cat to join me on that journey.
Mister Whiskers (Clank!) – I love everything about Mister Whiskers. He’s a cat hanging out in a dungeon. He can do something terrible to everyone or he can give you a small boost. And the art is so cute! I can’t resist picking Mister Whiskers when he shows up in the card row.
War Elephant (Kemet) – In Kemet, you can recruit these giant creatures to aid your army, many of them animals like the war elephant. I like them mechanically—they give players something to target among a vast array of choices—and thematically. Who wouldn’t want a giant elephant to defend them?