Cat On Yer Head


COYH wreaths


Cat On Yer Head is a crowd game that starts with a few simple rules that can then be modified while it is played. An imaginary cat, passed between players, chases an imaginary mouse who must escape it and eat cheese; or hide down a mouse hole; or turn into a cat-eating monster – or whatever the players invent. Because that’s the aim of the game: to build upon its basic rules, redesign it on the fly and make it sillier while you play.

The game is now available in digital and print editions as a 48-page illustrated storybook with full instructions, fun extra features and details of numerous variants. There’s also a free sampler with the basic rules to get you started.

Free Sampler
(24-page PDF)
Digital Edition
(48-page PDF)
(48-page laminated A5 book + 48-page PDF)
Free Teacher’s Guide
(3-page PDF)

If you have any difficulty buying the book on this page, please go direct to our online store. Free extra copies of the “my rule” form on page 48 can be downloaded here.


★ “Intelligent, interesting (…) One of the prettiest things we’ve seen in a long time (…) Initial impressions: extremely strong.” – Shut Up & Sit Down preview the book.

★ “Filled with invitingly playful illustrations (…) A very significant game (…) An embodiment of what I have devoted my life to creating.” – Bernie DeKoven reviews the book.

★ “Is it a book? Is it a game? Playniac’s fabulous crowd game is both.” – Nesta’s 2014 Christmas list.

★ “Like an executive toy made of humans” – Shut Up & Sit Down review the book whilst playing with 200 players at UK Games Expo.

★ “Lovely little game. Clever. Astutely designed.” – Bernie DeKoven, author of The Well-Played Game and A Playful Path, reviews the game here and here.

★ “Get ahead, get Cat On Yer Head (…) I can’t recommend it highly enough” – The Edinburgh Evening News

★ “An interesting crowd based game where you’re making up the rules (…) Fantastic to watch a real-life iteration on a game design” – Ben Milsom, BBC 99 Coins podcast (at 22 mins 50 secs)

★ “Brilliant Playniac party/comedy game that turns audience into ‘drunken human computer’. Love it!” – Douglas Wilson, Die Gute Fabrik

★ “Cat On Yer Head is an extraordinary game, where players are not protagonists or antagonists but parts of the playfield, intelligent pixels guiding the course of cats and mice that literally don’t exist but want to catch each other anyway. It’s a delightful experience with a unique perspective on games, play and fun.” – James Wallis, Spaaace and Gamecamp

★ “Totally brilliant party game by Playniac.” – Gabe Smedresman, game designer

Photos and video

Shut Up & Sit Down review with 200 players

Cat On Yer Head promo

IndieCade 2014 (Los Angeles)

Sunday Assembly, 2013 (London)

Gamecamp 6, 2013 (London)


Cat On Yer Head has been played internationally, featured at games festivals such as IndieCade, GameCity, GameCamp, GDC Europe and Edinburgh Interactive / Edinburgh Fringe; comedy events such as Science Showoff and Bright Club; and special events at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and for Channel 4 in Glasgow. It’s also been run in schools and as part of game design courses. Here’s a full list of appearances we know about, including those run by us:

LEGup at Google Campus, 2014 (London) – Complete session

Other Resources

Want to use Cat On Yer Head in a classroom? Download the free teacher’s resouce pack, made by UKIE, Mayor of London and Department for Education’s Digital Schoolhouse initiative here.

See Flickr for a full set of photos of the game in action and Storify for photos and tweets from previous events.

For press enquiries, please see our presskit.

Original concept co-created with Richard Butterworth.

Cat On Yer Head is distributed by Esdevium Games.

Photo credits in order of appearance: Alexandra Davis, Paulina Wanat for GDC Europe.