It was October 2023 and I happened to come across the Cranio Creations stand in the Mecca of board games (yes, of course, I’m talking about Spiel Essen the sacred place where hordes of pilgrims with backpacks to fill and wallets to empty must go at least once in their lives out of obligation to the gaming creed). Oh well, we know Cranio very well here in Italy so there was no need to expatriate to the Teutonic lands to see tables set with lots of Eurogames.

Wrong. Indeed wrong. Because in the distance I see the white-haired figure of Danilo Sabia, our Gandalf of the board game, intent on gesticulating as if he were a mime alongside large Vikings sitting in adoration. It almost seemed like the beginning of a battle for Middle Earth, but then I see some cute little meeples on a colorful board. A cardboard cheese, a spinning wheel and den-shaped planks. I get closer and enjoy the show.

When an Italian speaks English; and if you are Italian and you don’t know English, you can still understand everything from his gestures. The words are just background noise, but what matters are the hands, arms and body.

And from those expert hands I discovered that some mice had escaped from a laboratory, but not before the researchers had made them become undisputed geniuses (and already here, cause i grew up with the Pinky with the Brain cartoons, a love was born): and now they are trying to conquer, if not the world, at least a comfortable and dignified place underground, between technological comforts and foodstuffs stolen from the country house of unidentified human beings.

Rats of Wistar has extremely attractive premises and even the illustrations lead to think of an easy boardgame, “à la Flamecraft, the classic title that you present to newbies to make them love the board game. But when you read Sabia and Luciani on the lid, nothing is as it seems.

Yes, because this “mouselike German” contains all those mechanics for which these authors have made themselves loved by those who win, and hated by those who lose: a wheel of actions that becomes the classic blanket that is too short, a turn order that must be managed in best of ways, a board with the exploratory part of “first come, first serve: the others whatever, they will sleep on the floor in the cold”, huge decks of cards to create devastating combos, or at least try. A triumph of strategic planning that leaves no room for error. In short, the blessing and delight of every seasoned Eurogamer, to whom I highly recommend this game.

And to whom I also recommend The Dicetroyers organizer for Rats of Wistar. To reduce setup times and not to get nervous even before the initial action. Trays are needed for each player, resource holders with dedicated slots, card holders and so on, to make this gaming experience even more unique.

Because to become the best little mouse, be it an inventor or an explorer or an interior designer, you need the best organization possible. Shut up, and take that cheese!

Discover also the other games in our catalog and contact us for any request or question!