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WBG Score: 7.5/10

Player Count: 2-5

You'll like this if you like: Exploding Kittens, Unstable Unicorns, pet dogs!

Published by Golden Ginty Games Ltd.

Designed by Mathew Jones, Ollie Jones

Links to purchase games mentioned in the review here are affiliate links and will earn WBG a tiny amount of commission if you click and buy thorugh them with your cookies enabled. 

Canine Kelptomaniacs

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Humans are so strange! They leave all these amazing treasures lying around the house! I'm gonna store them in my secret hiding place. Bet I can get more than you, wait, a squirrel!

Chat with Matt

We recently sat down with Matt and had a chat about his experience making this game and his plans. First, we asked Matt about his background in designing games. 

"Canine Kleptomaniacs was a bit of family fun that got out of hand - so there’s not much to say really. I suppose my day job as a museum exhibition and interactives designer employs some of the same skills that are relevant to designing tabletop games. I don’t really consider myself a bona fide game designer though, and I certainly can’t claim all the credit, as this project has truly been a family affair." 


I think for me that is part of the charm here. How this game developed in this way and has brought us so much joy What got you into the hobby as a player?


"As long as the kids have been old enough, we’ve always played board games, mainly during holidays. I guess my first experience outside the usual fare of Cluedo, Monopoly and Uno was with Carcassonne (which I still love). My wife and I have only got into the hobby during the last three years, during the development of our own game. I’d say my wife Jo is the driving force when it comes to new game purchasing. We’re already well on our way to needing dedicated storage options! Thankfully we have an Ikea in Exeter!"

So how did your game come about?

"A compulsively thieving dog, a caravan, two wet summer holidays and my playful challenge to the family to “make a game” led to the creation of Canine Kleptomaniacs! 

Motivated primarily by concern over the amount of time our three teens were spending on screens and being trapped in our caravan on successive wet summer holidays in Devon, we hatched this idea for a game based on the ridiculous thieving antics of our spaniel, Amber. 

Our youngest son lays claim to setting the illustrative tone of the game with his simplistic drawing of a squirrel. Our daughter says that she came up with rules for the revolting poo pizza card and several others. Our eldest son unearthed a talent for creating quirky illustrations and was responsible for all the artwork. My wife Jo has been a constant sanity checker, controlling the excesses of my childish tendencies for humour and helping refine rules and playtest the game with the public. 

We spent more than a couple of years developing and playtesting prototypes of the game with ever-widening circles of friends, and here we are now, out in the big scary world with our little orange box of joy, wondering what we do next!"

See paragraph three! How do you feel when you see people play one of your games at home?

"Thrilled! Happy and proud of what we’ve achieved as a family. Pleased that something I have been a part of is bringing joy, laughter (and the occasional tantrum) to people young and old across the land!"

Well that is certainly what we have experienced, without the tantrums, yet! What do you see in the future?

"We’ve been buoyed by reactions to the game. We know there’s a market. We just must try and get some traction so we can shift our initial print run and replenish an ailing bank balance! 

The theme of the game leaves lots of scope for future development. In fact, we’ve already got a near-complete add-on, which we considered launching with our original Kickstarter. Called ‘Covert Ops’, it introduces a whole James-Bond / Mission Impossible twist to the game. 

I wrote out a list of some of the other ideas for add-ons. They’re not anything much more than titles in my head right now, but I can imagine a whole heap more silliness in some of these: Pups in the Palace: A Right Royal Robbery; Dog Ate My Homework - Back to School Edition; Wild and Wanted; Christmas Capers; The Master’s Revenge...


There have been so many steep learning curves to clamber up since I jokingly said to the family ‘let’s make a game’! The steepest curve of all has been learning how to market and sell the game whilst simultaneously holding down the day jobs!" 


All that sounds very exciting, keep us posted! If you could have any other game not made by you in your roster of designed games what would it be and why?

"Uno! I’d be happy with that!"

My wife loves Uno, but I think she prefers your game! And finally, which other designer would you most like to have a games night with and why? 

"I’m a big fan of Shem Philips’ games. Raiders of the North Sea is one of my favourites. It is also one of the few where I still get a look in at winning against my wife!"


I know that feeling. Thanks, so much for taking the time to talk with us Matt. I cannot wait to see what you come up with next.

And to all you out there, I urge you to check this out. If you are looking for a fun, light, quick card game to play with your children or group, then I can highly recommend this game. If you want to read my review of the expansion, then click here​​​

​You're a dog.​

Canine Kleptomaniacs was dreamt up by ​Matt Jones and his family for a bit of fun. Fast forward one successful Kickstarter to a game delivered to hundreds of backers around the world and now across multiple online stores. This is what the board game industry is about. If you have a good idea and you are willing to put the time in, you can get your game published and into people's homes.

I wanted to review this game for three reasons. 


1. I love the fact that Matt and his family followed their dream and were successful with their project. This should give hope to other aspiring designers out there.

2. This game is fun! I love a heavy Euro like most, but sometimes, I just want a short, fun, laughter-filled game with my family. And this is one of the best for that. 

3. This game is not just fun, but also very good. At its core, this is a set collection game with a fair bit of take that. Take that irks me, especially in a family game. But this game does it in such a fun way, such a fast and wild way, it just doesn’t matter like it sometimes can. The balance in this game is very good. It looks cute and light, but it’s also a very good game. Thank you to Matt for sending us a copy for review. (See disclaimer at the bottom).


Seriously, you are a dog! 


Canine Kleptomaniacs puts you in the heart and mind of a dog. As part of the Kickstarter, Matt offered backers the chance to have their own pet dog star as one of the eight-character cards. These are the cards you see now, and they are adorable! Each with their own powers and point scoring options. I cannot imagine how the owners of these dogs feel. Having their beloved pets immortalised in this game. If I was Matt, I would look at creating bespoke versions of this game with peoples own pets as one of the cards.


In the game, your task is to race around the house and collect sets of various items from your master and hide them away in your secret hiding place. You could be searching a pair of granny’s knickers, sweaty boxers, pretty knickers, or the golden Y fronts. (there are a lot of pants in this game. Underwear for the Americans out there!)


One you have your desired collectables, store them in your hiding place. Each set is worth a different number of points, most points wins. Sounds simple enough! But there is also a large deck of action cards, which as well acting as the timer of the game, offers a varied, hilarious and entertaining set of things to do on your turn. One of our favourites is the Fluffy Rumble where every player shuffles all their collectables into one deck and then deals them back out to each player. You get back the same number of cards you started with, but not necessarily the same ones. 


Mini-game madness!

There are also several mini games, where some cards have you battle in a variation of rock-paper-scissors, others pit you in a race to roll a six first. Whilst one lets you attempt to get into you masters bedroom if you can roll an even number. You can sacrifice some of your already collected items if you wish, to increase your number of throws. Worth doing, as there are a lot of extra points to be had this way. 


On your turn, you can also trade cards. And of course, you certainly don’t have to give what you say you are going too. If I can't teach my children to bluff early, well, their poker nights will turn out like mine!


In short, this is fast wild ride, that has had our family in stiches, and I am certain we will play it for years to come. The art is bright and very funny, with notable mentions going to the infamous poo pizza, a card that everyone wants to get rid of due to its negative 30 points, and the Grapes of wrath! Less said about that, the better!​​

Do you want a new family friendly card game?

canine kleptomaniacs
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