Fort: A Simple World of Kids, Toys, Pizza, Cats, and Dogs

Jul 6, 2024 | Sessions | 0 comments

Be a kid again and head out into the neighborhood for summer adventures with friends from around the block in Fort.

The summer is just getting started, and I’m finding lots of wonderful solo game experiences! It was a few years ago that I last played Fort, and I completely neglected to return to it… Even going so far as to ignore the expansion to add in cats and dogs. What?! It was the perfect time to explore this fun bit of nostalgia where pizza and toys were most important!

Game Overview

Game Name: Fort
Publication Year:
 Grant Rodiek
 Kyle Ferrin
Publisher: Leder Games
Solo Mode: Unofficial Solo Variant

The goal is to craft the best fort in the neighborhood, making friends along the way. Everyone is skilled and each kid makes the group better! However, friends might move on at some point… The world of kids really does come down to the basics, like pizza and parties. Ha ha!

Making Friends and Building Things in a Delightful Play of Fort

First Play

July 3, 2022



Latest Play

July 6, 2024



Setup Time

5 Minutes

Lifetime Plays


Play Time

40 Minutes


High Score



Game Area

36" x 20"


Low Score


Bright and Cheery

I have fond memories of my childhood summers, where friends and adventures were right outside the back door. This color palette and theme take me back to those times!

Although it’s all about being kids, there is a surprisingly complex element of managing suits and a deck.

Friends might help add to another friend’s actions, making it even better! Yet building up a deck too much leads to plenty of kids in the yard who might be recruited…

There are lots of interesting interactions tied to building the fort and managing stuff. Very cool mechanics!

A Colorful World of Friends and Silly Summer Adventures with Fort

From Small Beginnings

At the start, the best fort on the block is merely an idea. Best friends join the fun, and act as a foundation, for they will never be recruited by the solo opponent. Loyalty!

Getting everything going takes a little bit at the start, but in a good way. There are challenges to work through with picking the best action among a bunch of them.

The solo opponent is simple to run, but introduces a lot of strategic thought. This block is filled with clever kids!

I loved returning to this setting, where nearly all issues were measured in toys and pizza. Such simple times!

From the Humblest of Beginnings to a Constructed Masterpiece in Fort

Hidden Artwork

Sometimes, the unsung elements of games are the card backs that don’t get a lot of attention. These were so charming with their little quirks and watercolor designs.

By the way, that is definitely a macaroni sculpture over there. Whoever reaches the highest fort level first earns it, along with a little boost in victory points. More fun!

At first, I eased myself back into the main mechanics of the base game. It didn’t take long to start flying through.

That made it the right time to add in some furry friends… You might guess who’s on the other side of the tuna cans!

The Right Tabletop Presence Where Even Card Backs Look Amazing with Fort

Raining Cats and Dogs

This expansion is an example of something with very few components that adds so much to gameplay. And don’t fret… Cats and dogs are separate modules to try out!

I was thoroughly impressed by these additions. Cats are fickle and have requirements for getting attracted… But if the solo opponent achieves this on another turn, ME-OW!

Dogs have special requirements and costs, but provide one-time abilities and potential victory points.

Both of them function very differently, yet I discovered a lot of nice elements that the base game was lacking.

Making More Friends with the Cats and Dogs Expansion for Fort

Focusing on the Journey of Solo Games

Although it might not seem like it, I’m playing a little less these days… Yet I’m getting a lot more out of my games, if that makes any sense! Take this post as an example. I lazily played over the course of a few days, rather than forcing myself to play all at once and take notes about what I liked or didn’t like. It’s all about the feelings these days.

Just looking at these photos makes me happy. From the kids doing silly things to the adorable cats and dogs, there’s so much to like! I ultimately tried to earn a victory, yet the memorable parts of play were the cool turns or excellent synergies when Bones, a slime lab, and a birthday party helped me score a lot way before my fort was any good. Ha ha!

I’m sort of shifting away from listing out the “best” solo games. Not that I really focused on it before, but I sometimes would recommend my favorites. Now, I’m trying to document what the experience means to me, in the hopes it provides a better foundation for what makes a “good” solo game. But remember: It’s all down to personal preference!

Into the Doghouse

How fun! Each play uses 6 of 17 dogs and 2 of 6 cats, adding plenty of variety and absolute adorableness.

I probably went overboard with the dogs, since they took up an action. I didn’t need this many to score extra victory points… But doggies! I welcomed as many as I could.

The cats were even more interesting, possibly moving away if they found a more attractive fort down the line. Bandit was awesome, though, and look at that cute art!

Still, I had to keep playing to get the hang of different actions. I wasn’t the best in the neighborhood… Soon!

The Interesting Challenge of Adding Cat and Dog Friends in Fort

Cats and Dogs Galore

A-ha! After a lot of failed maneuvers to make my fort great, it happened. Victory! The dogs helped a lot, yet I had to thank Kingsly and Sprightly. They were the stars!

Adding in these modules didn’t mean a lot of extra overhead for the solo opponent. I just had to make sure the cats didn’t get attracted too often. That was a disaster!

There is plenty of variety across all of the components, plus an absolutely charming and cozy sort of theme.

I hope to get this back to my solo table a lot. It brings me lots of joy, particularly with the new animal friends!

Finding New and Interesting Strategies to Make the Most of Animal Friends in Fort

Session Overview

Play Number: 3-8
Expansion: Fort: Cats & Dogs Expansion
Solo Mode: Unofficial Solo Variant
Play Details: Factory Default Difficulty Level
Outcome: 2 Wins & 4 Losses

I’ll definitely keep using the expansions each time I play! The friends are so silly and fun with their names and illustrations. Sometimes, I enjoy thinking up a little story about what a kid does during a turn. This one is a lot of fun for managing a deck, but also going back to summer adventures. I think I need to host a pizza party now! Ha!

Tons of Fun with Illustrated Friends and Little Story Opportunities in Fort


1 Play


Price & Value



Challenges & Mechanics



Design & Theme



Components & Rules



Achievement & Enjoyment



Distinctness & Randomness


+ Pros (Positives)

  • The artwork and colors are silly and whimsical, setting the stage for simple, summer adventures about being a kid.
  • Managing a deck and the different suits is rather challenging and offers more depth than it might appear at first.
  • Components offer excellent quality, especially in the player boards and wooden resources, but also in the cards.
  • A large summary sheet provides details about the icons, while the sequence of play is included on the player board.
  • This unofficial solo variant is easy to learn and becomes a matter of less than a minute to manage each round.
  • Cats and dogs are modules that can be used on their own or together, allowing for a more customized experience.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • Dogs add a noticeable amount of extra table space, which means it can get a little too cluttered at times.
  • No matter how well a turn is planned out, the solo opponent sometimes gets lucky with recruiting all of the cards.
  • Although the rules become intuitive pretty quickly, there are a lot of little rules to understand at first.
  • Some perks and made-up rules are almost always the best options, which can reduce the variety a little bit.

More Fort

Explore related posts about Fort!

Victory Conditions

Score the Most Points

  • Overall Goal Progress 75% 75%

Goals and Milestones


Score at least 40 points.


Win at least 1 game at the rusty difficulty level.


Win at least 1 game at the factory default difficulty level.


Score at least 50 points.

Continue the Conversation

What do you think of Fort? Have you played anything lately that reminds you of summertime? I can’t believe it’s been years since I last played! Adding in cats and dogs was an excellent decision to offer new mechanics… But I was mostly looking for the cute artwork. Ha! Here’s to hoping I don’t forget about this one again for too long. Simply so much fun!


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