Caterpillaring ain't easy! All you want is yummy flowers, but there is always a wasp in your way or another caterpillar who wants a bite of you. 


Caterpillar Filler Cover

Caterpillar Filler
Designer(s) David Newton Artist(s) Lorenzo Uccheddu Publisher


2-4 14+ 15-30m

For anyone who had the opportunity to use older Nokia phones, you may have found yourself playing a little game called Snake. It is all about moving around the screen eating food and growing longer with each thing you eat, but if you didn't pay attention, you would end up biting yourself resulting in a game over. The first thing I thought when I saw Caterpillar Filler..."Hey, it is a competitive version of Snake in board game form," and I was right. It works very well too! The game is a lot of fun and adds some fun new elements to make a unique game that simply resembles the old phone game. 

The idea behind this game is you are a young caterpillar just trying evolve into a beautiful butterfly. To do this, you must eat enough of the scarce food before your opponents are able to fully grow up. You move around the 16x16 grid rushing for the flowers that spawn on random spaces, but there will be threats such as wasps blocking your path and your opponent caterpillars.

Fun Fact: Caterpillars are cannibals. 

 Evil CaterpillarImage not from this game.

Box and Components CaterpillarFiller 2

We receive a prototype for this game so components and art may change for the final release. For a prototype, this look pretty close to what I would expect the final game to be. The box is very nice with clear illustrations, and the back of the box explains the basics of the game very well to attract interested gamers. The box is also sized pretty well without too much excess space and is able to hold the included game mat. 

The game includes:

  • Game Mat: Designed well not only to be the play area of the game but also to hold the resource pool of components that will be in use during that game. 
  • 40 Flower/Wasp Tokens: These are double sided tokens with a flower on one side and a wasp on the opposite both with different uses in the game. 
  • 4 Wooden Caterpillar Head Pieces: Each player will take one of these to be the head of their caterpillar; they come in yellow, purple, brown, and white. 
  • 36 Wooden Caterpillar Body Pieces: Similar to the heads, player will claim a color for their body of their caterpillar, which is a different color from the head pieces. The colors include red, black, green, and blue. 
  • 1 Six-Sided Die: The dice is rolled each turn to determine how many spaces you can move. There are three sides with 5s, two sides with 4s, and one side with 3 and a flower. 
  • 16 Blue Letter Tiles: Each tile has a unique letter from A - P. These are used for spawning Flowers during the game. 
  • 16 Orange Number Tiles: Each tile has a unique number from 1 - 16. These are used for spawning Flowers during the game. 
  • 1 Winner's Butterfly Token: Trophy for the winner!
  • 5 Alternative Rules/Setup Tiles: These add new challenges to the game and different starting layouts. 
  • Rulebook

As I said, the components are all very nice, but since it is a prototype, I won't go much further into the component quality. If the price wasn't prohibitive, it would be nice to have the game mat stitched around the edge to keep it from fraying after a lot of use. I don't know if the Caterpillar Head and Body pieces will change in the final version, but it would be nice to have a sticker or something to put on the heads just to help it standout instead of a different color piece; perhaps there is a reason for the opting for a different color, but I would probably prefer all player pieces being the same color and having a sticker on one piece for the head or paint. These are minor thoughts purely based on initial thoughts of the prototype; beyond that, the component quality is very promising if the final product starts off at this minimum quality. 

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SetupCaterpillarFiller 8

  1. Each player will select the color of their caterpillar body and their head (these are difference colors); the pairing doesn't matter. Take 5 of your body pieces and put them on the right side of the board on the spaces of the matching color. Take the remaining caterpillar parts (four body and one head) and place them along side the map in the spaces suggested by the rules (differs per player count). 
  2. Each player takes a wasp token. 
  3. Mix up the blue and orange tiles and place them in pairs along the right side of the board in the spaces provided for the target player count. 
  4. Place four flower tokens on the map in the center of the game board where the flower icons are shown (for default game setup).
  5. The remaining flower tokens are placed on the lower right side of the board in the flower supply spaces. 
  6. Place the die and butterfly nearby.
  7. Unused components may be returned to the game box.

 The player who has most recently been to a garden goes first.  

Player Turn

 A player's turn is split into a couple basic steps that are easy to follow:

  1. Roll the die to determine how many spaces are moved. 
    1. Before moving, if a 3 is rolled, that player immediately gets to place a flower token from the supply onto the map. Spawning Flower details below.
  2. Move your caterpillar a number of spaces equal to the rolled value. All movement must be used unless your eat a flower or corner yourself with no valid movements. Movements are performed by moving the head of the caterpillar one space at a time and then taking the "tail" piece and placing it where the head was; this is done to reduce the number of pieces that are moved during each movement and to ensure the shape of the caterpillar stays correct. This also means that you only have have 3 maximum choices for each of your movements since moving backwards is not valid. You also don't want to get to a point where you have cornered yourself with no where for the head to move (cannot move into wasps or your body); if you get stuck, you will need to Re-Join (details below). 
    1. If you move onto a space with a flower or a piece of your opponent's caterpillar, you consume it stopping your movement and allowing you to grab a piece of body set aside at the beginning of the game adding to your tail.
      1. If you eat a flower, you also immediately get to spawn a new flower (details for this below).
      2. Caterpillars bit must be removed from the board and will Re-join on their next turn (details below). 
  3. Optionally before or after your move, you may place one of your wasps tokens onto the board onto any unoccupied space except the outside edge of the board. Caterpillars are unable to move through spaces with wasps; therefore, wasps can be used to strategically block opponents from flowers, you, or even force them off the board due to no valid movements (Re-Join detailed below).

The next player clockwise becomes the active player. 

Re-Join (Respawning)

If at any point you are either bit by an opponent's caterpillar or corner yourself into no valid movements, you must remove all of your caterpillar parts from the board. If you were bit, return one body piece to your body supply on the right side of the playmat. On the next turn, you will pick anywhere around the edge of the board to respawn with all pieces of your caterpillar on the edge of the board. You will not roll the die or move on this turn; however, you may still add a Wasp to the board. 

Spawning Flowers

When it is time to add a flower to the map, flip over an orange and blue tile to reveal the coordinates where the flower will appear. It must be placed onto an empty space; if the space it would be placed on is not empty, the active player may chose an adjacent or nearby space to place it. 

End Game

Once a player has collected all of their caterpillar body pieces OR there is not an un-flipped Orange/Blue tile pair when you would need them to spawn a flower, the game ends immediately. The longer caterpillar is the winner! In the event of a tie (after running out of Orange/Blue tiles), continue play until there is only one longest caterpillar. 

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The game includes a few optional alternative rule tiles. These provide an alternative for the initial placement of the flower (and sometimes wasp) tokens. Additionally, there are optional rule modifications on the opposite side of the tiles that provide a unique twist to the game. These can be mixed and matched. This adds some nice variety and replayability to the game.  

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Final Thoughts

I love seeing an older, simple video game getting a unique board game twist. When I was in college, we actually had an assignment in my assembly programming course to re-create Snake; not easy in that language. Anyways, I really thought the additions the designer added to the Snake formula was smart and kept the spirit of the game in place. The game is fun to play and very easy to anyone to learn. I really thought the overall look and feel of the art was refreshing as well. I love the brighter colors and the design of the illustrations on the box. 

The few minor issues I had weren't too bad. When you get a longer caterpillar and find yourself in a bit of a cluster, it may be difficult to remember which piece is the tail, which happened during one of our games. I think this is very minor, but I do wonder if having a distinct tail piece like the head would help with this. As stated earlier, I would love to see a stitched game mat as a Kickstarter stretch goal to ensure the mat doesn't separate. I could see this game being played by kids, and a little extra protection like this could be great. Not a must, but a nice to have.  

Overall, I really liked this game. As soon as I saw the initial pitch for the game, I knew this had to be inspired by Snake, and I was happy to see this was correct after digging into the designers blog a bit. I really hope this game is able to get funded so more people can enjoy it. I imagine the price point will be the major piece that will determine if this game will be successful or not as I expect this may be viewed as a children's game; I have noticed people tend to want to spend less on a children's game even if the quality is there. I don't necessarily think this is targeted towards kids, but I expect the box may lead people to believe that. 

Be sure to check out the Kickstarter when it goes live in late September 2021.  

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Caterpillar Filler Board Game Geek Page

Caterpillar Filler Kickstarter Page (Coming Soon)


We received this prototype in order to write an honest review; all reviews reflect the honest opinions of the writer.

Evil caterpillar image by Refluo on