Cucumbers are evil, Mice are thieves, Cats are detectives, and Cheese is Cheese...what more is there to explain?



Mouse Cheese Cat Cucumber
Designer(s) Seppy Yoon, Patrick Yang Artist(s) Mark Eberhardt Publisher

Fight in a Box

1-4 14+ 12m

MCCC 2Pickles are good though...maybe the whole pickling process changes their heart...I digress.  

Mouse Cheese Cat Cucumber is a cute game that mixes tile placement with a bit of hidden identity elements. Each character has a secret objective they need to fulfill to win, and it is key to figure out who is what role to prevent them from triggering their win condition. Players will perform a series of actions during the turn; essentially, players will be selecting/placing a tile, rotating some adjacent tiles, moving a character when possible, and checking to see if they have fulfilled their secret objective. The game ends when either a secret objective has been fulfilled or the cucumber card is revealed from the deck triggering the end game and special win conditions. 

Box and Components

Like a couple of the other games Fight in a Box has created, they have opted for square cards placed into a square card box. The cards have a little give to them, but I don't believe there will be any issues with the cards lasting a while. The artwork on the cards are really cute, specifically for the 4 characters. There is very little writing on the four cards that contain text so there shouldn't be any issues for people to see/read the text; if there is, the text is pretty straight forward and can be explained before the game begins. The game includes: 

  • 4 Secret Agenda Cards: The Secret Agenda cards provide a special ability and their win condition. These cards are kept secret from other players until the owner decides to reveal and use their ability. We will discuss both of these features once you understand how the game is played. 
  • 4 Character Cards: These cards represent each of the characters as listed in the game's title. These cards will be placed like the Maze cards and will be shuffled into deck in a specific manner during setup. These characters also tie into the win conditions for each of the players based on their Secret Agenda cards. 
  • 28 Maze Cards: These are the cards that will be placed by the players creating paths that the different characters will travel. There are different illustrations/elements on the cards that impact the game such as open halls, walls, mouse holes, and rotational cogs. 
  • Rulebook

If this game is anything like their other games, Hedgehog Hop and Squirrel or Die, there will likely be three versions of the box with different artwork, but the contents will be the same across each box. There will also be a deluxe version of the game with acrylic tiles. 



The game is very quick to setup and learn. 

SetupMCCC 5

  1. Separate the Secret Agenda Cards, the Character Cards, and the Maze Cards. 
  2. Take the Mouse and Cheese Cards place then in the middle of the table so one of each of their corners are touching. Search the Maze Cards for two cards that will be placed in between these two cards creating a 2x2 starting area; the cards should be:
    • One that is split diagonally by a wall. 
    • One that has 2 walls that are "L" adjacent. 
      • Do not create a direct path between the Mouse and Cheese with these initial Maze Cards. See our sample setup picture as reference. 
  3. Shuffle the Maze Cards and flip over 4 side by side to start a conveyor belt. 
  4. Take three Maze cards and the Cucumber card and shuffle them together; shuffle the remaining Maze cards and place them on top of these four cards. This is now the Maze Deck.
  5. Take the Cat Card and place is somewhere in the middle of the Maze Deck. 
  6. Shuffle the Secret Agenda Cards and deal one to each player. These cards should be kept secret from other players. Unused Secret Agendas are returned to the box. 

The player who last ate cheese goes first! Alternately, the player who last won could go first or decide using another method. 

Player Turn

Player turns are split into 5 specific steps: 

  1. Reveal (optional)
    • Each Secret Agenda Card contains an ability that can be used once per game. During this phase if you choose to use it, you will reveal your Secret Agenda Card and perform the action as described. This card remains revealed for the rest of the game. 
      • Mouse Ability: The Mouse may immediately move through Mouse Holes. 
      • Cat Ability: Swap the Cat and Cheese Card locations immediately. 
      • Cheese Ability: Rotate a single Maze Card in any orientation. 
      • Cucumber Ability: Take one card from the Conveyor Belt and place it on top of any card ignoring the typical restrictions. Continue to Rotate the neighboring cards, move the Mouse or Cat if adjacent to this card, and replace the card on the conveyor belt (read below for details on Rotate and Move). Continue your turn as normal. This sort of gives you an extra turn with a specific Maze Card placement. 
  2. Place
    • Select one of the available Maze Cards on the conveyor belt and place it adjacent to one of the cards in the Maze. The Maze is limited to a 5x5 grid, but otherwise, Maze Cards may be placed adjacent to any existing card.
    • There is another option; you may place the selected Maze Card on top of an existing Maze Card that matches its basic shape (number of and placement of the walls). This new card will be oriented to match the current cards Wall placement.
  3. Rotate
    • If the card you placed has Cogs on it, you must rotate the card that cog is touching once in the direction the cog shows (clock or counter-clockwise). 
    • MCCC 6  MCCC 7
  4. Move
    • If the card you placed is beside the Cat or Mouse, you will move that character along the open path to a valid placement; if there are branches along the path, the player may choose where the character goes. 
      • The Cat/Mouse may end on a valid, empty space within the 5x5 grid OR
      • The Cat and Mouse can move through each others space, and the Mouse can move through the Cheese's space. These movements would trigger end game. 
    • Any player can move the Mouse and Cat; how players choose to move these characters may reveal their intentions and potentially a hint about their Secret Agenda. 
  5. End Turn
    • Add a new Maze Card to the conveyor belt. If one of the characters that was hidden in the deck is revealed, perform the following actions:
      • If the Cat is revealed, place the Cat on the closest valid space to the Cheese, and that player decides on which space in the event of a tie. Then flip over another card from the Maze Deck to fill in the empty space on the conveyor belt.
      • If the Cucumber is reveal, the end game is triggered. 

 Proceed to the next player clockwise if the end game has not been triggered. 

End Game

 End Game is triggered if one of three conditions are met:

  1. The Cat and Mouse pass through or end on each others space. Cat immediately wins!
  2. The Mouse passes through or ends on the Cheese space.  Mouse immediately wins!
  3. The Cucumber is revealed and special end game scoring occurs. 

If the Cucumber is reveal, the winner is determine by the conditions on their Secret Agenda Card and varies slight from the midgame Win condition. 

  • Mouse Wins if there is a path to the Cheese, and Cat has no path to the Mouse. 
  • Cat Wins if there is a path to the Mouse, and the Mouse has no path to the Cheese. 
  • (End Game Only) Cheese just wants peace. Cheese Wins if there is no path between the Mouse and Cheese and no path between the Cat and Mouse. 
  • (End Game Only) Cucumber is evil and wants everyone to catch each other. Cucumber Wins if there is a path between the Mouse and Cheese and a path between the Cat and Mouse. 

The rules don't mention what happens if one of the end game occurs without that Secret Agenda being in play (in the case of playing with less than 4 players). For example, if no one is playing the Cat, but the Cat catches the Mouse. I would assume in this case that all players lose. This is a minor thing, but something I am sure some will wonder about. 

Additional Modes

There are two additional solo modes for players to enjoy already available online. I won't go through these modes since these are currently in testing, but you are welcome to check them out here. Also, there are two additional expansions planned for the Kickstarter. 

Digital Sovranti Version

This game is available on the online Sovranti platform. This digital implementation of the game is fully scripted and is a great implementation of the game. Here is our review of the Sovranti platform. Also, feel free to join us on Game Night to learn this game from the designer, Sovranti staff, or Envoy team. 
Sovranti 3

Adventures of Kaiser Cucumber Comic

There is an ongoing comic strip about the characters in the game called the Adventures of Kaiser Cucumber, which you can read on their website and sign up for the newsletters to receive the new episodes as they are released. 
MCCC Comic

Final Thoughts

I really enjoy Fight in a Box games. There are currently three games that has similar physical formats using square cards in a compact, square card box. The games are all really easy to learn, and always have really cute artwork. Mouse Cheese Cat Cucumber is no exception. This game combines strategic tile placement and hidden identity mechanics into a really unique game. The game is quick which means you can play over and over in a limited period of time. Amanda and I often take a game to play when we eat out to pass the time, and this would certainly be a game we would include into rotation for that. 

I really appreciate that there is a whole comic series they are writing I assume as a promotion for the game, or perhaps just a fun side project. Little things like this really show how passionate they are for their games to add in a bit of unique flair. The additional modes they have created and placed on the website can only help strengthen the replayability of the game. 

The game is currently live on Kickstarter, and I highly recommend checking it out. Their games are all very reasonably priced, and they often offer a deluxe version made of acrylic for a premium option for those interested. 



Mouse Cheese Cat Cucumber Board Game Geek Page

Mouse Cheese Cat Cucumber Kickstarter Page

Publisher Product Page

Mouse Cheese Cat Cucumber on Sovranti


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