• Game Board
  • 12 Grasshopper Bugs
  • 12 Bumble Bee Bugs
  • Instructions
  • Bug Pouch

Play Time

Approximately 15 Minutes


To get  three '3' in a straight row through the three phases of the game. The player to do this successfully and eliminate your opponents bugs wins the game!

How to play

There are three main phases to the game:

  1. Placing the Bugs
  2. Sliding the Bugs
  3. Flying the Bugs

Placing the bugs:

  • The board is empty when the game begins. Each player has 12 'bug' game pieces. One player has Bumble Bees, and the other has Grasshoppers.
  • The player with the Grasshoppers moves first.
  • Each turn consists of placing a bug on an empty circle on the board.
  • Placing the Bugs
  • The aim is to create a “KATATU Mill.” A “KATATU Mill” is a straight row of three bugs on any line on the board (you cannot wrap around a corner).
  • When a player forms a "KATATU Mill," he or she may capture any one of the opponent’s bugs. The captured bug is removed from the board for the remainder of the game.
  • Placing the Bugs
  • Even if a move creates more than one “KATATU Mill”, only one bug can be captured in a single move.

Sliding the bugs

  • After all the bugs have been placed, each turn then consists of sliding a bug to an empty adjacent circle.
  • As before, completing or re-forming a “KATATU Mill” allows a player to capture one of the opponent’s bugs.
  • Sliding the Bugs
  • A “KATATU Mill” may be broken and remade repeatedly by sliding bugs back and forth. Each time the “KATATU Mill”
  • If the player cannot move, the player forfeits a turn.

Flying the bugs

  • When a player has only three bugs remaining, that players bugs are allowed to fly to any empty circle, not just adjacent ones.
  • Each turn consists of 'flying' a bug to any empty circle on the game board.
  • Flying the Bugs
  • If one player has three bugs and the other player has more than three bugs, only the player with three bugs is allowed to fly. This allows the player that is behind in the game a chance to catch up.

Winning the game

  • You win if your opponent is down to two bugs.
  • You win if your opponent cannot make any move during the Flying the Bugs phase.
  • If both players have only three bugs and neither player is able to capture a bug within ten moves, the game is a draw.
  • If one player cheats, then the other player wins by default.

Simplified Play (Making it Easier):

  • Play just the first (placing) phase of KATATU.
  • Whoever captures the most bugs at the end of the first phase wins.

Advanced Play (Making it Harder):

  • “Double KATATU” may be counted if you place/slide a bug and form two “KATATU Mills” enabling the player to capture two opponents bug pieces on one turn.
  • No re-forming the same “KATATU Mills.” Once a KATATU is made that same KATATU Mill cannot be remade on the next turn.

Good luck and enjoy playing!

Creative Child Magazine Award 2011
Katatu has been awarded 
the 2012 Creative Child Magazine 
Game of the Year Award!