Brainwright – Cat Stax & Dog Pile [Review]


Location: anywhere

Date Played: June 2018

Team size: 1

Duration: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Price: $12 purr box

REA Reaction

Cat Stax & Dog Pile are adorably themed packing puzzles with a three-dimensional twist. As a puzzler who isn’t particularly skilled at packing puzzles, I enjoyed the difficulty curve and found my skills and approach to this puzzle style improve with practice. Plus, I liked the pieces.

Both games follow the same rules and structure, but each contains unique piece shapes and puzzle layouts. Feel free to pick the box that appeals most to you or buy both.

If I had to pick one, I’d recommend going for Cat Stax. I found it easier to work with the piece shapes and it came with a mapping to show how to put the pieces away.

The Dog Pile & Cat Stax boxes.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Dog & cat people
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Cat Stax & Dog Pile are good packing puzzles with a wide range of difficulty
  • The dog and cat pieces are adorable
  • They offer a lot of puzzle play at a low price point


There’s no story here.


Cat Stax & Dog Pile are two different flavors of packing puzzle with a 3D twist.

Packing puzzles are spatial puzzles where the solver has a grid and a series of pieces that must be fit within that grid. There isn’t really any complexity in the concept. The challenge is in figuring out how to arrange the pieces correctly.

Each Cat Stax & Dog Pile box contains:

  • 12 dogs or cats
  • 48 puzzle challenges
  • a sealable case that measures 5.1 x 3.3 x 1.5 inches

Note that the animal shapes and puzzles are different between the two versions.

Cat Stax & Dog Pile add a twist to the packing puzzle concept in the form of piling/ stacking. These puzzles begin two dimensionally and eventually give way to mind-bending, interwoven, three-dimensional packing puzzles.

The assortment of Cat Stax cat figures.


Brainwright’s Cat Stax & Dog Pile were fairly standard packing puzzles with a wide range of difficulty levels, from “that was simple” to “I will never ever ever ever ever ever ever solve this.” The harder challenges incorporated the piling/ stacking twist.

Core gameplay revolved exclusively around spatial awareness and experimentation.


+ The dog & cat figures were super cute.

+ The unusual shapes lent themselves to challenging puzzles.

+ If you’re good at packing puzzles, the third dimension ramped up the difficulty.

– If you’re not great at packing puzzles, the third dimension ramped up the difficulty.

+ The lid of the box made for a good play area.

– For some reason that was unclear, Dog Pile did not contain an image of the right way to pack the figures away. (Cat Stax did include this.) For reference, this is how to pack away the pups.

The assortment of Dog Pile dog figures.
Dog Pile box arrangement for reference.

Tips for Visiting

  • Double check that you have pulled the right pieces out for each puzzle.
  • If you purchase both, don’t mix up your dogs and cats.

Purchase your copy of Brainwright’s Cat Stax or Dog Pile, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Brainwright provided samples for review.

(If you purchase via our Amazon links, you will help support Room Escape Artist as we will receive a very small percentage of the sale.)


  1. Super cute! I have several dog and cat lover game masters, and these make great “good job” incentive gifts. Thanks for the review, and the idea!

  2. Thanks for the review. I was wondering if they had different challenges and shapes from each other.

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