Exploding Kittens is a card based game that encourages players to catch out their opponents and use different tactics to develop their own strategy and become a little aggressive in the process. This review will highlight the basic concepts of the game and outline some similar games on the market.
If you want to find a new humor-filled card game for your next games night, then this review will highlight some reasons why Exploding Kittens is so highly rated.
How To Play
Exploding Kittens takes its inspiration from Russian roulette, because there is a similar concept of randomized outcomes that are generated by playing a certain card.
When the Exploding Kitten card is played, it means that the player who put it down is eliminated. There are a lot of different cards that you can play, each with their own unique purpose;
- Attack – End your turn, and the next player has to pick up two cards from the stack
- Exploding kitten – Anyone who draws this is out, and has lost the game
- Defuse – Each player starts with one of these each, and it works by counteracting the exploding kittens card, you can then put the exploding kittens card back into the pile of cards wherever you like to attempt to catch out other players
- Skip– If you play this card, then you don’t need to pick up a card at the end of your turn
- See the future – Playing this card allows you to look at the first three cards on the pile, so that you can plan your next moves and prevent picking up the exploding kitten card if it’s there
- Favor – This gets one of your players to give you one of their cards, which is useful because you can have more tricks up your sleeve for the next turn
- Shuffle – Shuffles the deck of cards
- Cat– A matching pair of these cards allows you to randomly steal another player’s card
- Nope – This counters any action made against you except for the exploding kitten, so is definitely worth holding onto these when you come across them. It is worth considering the fact that you can play a Nope card at any time, regardless of whose turn it is
Easy To Set Up
Because of the simple concept behind the game, Exploding Kittens is relatively easy to set up. When you are setting up the game, shuffle in an Exploding Kitten card for the number of players minus one.
This way, there will always be a winner at the end of the game. It is always a good idea to avoid leaving your cards on display, because one of the aims of the game is to throw opponents with surprise attacks.
The main way that you can create your own strategy is by trying to lower your chances of drawing an Exploding Kittens card and increasing other players’ likelihood of getting it. This is usually done by using the other cards to your advantage, such as making use of the defuse card.
We especially enjoyed the attitude and natural competitiveness that it brought out, and how it was relatively quick to get to grips with. Depending on your relationship with younger family members, it could be a great game for children and adults to enjoy.
It really depends on your personality, because some people don’t appreciate the humor of the cards, while others weren’t fans of the aggression demonstrated while playing.
For that reason, we would recommend playing Exploding Kittens with your friends before trying it out on younger audiences.
One of the biggest drawbacks is the fact that the game can lose a lot of its appeal relatively easily.
After playing a few games, most of the joke cards will have lost their humor. This means that Exploding Kittens should not necessarily be classified as a game that you can easily play over and over again.
Some of the funny references can easily become a little stale, which is why you could consider purchasing another pack of cards to keep the game fresh.
There are several expansion packs available online to choose from, and each can be played using the original set up. You can integrate them into your original deck, or keep them separate for the next time you play.
In addition to this, the game has been criticized for being unclear about the duration of each player’s turns.
This means that it is difficult to predict how much time the game will take to play, because each player can put down as many cards as they like when it is their turn.
However, this could be used to other players’ advantage, because it allows them more time to think about their next moves and how they want to eliminate their opponents.
The cards themselves are bold colors that are easy to distinguish, and have comical images on them like cats in the shape of potatoes, or cartoon characters belching.
This can make it a great game for children who aren’t easily offended by card games that involve attacking other players.
Another great thing about this game in particular is that it has everything you need in a box full of cards.
This can make it easy to take on any vacation with friends or family because of the lack of small counters or tokens that are often involves in games, that are very easy to lose when you are on the move.
Within the past decade, a lot of games that follow a similar concept to Exploding Kittens have gained popularity within the gaming community. One of the most popular competitors is Unstable Unicorns that has a very similar set of rules and different cards.
However, in spite of the two games appealing to a similar target audience, it has been said that Unstable Unicorns has more appeal to teens. This is seen by its images that depict anime-style characters and light humor.
By comparison, Exploding Kittens seems to appeal to a more diverse audience, and players are connected in their fast thinking skills and ability to implement sabotage.
The cartoon characters seem to appeal to more people who might be less familiar with anime, and it could be argued that Exploding Kittens is easier to be played by younger and older audiences.
The intended audience of Exploding Kittens is anyone aged seven years old and up. There isn’t any dark humor in the game, but it might not be for everyone because of the strategy involved. It really depends on the temperament of players and how well each person can think on their feet and strategically.
Overall Pros and Cons
- A new game to the market that involved fast wit, and encourages friendly competition
- Suitable for friends and families who are not easily insulted by silly humor
- The game itself is relatively simplistic, which makes it easy to master and set up
- It is easy to pack the game away and bring it with you, because there aren’t any small tokens that can be lost
- There are a lot of expansion packs available to keep the spirit and humor of the game alive
- Similar games are on the market that follow the same concept, however none have appealed to such a diverse audience as Exploding Kittens has
- Turns can last a long time, but that is what can allow you to work on your strategy, because you can plan your next moves
- A Kitty-Powered Russian Roulette Card Game - The hit party game for family and friends who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.
- A Simple Card Game for Kids and Adults - Perfect for all occasions, including a family game night, beach trip, road trip or drinking with friends!
- Game Of The Year Award Winner - More than 10 million copies sold, breaking records in kids games, adult games and everything in between.
- Beginner-Friendly, Just 2 Minutes to Learn - If you draw an Exploding Kitten, you lose and you are full of loser sad-sauce. All the other cards in the deck help you avoid or mitigate your risk of drawing an Exploding Kitten. If you don’t explode, YOU WIN!
- 56 Cards, with Box and Instructions - A simple card game for kids, drinking, kittens, and adults, not in that order.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does This Game Use Good Quality Cards?
With regular play, it has been found that the clear protective coating on the cards will begin to peel and need replacing or laminating in order to preserve the design.
If you are concerned about this, then you could consider laminating your own set of Exploding Kittens cards before playing with them. This can create another barrier to prevent damage.
Can I Play This With Two Players?
You can, but it tends to be more exciting and varied when there are at least three players. That said, it’s up to you how you want to play, and it’s possible to play with two if you choose.
How Do I Win At Exploding Kittens?
It’s all about setting up the other players, so you should try to make sure they have higher chances of drawing the Exploding Kittens card than you. Being the last player left will make you the winner, so it definitely takes a little more commitment than other card based games.
There are a lot of reasons why you should consider purchasing Exploding Kittens. It is an exciting, diverse game that appeals to all ages.
As long as you don’t mind sabotaging your opponents and know that nobody will take it personally, there is no reason why it cannot be fun for the whole family.
It is relatively simplistic, which makes it very easy to pick up, and begin working on your skill. It could be worth working on your poker face beforehand.