If you’re a fan of cats and explosions, then you would love this game. Exploding Kittens is a card-based game for kids and adults. This game is a must-buy game if you are looking for some fun, thrill, and excitement.
The game has straightforward gameplay. Its main goal is to stay alive and hope not to explode with an exploding kitten. The game has a deck of 56 cards to play, all with different effects to heighten the excitement. It also includes some expansion packs for added rules and fun. For you to dominate the game, it requires critical thinking, decision making, and a little bit of luck.
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With two to five players, this is an awesome game to play during parties.
Exploding Kittens was designed by Ellan Lee, Shane Small, and Matthew Inman – the creator and cartoonist of the webcomic site, The Oatmeal.
The game was initially designed as a Kickstarter project to raise $10,000 in crowdfunding. The results are remarkable as the project ended in $8,782,571 on February 19, 2015, which significantly exceeds its original goal. For the record, the project finished as the fourth most funded campaign on the crowdfunding site.
The creators developed the game, and Smosh Games recorded the first playtest on Youtube. In September 2015, the 219,382 backers that pledged for the game received their copy.
Unstable Unicorns and Llamas Unleashed are two spin-offs that quickly followed the game’s success, which is an inspiration of the Unstable Games Company.
First of all, you need to set up the deck of cards, depending on the number of players. You can start by excluding all four Exploding Kittens Cards and six Defuse Cards from the deck. Once done, shuffle the remaining deck. Deal seven cards to each player face down and one Defuse card, the cards you excluded earlier. Each player should have a total of eight cards each. Return the remaining Defuse Cards to the deck.
The Exploding Kittens should be inserted back to the deck depending on the number of players; it should be one card fewer than the people playing. So you should enter all four Exploding Kittens if you’re playing with a group of five, and insert three cards if you’re playing with a group of four. So on and so forth.
If there are any extra Exploding Kittens, remove it from the game.
Re-shuffle the deck and place it face down in the middle of the table.
Lastly, choose the player who would go first.
Once this is set, the game begins.
Now you have eight cards in your hands – one defuse card and seven other cards that have different effects, use them to your advantage. The players have two choices each turn, which is Pass or Play. If you choose “pass”, you simply won’t play any of your cards and save them for later use. If you choose to play, you could pick any card on your hand, and read its effect to gain an advantage of the match. You can play as many cards as you want in one turn. It depends on your strategy to either use all of your cards or save them for critical situations.
You will not yet end your turn after choosing pass or play. You get to draw one card from the top of the deck and hope it’s not an Exploding Kitten.
If the player picked an Exploding Kitten from the deck, then he explodes and out of the game; if not, repeat the process clockwise around the table.
The player wins the game if he is the last man standing, who hasn’t exploded.
- Exploding Kitten (4 cards) – This card is the end of your game. If you, unfortunately, picked this card, then it’s game over for you. Unless you have a Defuse Card on hand.
- Defuse Card (6 cards) – This card is your bread and butter. It is the most powerful card in the game and the only one to stop the Exploding Kitten from exploding. If you picked an Exploding Kitten card, play this card and return the Exploding Kitten to the deck. You can place the card back anywhere you like as long as the deck is face down. Once done, put the Defuse Card to the discard pile.
- Nope (5 cards) – Stop any other card effects – except for an Exploding Kitten and Defuse Cards.
- Attack 2x (4 cards) – You will immediately end your turn without drawing a card from the deck if played this card. This card will force the next player to take two consecutive turns.
- Skip (4 cards) – Immediately end your turn without drawing a card. You could use this as a defense for an Attack card. However, you should use two Skip cards to stop both turns.
- Favor (4 cards) – You will pick another player, and he/she would be required to give you one card from their hand. They get to choose which card to provide you.
- Shuffle (4 cards) – This card will allow you to re-shuffle the cards on the draw pile without viewing them.
- See the Future 3x (5 cards) – You will have the advantage of viewing the top three cards from the draw pile and put them back in the same order.
- Cat Cards (4 of each type) – A single Card Card doesn’t have any effects. But combining it with another Cat Card called a pair, it will grant you the ability to steal a random card from another player.
After learning the basics, you can use Special Combos to improve your strategic vision of the game.
- Two of a Kind – We already discussed the use of pairing Cat Cards; however, there is an adjustment to this rule. You can pair ANY card with the same title, which you can use to steal a random card from another player.
- Three of a Kind – Similar to the Two of a Kind, you get to steal one card from another player. However, this combo will allow you to name a specific card of your choice. You can take the card as long as the other player has it; if not, they get nothing.
- Five Different Cards – If you play five different cards, you will have the power to take any card of your choice from the discard pile.
Popular Editions and Variants
This is the original version of the game. It comes with the complete package – 56 cards, Box, and instructions.
From the creators of Exploding Kittens comes a new game – for people who are bad at charades. This game is also a card game, similar to Exploding Kittens. The main difference is this game requires players to perform silly actions, like becoming a T-Rex. The game offers intense laughter and excitement and is perfect for parties.
This game has the same mechanics as the original game. However, this version is playable up to 10 players instead of 5, like how it is in the original version. Double the player, double the laughter!
A special edition of the game that offers the same Exploding Kittens pleasure. The card art is explicit in this version and is not suitable for kids, making the game more enjoyable than ever – for adults.
This add-on is the first expansion pack of Exploding Kittens. It includes twenty new cards and a life-size “cone of shame.” The new cards feature new types of actions; this also includes one Imploding Kitten. The maximum number of players increases from five to six. This pack is not a standalone game and would require the full version of the game to play.
This add-on is the second expansion pack of Exploding Kittens. This pack includes a deck of fifteen cards, which has a Streaking Kitten. The Streaking Kitten is used to hold on to an Exploding Kitten without exploding. The deck also features eight new types of action. This pack is not a standalone game and would require the full version of the game to play.