This week’s Monday Night Gaming: Exploding Kittens
Publisher: Self-published via Kickstarter by Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal, Elan Lee, and Shane Small
# of Players: 2-5
Best with: 3-4
Playing Time: 15-20 minutes
# of Expansions: 0 (brand new game)
We backed this game on Kickstarter because why not? When we received it, I couldn’t wait to open up the box and see what the special surprise was. I even video recorded it, but rather than wait to upload it to YouTube and all that, I found someone else’s video. Here’s what happens when you open the game box:
General Mechanics: To me, the game plays like a mix of Kittens in a Blender and Uno. Players take turns drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten card (I heard someone compare it to Russian Roulette, which is accurate). If someone draws an exploding kitten and cannot prevent the explosion, they are out of the game. The deck is comprised of cards that can help you avoid that horrific fate (or at least delay the inevitable!).
There’s always one fewer exploding cat in the deck than the number of the players, which balances out the game quite nicely. There are also 6 diffuse cards in the deck, which is your “escape the kittens!” card. If played after drawing an exploding kitten, you survive and are able to place the exploding offender back in the deck wherever you wish. This includes directly on top of the deck for the next player to draw, which can start a vicious cycle of who-has-the-most-tricks-up-their-sleeve. If you do this under the table, no one knows where you placed it and tension rises pretty quickly. Every player begins the game with 1 diffuse card…but it’s always possible to draw or take more!
Turns consist of playing as many cards as you like (& following the directions on the card) and drawing a card as your last step. That’s the dangerous part.
Other cards in the deck:
- Skip–Let’s you end your turn without drawing a card.
- Attack–Let’s you end your turn without drawing and forces the next player to draw two cards.
- Favor–Allows you to receive a card from another player (their choice as to which card).
- See the Future–Allows you to view the next three cards in the draw deck.
- Pair Cards–These are cards without text that can only be played in pairs (such as the Beard Cat). Playing in a pair allows you to take a card from another player at random (which may give you more pairs that you can immediately play).
How to Win/Lose: The last player standing is the winner. If you draw an exploding cat and cannot diffuse it, you lose.
What I Liked: The artwork! As always with The Oatmeal, the artwork is the best and funniest part of the game.
What I Didn’t Like: The replay value on this is probably limited. *shrug*
Overall Rating/Impression: Overall, it’s a hilarious short game. Plays well. Toss in the NSFW version for additional laughs. 8/10