In January, I pledged the Exploding Kittens Kickstarter and have waited (im)patiently for the past six months for my hilarious card game of kittens and explosions to arrive.
It was worth the wait.
The game reached its level of fame as the most-backed board game on Kickstarter due in part to one of the game’s creators, Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal. Just as you would imagine, each card is lovingly drawn with hilarious wit and witticism.
The goal of the game is to not be the person who draws the Exploding Kitten from a 56-card deck (or, 112 if you combine the basic deck and NSFW deck). How you achieve not drawing the card is all part of the strategy.
If I had to compare it to an existing popular card game, I would say it is most akin to Uno. Players draw cards from a deck and use those cards to either cause havoc for their opponent, or create a cushion of safety for themselves.
There are eight different types of cards, each with hilarious illustrations and flavor text to make you spew milk out of your nose. You can cause trouble for your opponent by playing an Attack card, which forces him or her to play two turns (thus drawing two cards from the deck) or a Favor card, which means you get to take a card from your opponent. You can also make things easier on yourself by playing a See the Future card, so you can check to see if one of the top cards is an Exploding Kitten, or play a Shuffle card, which allows you to reshuffle the deck. Skip cards allow you to end your turn without drawing. A Nope card negates the action of an opponent’s play. The elusive and all-important Defuse card stops a kitten from exploding.
With a few additional rules about the game, you can get started right a way. Action cards have text right on them to describe their abilities. You can get through a game in a few minutes, or take as long as 20 minutes, depending on the number of players and cards, as well as where the Exploding Kitten is shuffled into the deck.
I played this game with a fellow Oatmeal fan and we both laughed many times at the cards we played (especially the NSFW deck). While a two-player game was certainly fun, I can tell that it would be much better played with at least four. The strategy and card play would be more action-packed with more players. But, really, it was loads of fun with just the two of us.
While shipping for the Kickstarter campaign pledges has only just begun, you can sign up for the Exploding Kittens pre-order mailing list to receive information when the game will be made to the general public.