Exploding Kittens Card Game Review
- Hours of entertainment
- Easy-to-follow rules
- Comical illustrations on all of the cards
- Builds strategy skills
- Suitable for kids, teens, and adults allowing for family play
- Multiple decks can be merged to add more and more players to the game
- Cards may peel and come apart
How it works
Exploding Kittens Card Game boasts as being the number one, highest backed game on Kickstarter. More people gave money to have this game produced than any other game. Exploding Kittens is a family card game or an NSFW card game (depending on who’s playing) that is designed after the rules of Russian Roulette, but with a twist. There is a way to save yourself from an explosion by bartering, stealing cards, changing the course of the game and simply defusing a kitty that is about to explode. There are many rules, but once these rules are committed to memory, the game can move quickly and provide hours of fun during game night or family night at home. Like all card games, it can also be brought anywhere and can be played in the car, on the beach, or any location on the globe. Multiple decks can be merged and shuffled together to make room for more people to play the game. Each deck is suitable for up to six players and when two decks are merged together, you can have up to 12 people play the game. Exploding Kittens offers hours of silly fun no matter your age.
There are six Exploding Kitten cards and six Defuse cards. The rest of the deck is comprised of the Cat Cards, which are the Catermelon Card, the Bearded Cat Card, the Ralphing Rainbow Cat Card, the Taco Cat Card, and the Hairy Potato Cat Card, and the Action Cards, which are the See the Future Card, the Nope Card, the Favor Card, the Shuffle Card, the Attack Card, and the Skip Card. Each of the action cards helps to either save you or harm another person during game play.
The Action Cards
You can put the Nope Card down and it cancels out what that person just put in the discard pile and forces them to go again as if that previous turn never happened. The Favor Card allows you to ask another player for one of their cards.
The Shuffle Card allows you to reshuffle the deck in the event that you know there will be an Exploding Kitten card on top of the deck, the Attack Card ends your turn safely, and you do not have to draw from the deck, and the Attack Card forces the next person to play two turns in a row. Finally, the Skip Card allows you to end your turn without having to draw from the pile. The other Action Cards mentioned are the Defuse Cards, which cancel out an Exploding Kitten, and the Exploding Kitten cards themselves.
Once the Exploding Kittens have been placed in the deck, then play can start with the person to the left of the dealer. The first person to take a turn must choose to either play a card or draw from the deck. Once he or she draws from the deck then their turn is over. If they choose an Exploding Kitten Card they can use their Defuse card and then privately return the Exploding Kitten to the deck and replace the deck to the center of the playing area. They will then draw a card and their turn ends. The next person will then go and either play a card and draw from the deck or just draw from the deck and play will continue following the rules. Play continues as players draw the Exploding Kitten Cards and get eliminated from the game until there is one person remaining who did not draw an Exploding Kitten.
If you have three cards that match (i.e. three-of-a-kind) then you can ask another player for a specific card. For example, if you have three Taco Cat cards you can ask another player for their Defuse Card. If they do not have a Defuse Card you can keep asking them for a specific card until they have that card and they give it to you. There is also a special combo that can be used as well.
This combo is when you have five different cards in your hand. If all five of your cards do not match at all then you can swap five new cards from the discard pile with the five cards you have in your hand. This is a good strategy after several important cards have been played like Defuse Cards. This is a way to get those cards back into your hand. These little side rules make the game more interesting and extend play. The building of strategy is important while trying to win Exploding Kittens.
By paying attention to their cards and what they are discarding into the pile gives you a sense of what cards they may be holding in their hands and how you can use your own cards to counteract what they may potentially play in their next hand. Strategy skills of this kind help foster better concentration and focus all the while being entertained by the cards and the people playing. For younger children, this is also a great way to build social skills and comprehension skills as they play with others and learn how to follow rules and manipulate them to be able to build a plan to win the game. A game of this kind also requires that all players act fast in order to build the perfect counter-attack to whatever is going on in the game.
Many parents and grandparents who have purchased this game for the young kids in the family have found the younger kids do love the game and the silliness that comes with it. Parents and grandparents have also found the quality of the cards is not so high and the cards tend to peel and come apart after a while, so it bears to keep the cards in as good as a condition as you can to maintain the quality of the game.
The illustrations are funny and the silliness of the game makes for a light-hearted game that also builds strategy and pits players against each other in the quest to be the only person who does not explode and gets removed from the game. For game nights that are adults-only, the humor of the game can be elevated by using adults-only cards that have been designed for this specific purpose.
In all, it is easy to see how Exploding Kittens was the highest backed game in Kickstarter history and how it was illustrated by The Oatmeal illustrator Matthew Inman because it is a simple game that creates hours of fun and entertainment in a silly and over-the-top way. Exploding Kittens is a must-have for anyone who loves games and game nights.