Exploding Kittens - logoYes, you read that correctly.  Exploding Kittens.  According to their website it is a game “…for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.”  So naturally, I bought it.

The funding for this game on Kickstarter set records that I am sure will not be broken for some time to come.  By the time the campaign ended, there were 219,382 backers to project.  That is more than DOUBLE the previous record of 105,857 backers, held by the folks at Reading Rainbow, since last summer.  Now simply having an enormous number of project backers wasn’t enough, Exploding Kittens is now the most-funded Games project ever.  Their initial goal was to raise $10,000; by the end it raised a total of $8,782,571.  Absolutely amazing.

The quality of cards and even the box itself is fantastic.  The cards are printed on what feels to be thicker cardstock than your average deck of cards, the colors are vivid, and the art/text is hilarious. Elan Lee and Shane Small, the games designers, tapped The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman to do the art; and he did not disappoint.  It was at times difficult to keep the game going, with my 9 year old daughter becoming almost non-functioning due to the giggles.

Exploding Kittens - cards

The game itself consists of a deck of 56 cards, with the goal of…well…not exploding. A single deck supports 2-5 players; but can be combined with an additional deck to have up to 9 players.  The rules are very simple; you start with five cards and drawing a card ends your turn. If you draw an Exploding Kitten, and do not have a Defuse card, you are out.  I guess I am really over-simplifying here.  There is a little more strategy to it than one would guess from the initial read of the rule book. The player that used a Defuse card to NOT explode, gets to put the Exploding Kitten back into the draw pile anywhere they choose.  You don’t have to show the other players when you replace the Exploding Kitten card, so count the number of players carefully, if you are trying to target a specific player.  (Yes, it was bad.  Yes, the others laughed. No, we will not be discussing this incident further.)  Now, the other players know, that you may have attempted to be devious with your Exploding Kitten card placement, and they have the options to counter it.  They may be holding cards that will shuffle the draw pile, or even make another player take two turns (which means drawing two cards).  And there is always the Nope card.  The Nope cards were my favorite, they pretty much counter any card other than an Exploding Kitten.  However if you play a Nope, and an opponent Nope’s your Nope, the first Nope becomes a Yup.  Clear on that?  Good.  Additionally, the game comes in three versions.  First Edition- Only the Kickstarter backers got this one.  Original Edition- The one I purchased.  NSFW Edition- I have seen this one at my LGS, it was AWESOME.  However, with 11 and 9 year old kids, and an easily offended spouse; I opted for the Original Edition.

Overall, this game is worth every penny.  Simple rules.  Fast to learn. No real set up. 15-20 minute game time.  My family and I had a great time this evening playing 4 rounds after dinner, with just enough time for showers, stories, and bed for the kids.

If you want your own deck, the only place I have found it so far has been on Amazon.  Click HERE to go to the Exploding Kittens website and get your own!

I will leave you with this final thought:

Exploding Kittens - Nope