The creators of the game describe it as being “A card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats” which is enough for anyone to respond with: “It’s a card game for who?”
If we think about what’s on a fidget cube, or even a fidget pen then sure, we’ve heard of some strange combinations of devices. But, strange combinations don’t just come in the form of fidgets and widgets but also with food. For example with food like pizza topped with bananas, grilled cheese and applesauce, and pickles and Oreos. All of which is enough for anyone to cringe, squirm, and perhaps even poke a stick at. As absurd and insanely weird the combination of many things might be, however, let’s be reminded that combining some totally unrelated and unthinkable things, as wild as they might seem, can turn out to be outrageously successful.
For instance, if someone hadn’t once thought of combining a bell and a clock together we’d probably still be relying on Roosters for our early morning wake up call. If someone hadn’t put a coin punch and a wine press together, then, where would we be without books? If someone hadn’t combined a copier with a telephone then the fax machine era probably wouldn’t have existed.
And, more recently, if someone hadn’t thought of combining a ball bearing with a three-axis piece of plastic, then, we may never have seen the craze of fidget spinner toys. The point is, strange combinations, as ridiculously weird as they may seem can sometimes become the greatest things this world has ever seen—and Exploding Kittens might just become one of them.
What is it?
Think Russian Roulette only you replace the bullet with a card of an Exploding Kitten and the revolver is every other card in the pack. As strange as the name of the game might sounds, in essence, here’s how I’d succinctly describe it to the uninitiated. Exploding Kittens is a strategic card game, which takes on the form of Russian Roulette.
Who Invented it?
Exploding Kittens is the brainchild Elan Lee, Shane Small, and Matthew Inman from the webcomic site The Oatmeal. To bring the game to life, the three ran a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of crowdsourcing $10,000 to which their astonishment was achieved within the first eight minutes of the Kickstarter campaign going live. The campaign amassed more than 106,000 backers setting a Kickstarter record for most backers in history and raising a total of $8.8 million.
How to Play
Players draw cards until a player draws an Exploding Kitten card at which point that player explodes and loses. The only way a player who draws an Exploding Kitten can stay ‘alive’ is to have in their possession a Defuse card. When the Defuse card is given up, the Exploding Kitten is then placed back into the deck of cards and the round continues.
Players draw cards until a player draws an ‘Exploding Kitten’ card at which point that player explodes and loses. The only way a player who draws an Exploding Kitten can stay ‘alive’ is to have in their possession a Defuse card—a card that all players start the game with. When the Defuse card is given up, the Exploding Kitten is then placed back into the deck of cards and the round continues. But, there’s more to it. Not only are there  exploding kitten and  defuse cards in each pack, there are a series of other cards that can be played that can quickly change the game dynamics.
For instance, there each pack also comes with 5 “nope” cards which can stop any action of an exploding kitten or defuse. Four attack cards that force the next player to take two consecutive turns. Four “Skip” cards that allow you to skip a turn. Four “Favour” cards which give you the power to force another player to give you a card from their hand. Four “Shuffle” cards that allow you to shuffle the card pile. Five “See the Future” cards which allow you to see the top three cards in the pile. And, four “Cat” cards which, played as a pair with other cards, can make you a deadly threat to all other players.
What People Are Saying
Amazing game and very clever. We play this a lot. It is slightly irreverent (my very religious mother was not that happy watching us play it) but we think that the humor is a lot of the fun.
Great game for the family. We had a little bit of a learning curve before we were all understanding what was going on and how to play. After that it was great. My only negative I would give it is the quality of the cards.
This game lives up to its reputation, it is a great way to spice up the evening. I do not recommend playing this game with your kids though. It is a bit morbid and some would even say offensive.
Where to Buy
Some big and local retail chains supply the original boxed version but not all retailers will include the additions such as Imploding Kittens, the First Expansion of Exploding Kittens and the Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition which contains explicit content. Recommended for ADULTS ONLY! To get the game for yourself or as a gift, Amazon has some of the best prices on the original and on the game additions. Amazon occasionally has good deals on the game. You can check out the latest deals and discounted prices from Amazon here.