Traditional Game Review – Exploding Kittens
Those who have been around this website for some time will recall the Kickstarter campaign that both Joel and I ranted about for a little while, Exploding Kittens. Whilst we never did a Kickstarter Highlight on it, as the game was already way over 100% funded by the time we’d heard about it, I knew in my heart that this was a game I wanted to pick up. Not just because it has the word Exploding in it, certainly not just for the kittens, (although they do help sell this game,) but because it sounded really simple.
One of the issues I have with plenty of traditional games is the time needed to learn the game. Picture this: You walk into a pub, filled with all of these really fun people who are readily playing board and card games together. You’ve never been to an event like this before, so you want to join in. You rush over to the nearest seat “Ah, hello, we’re about to play [Insert Board Game Here]!” “Oh, I’ve never even heard of this game”, you cry out. “Don’t worry… It’ll be easy.” One hour later you still don’t know what you’re doing, but you’ve likely had a pint or two by now so instead opt to just talk to people.
This is really a true scenario that has happened with some of the board games we’ve got. The best games in a geek meet, where lots of new people come along all the time, are the ones that are quick and easy to learn. Lo and behold, we’ve been blessed with Exploding Kittens, which claims that it takes a meagre 2 minutes to learn. Having played a few games of this with various people, I can confirm this really is the case.
The aim of the game is to survive and not be exploded by an Exploding Kitten. The winner of the game is the last man standing.
To start the game, deal out 3 cards to each people, then give everyone a Defuse card. Next, shuffle in remaining Defuse cards (depending on the number of players) and all of the Exploding Kitten cards. The first person to play is the person to nominate themselves to be first. On a turn, you can play as many cards as you’d like. If you have cards that have no rules on them, but just a picture of a silly cat, then you need to play a pair of those to do anything.
There’s a further rule in that if you play five different cat cards, you can get a card from anyone or even the discard pile.
Once your turn is over, you pick up a card from the deck and if you’ve not exploded you continue. If you pick up an Exploding Kitten card, use the Defuse card to put the Exploding Kitten back into the deck: Wherever you want. That includes the very top card. This helps add an element of strategy (or simply bullying tactics!)
If you pick up an Exploding Kitten and have no Defuse cards, you are out of the game and the Exploding Kitten goes in the discard pile!
Normal cat cards – These can be anything from the palindrome Tacocat, to the Catermelon and more. You cannot play these alone, but if you play two of them, you can blind steal from another player. If you play three of them, you can ask a player for a specific card in a game of “Go Fish”. If they have it, they have to give it to you. If they don’t have it, you get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir! Finally, if you play five different kinds of cats, you can steal from the discard pile.
Nope – If you Nope something, you’re effectively telling someone to not do the action they just played. The card they played is still discarded. Be careful as people can Nope a Nope. Two Nopes make a Yep! You can nope a player putting down Normal cat cards too. You cannot Nope a Defuse card, sadly! (I might be a bit brutally evil in games like this.)
See The Future – Look at the top three cards of the deck. Put them back in the same order.
Shuffle – Shuffle the deck.
Favour – Ask another player to give you a card of their choice.
Attack – Make the next player take two turns, whilst ending your turn.
Skip – Skip your turn.
This is a really simple, really fun game to play. The general consensus in the group was that the game was a lot of fun and was really easy to pick up and play. It saw quite a large amount of games go around. We managed to mix our two decks, the normal game and the NSFW version, into one box. The box I have actually meows when there’s enough light on it, so that’s a funny little bonus!
If you want to pick up a copy of Exploding Kittens, check out their official website.
The game is really well polished, is a lot of fun and isn’t particularly expensive. The artwork on the cards are great, typical of The Oatmeals style. If you’ve not had a chance to even hear about this phenomenal little game, I’d recommend checking it out as soon as you can. Heck: My family got to play this game with me before I took it to the pub – and they thoroughly enjoyed it. We don’t play many games together, so that was an added bonus – It’s a game that anyone can pick up and enjoy. As silly as it is! As always, leave your comments below, over on Facebook and Twitter. Have you heard about Exploding Kittens? Do you have a set and what do you think about it? Let us know!