Review: Exploding Kittens – power of cuteness

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Do you love kittens? Who wouldn’t, right? It will probably shock you, that they’re walking weapons of mass destruction. That’s because they are so tremendously cute and one look at them is enough to disarm you. Only then they show claws and you’re totally without a chance to defend. You are victim of the cat explosive force.

And this is, what our first meeting with kittens will look like in card game , that , and presented as an idea for community on . And they were more than successful, because game gathered in the beginning of a whopping $8,782,571 from nearly 220,000 fans! This is how success looks like! After all supporters got their box, game was published even for standard market, where we got it. From its distributor .

Everyone, who paid for basic version, got a burgundy colored box and inside fifty-six cards full of cute and dangerous cats. And also one manual, that provides everyone interested in the game with insights how it all plays.

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And it’s truly easy. In the beginning, it is necessary to sort out the defuse cards and exploding kittens aside. Then all other cards are shuffled and individual participants are dealt four of them. Each also receives one defuse card. Rest creates pile, which is shuffled with few exploding kittens (one less than there is players) and game is started.

From that point on, players will take turns playing one card from their hand to common pile. At the end, they draw a card from drawing deck again to replenish. Hands can hold any number of cards and while action cards can be played individually and their abilities are immediately used, cards without any text (only image) should be played in pairs. It is therefore not so easy to get rid of them.

Effects allow you to steal opponent cards, shuffle whole drawing deck, but above all to look into the future – on top three cards of draw pile. Other actions can also let you skip, avoiding drawing card at the end of your turn or vice versa forcing opponents to play two turns at once (= drawing two as well). These attacks can be all stopped with a NOPE card and thus avoid the effect, but their effects can be chained.

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Opponents play cards from their hand, exchange attacks and try to outsmart luck, not being the one, who pulls exploding kitten out of the package. Fortunately, once player has such ticking and purring creature in his hands, it is possible to do something about it, before it blows up. Simply use a defuse card, that will teach you some good technique to disarm it (eg petting). Each participant has one from the beginning, but more can be drawn during combat. Only if the player does not have such a card, kitty will explode and he is eliminated from the game. Whoever outlasts all others is the winner.

Exploding Kittens is crazy entertainment card game, which is full of chaos, luck, explosions and hostile behavior of all involved. Clear and common goal for all is to avoid exploding kittens cards, but that’s not easy to do, when all others are trying to set you up.

At first glance, it’s all just about pure luck, because players are simply drawing top card from the deck. But luck is required only at the beginning (when you have defuse card to defend), because over time, players can peek into the future. According to their knowledge, they adapt their behavior and harm others. But they also can respond to such actions, which gives a chance to bluff. This makes the game very exciting.

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But viewing the future is not so easy. Instead, it should be good to store cards in hand. As long as you have card defuse card in your hand, you know, you are safe. But after getting kitten is defused, it does not get discarded, but instead an active player might add it to the deck, therefore he is not forced to shuffle! This allows you to set a trap for your opponent, because it makes everything a secret.

Due to the different action cards, game is difficult to predict, but also full of malicious attacks on opponents. Players can play cards of favors, forcing the opponent to give them a card from their hand (of their choice) and on the other hand, for each played pair of identical images allows to steal one card from your opponent.

Unfortunately, gameplay itself is slightly below expectations, especially in lower numbers of players. However, even in the more involved moments, it is just such trumping with cards. The theme is nice and its fun to play, but unfortunately not up to such a level for the game to secure position in the immortal Hall of Fame. It’s a good card game, but without any other added value. The game is beautifully fast, this is sure to be recognized. And to the extent, match is fun even in two, although unpredictability makes it more fun with more players.

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Processing is what contributes to good mood. This is especially apparent in the first battle, when players are studying various illustrations. Even on the cards of the same type, you will always find different, often humorous, idea.

Exploding Kittens is nice card game, that can be seen as one-time success, but fortunately does not failed your expectations. Its just not as perfect as number of supporters would suggest. Even so, it’s nice, but crazy game, that will entertain and certainly does not disappoint in any significant way.

DesignerMatthew Inman, Elan Lee, Shane Small
ArtistMatthew Inman, Elan Lee, Shane Small
PublisherAd Magic, Inc., (Self-Published), ADC Blackfire Entertainment, Angry Lion Games, Asmodee, Boardgame Space, Exploding Kittens, Galápagos Jogos, Gém Klub Kft., HaKubia, Hobby Japan, Hobby World, Kaissa Chess & Games, Rebel Sp. z o.o., Siam Board Games
Year Published2015
# of Players2 - 5
User Suggested # of Players Best with 5+ players
Recommended with 3, 4, 5 players
(226 voters)
Playing Time15
Mfg Suggested Ages7 and up
User Suggested Ages8 and up
(91 voters)
Language DependenceSome necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
(34 voters)
CategoryAnimals, Card Game, Comic Book / Strip, Humor
MechanicHand Management, Hot Potato, Player Elimination, Push Your Luck, Set Collection, Take That
ExpansionBlackbox Press kit, Exploding Kittens: Barking Kittens, Exploding Kittens: Imploding Kittens, Exploding Kittens: Streaking Kittens, Hidden Compartment Pack: Expansion for Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens
FamilyAnimals: Cats, Card Games: Matching, Crowdfunding: Kickstarter
Primary NameExploding Kittens
Alternate NamesEksplodujące kotki, Exploding Kittens بسبس بومبا, Robbanó cicák, Výbušná koťátka, Εκρηκτικά Γατάκια, Взрывные котята, חתולים מתפוצצים, เหมียวระเบิด, こねこばくはつ, 익스플로딩 키튼

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.



Review: Exploding Kittens – power of cuteness
Final word
Exploding Kittens is quick and easy card game, in which players simply collect one card after another and try to use them in their favor. Although the game is random, it brings with it some level of control. It is ideal for traveling or to relax, but you should not expect more. It lacks any depth, it's just funny and interesting pastime for a larger number of players. As such a pleasant variety, Exploding Kittens will definitely work. Unless you are a cat lover. Then you could be turned down by game's theme. Or not?
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
theme and processing
action cards
more fun
playing time
possibility to outwit bad luck
Cons
randomness
not as much fun with less players
overall a bit disappointing
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