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Exploding Kittens - Board Game Box Shot

Exploding Kittens


Created by Elan Lee (Xbox, ARGs), Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), and Shane Small (Xbox, Marvel), Exploding Kittens made history when it became the most-backed game in Kickstarter history and the campaign with the most number of backers, ever.

Exploding Kittens Publisher Image

It is a highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette. Players draw cards until someone draws an exploding kitten, at which point they explode, they are dead, and they are out of the game -- unless that player has a defuse card, which can defuse the kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the exploding kittens.

User Reviews (9)

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I'm a Real Person
Smash Up Fan
I play yellow
Comic Book Fan
74 of 81 gamers found this helpful
“Uno, and Russian roulette”

This game takes the card actions of uno and combines it with the building tension of Russian Roulette. This game doesn’t really have a story so I will make one:

1000 years ago an evil wizard terrorized the land with his demonic cat army. The mightiest kings and queens fought the evil wizard, and managed to defeat his cat army, but not before he sent some cats into an alternate dimension for some reason. Fast forward to present day. Many of them returned and became enticed by modern pop culture and began developing unusual lifestyles. A select few of these cats became critically unstable and will explode when they come into contact with humans. You and the fellow players are currently locked in a room in the old wizard’s castle (why did you go in there?) with a pile of cats and can only leave when the last explosive cat has been detonated. Time to start investigating the cats!

Like I said earlier, this game is a combo of Uno and Russian Roullette. You lose when you draw an exploding kitten and cannot defuse it. Each player starts with a hand of cards that includes 1 defuse. You may play cards but then you need to draw 1 card. After you defuse an exploding kitten, you are able to put that exploding cat back into the draw pile, secretly, in any order you like. Other cards shuffle the deck, make a player take 2 turns, negate another players action, skip your turn, see the next 3 cards, or take 1 card from another player. The other cat cards can combine to select a card of your choice from the discard, or to steal from an opponent.

I played this game with 2 decks and 10 players and it was fun-ish. I didn’t like the elimination part at all. Games are quick, but the first person out had to wait 15-20mins for the next game. It is very random since the cards you start with vary, and the draw deck is random. The tension does build the more you draw, and after someone defuses a cat. The art is fun, but the jokes get old. It is a very ridiculous game that is okay for big groups, and it fits easily into your pocket. However, with little strategy, lots of spite, and the elimination element it lacks a lot of replayability for my group.
Easy to learn
Fits in your pocket
Appealing art

Very random
Lots of spite
Elimination element

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71 of 79 gamers found this helpful
“Easy to learn, best with a large group”

At first I was a bit skeptical about this game. It seemed too simple but I gave it a shot with hopes that it would be more than just a simple game of Russian Roulette but with cards.

This game is absolutely a lot of fun!! BUT you need to play it with the maximum group. If you are playing with one deck, then 4 to 5 players. But if you want even more fun, combine 2 decks or the regular deck with the NSFW for 8 to 10 players and this game will be a riot.

First of all, the artwork is hilarious so that will get a good laugh. Also, the game is super easy to learn. They weren’t kidding when they said that it takes a few minutes to learn because it really does. After that, it is fast paced fun. The trick is not to keep on doing actions. A lot of noobs, think that just because doing actions is part of what you do during your turn, that slows down the game. What you want to do instead is keep on picking up cards to build up your hand and then only play action cards when necessary. That helps keep the game fast paced and then as the deck gets lower and lower, it truly does get more and more intense as players start exploding.

You don’t have to be an avid gamer to enjoy this. All you gotta do is have an open mind and you don’t really have to put too much thought into this. I love all types of games from heavy strategy to simple card games with take that elements. While people may think that it is all luck, I disagree. It is a combination of luck and strategy and if you play your cards right, you can dominate.

I highly recommend it!!! Give it a shot!!

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Amateur Reviewer
71 of 79 gamers found this helpful
“Easy to learn casual game for a group”

In a nutshell:
A simple, easy-to-learn competitive survival card game with unique art and humor from The Oatmeal. Works better the more players you have involved. Typical game time is about 30 minutes.

Everyone starts with a hand of 5 cards: 1 Defuse card, and 4 randomly shuffled non-Exploding Kitten cards. On their turn, each player plays as many cards as they want from their hand, and then draws a card. If they draw an Exploding Kitten, they have to either play a Defuse card, or they’re dead and out of the game. Play continue clockwise until only 1 player remains.

Aside from the vital Defuse cards and deadly Exploding Kitten cards, other cards in the deck are designed to either minimize your exposure to danger or increase the danger to other players. Certain cards let you see the see upcoming cards in the deck, allowing you to tailor your play to take advantage of the card draws. Other cards let you skip your draw turn, or force the next player to take multiple turns, or steal a card from another player’s hand.

One of the most powerful – and often humorous – cards is the Nope! card, which lets you cancel any non-Defuse, non-Exploding Kitten card action played by someone else. Furthermore, a Nope! card can be played to counter a Nope! card, so at crucial moments in the game, you can have several Nope! cards played in quick succession, forcing everyone to sort out what exactly happened (or didn’t happen). It’s probably the most exciting card play sequence in the game.

Eventually, every player but one will draw an Exploding Kitten with no defense against it, and the last player earns bragging rights as the victor.

A quick, casual card game that’s enjoyable in small doses, and works best as a warm up to more in-depth boardgaming or as a palate-cleanser between other games.

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Military Service
52 of 59 gamers found this helpful
“Fun Party Game”

Exploding Kittens is a party game touted as a “kitty powered version of Russian roulette.” It was originally proposed as a Kickstarter project seeking crowd funding of $10,000 USD. It exceeded this goal in only eight minutes. On the campaign’s seventh day, it surpassed 106,000 backers, thus setting the record for having the most backers in the history of Kickstarter. The campaign ended on 19 February 2015 with $8,782,571 USD in pledges by 219,382 backers! Exploding Kittens began shipping to backers in July 2015. Backers received the game in a specially designed box that “meows” when opened.

The success of the Kickstarter project was aided by the social media campaign mounted by the game’s designers. Additionally, the designers encouraged backers to participate in the process by unlocking achievements in various “categories” such as: 25 pics of a beardcat, 25 pics of a potatocat, 10, 50 and 100 people wearing cat ears, ten batmen in one hot tub, five spidermen in a kayak and five YouTube videos of songs about exploding kittens.

The game consists of 56 full colour matte cards of nine different types:

Exploding Kitten – the player that draws this card looses, unless they have a defuse card;
Defuse – defuses the exploding kitten and allows the player to continue play;
Skip – player skips their turn and does not have to draw a card;
Attack – player ends their turn without drawing a card and the next player must take two turns;
See the Future – player views the top three cards of the deck;
Shuffle – player shuffles the deck;
Favor – another player must give the player card from their hand;
Nope – stops the action of another player – except Exploding Kittens or defuse cards;
Cards with no instructions (pair cards) – must be played in matched pairs and allow player to take a random card from another player’s hand.

Each player is dealt five cards, including a defuse card. Players take turns discarding and drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten card. The discarded cards are shuffled and replayed once the deck has been depleted. If an exploding kitten card is drawn and the player cannot defuse it…BOOM…. he explodes and is out of the game. Fortunately, there are a number of cards that can help you prevent (or delay) exploding. Exploding Kittens has been rather accurately compared to Russian roulette as the elements of chance and risk are high. To add balance to the game, there is always one less exploding kitten in the deck than there are players. If you draw the exploding kitten and are lucky enough to be able to defuse it, you can place the exploding kitten back in the deck wherever you like…including directly on top of the deck for the next player to draw. This gives the game an excellent “take that” component. If you do this under the table, no one knows where you put the card and the tension mounts! The last player left in the game is the winner.

The Exploding Kitten box boasts that the game only take two minutes to learn which is fairly accurate. The games simplicity and silliness make it an excellent party game for groups of up to ten people. Adults can add an element of bawdy humour to the game by adding the NSFW deck (described below). The artwork is the funniest and arguably the best part of the game. Exploding Kittens also makes for a rapid fire diversion between more substantial games.

A Not Suitable for work (NSFW) stand alone edition is also available, the card categories and mechanics of play remain the same in this edition; however, the humour and graphics are much more risqué. The NSFW editions naughty cards, recommended for “people who are into kittens and explosions and **** wizards and sometimes butts,” are definitely not recommended for children! The NSFW deck can be combined with the original deck (or another NSFW deck) to allow for up to ten players. In January 2016, a multiplayer version with content not found in the original game was released on the IOS platform.

Exploding Kittens is only available online from or from The Oatmeal Store (the designer’s venue). The cost is $25.00 CAD each for the original and the NSFW editions. The original game in a limited first edition box can be purchased from The Oatmeal Store for $40.00. this box features a magnetic clasp and an empty space for sleeved cards or another deck of 56 cards. What really makes tis box special is that it actually “meows” when you open it! Additionally, fifty percent of the proceeds for the sale of the fist edition boxes go to cat shelters.

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Video Game Fan
Hockey Fan
Movie Lover
Smash Up Fan
66 of 75 gamers found this helpful
“Here Kitty Kitty Kit... is that Dynamite?”

This game is awesome and is really easy to play. Basically if you draw an exploding kitty card and do not have a defuse card, you are out of the game. The game consists of players playing as many cards from there hand, which include actions such as look at the top three cards, skip your turn and dont draw, get a card from an opponent, etc…

Overall players get 5 cards to start (4 random cards and 1 defuse card) and may play as many as they would like and then end their turn by drawing a card unless they played a card that makes them skip their turn (ex. attack & skip cards).

One of the most interesting aspects of this game is that when a player successfully defuses an exploding kitten card, they can place the exploding kitten card back into the deck in anyplace they would like, it can go on top if they would like… cold blooded.

All in All, I loved this game and am definitely going to pick myself up a copy. I played with a total of three players and thought the game was very fun and pretty quick. Its a great casual game with just enough strategy to make it more interesting than fluxx.

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My First Heart
55 of 63 gamers found this helpful
“Fun family game”

It’s not the most in depth game but for a casual card game that always causes some giggles you can’t go wrong. As already said by many its best described as a cross between Uno and russian roulette….with exploding kittens! The cards are humorous and my kids love reading out their names every time they play, some have now become sayings around the house!!! It’s even pushed Jungle Speed off the shelf for the game to go to after dinner on a saturday night so its gotta be good!

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Gamer - Level 1
48 of 55 gamers found this helpful
“Download the game on iOS first to see how cute and fun it is!”

I don’t quite understand why this game has quite a low rating. For me, I found this card game very simple to understand and can be quite comical along the way. Especially if you’ve tried the digital iOS version (only $0.99) the sound effects and all are super cute and hilarious that my husband and I occasionally repeat the sounds while in the card game too.

It does require some sort of strategy along the way where you have to figure out the best way to eliminate another player, but it’s not super hard and all; usually will take just a few seconds per turn.

We found it best to play the game where there’s more than two people; the more the better as you can happily ‘attack’ or plot against someone specific in the game (especially when you start slapping each other and the slaps keeps continuing on to an enormous amount between the two of you).

Just try it first on the app (its super worth the 99 cents, and $1.99 for the extra deck which we absolutely love) and see if you’d like the proper card game itself.

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United Kingdom
Professional Reviewer
Crab Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
Book Lover
41 of 52 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Kittens & Humour Only Explode Twice”

It raised $8,782,571.

A card game about detonating cats raised a stupid amount of money. A stupid amount of money that was a record for Kickstarter.

And it was all for card game about blowing up cats.

So the question is, now that the card game has landed in the hands of its two-hundred-and nineteen thousand, three-hundred and eighty-two backers, has all of that support and money been worth the effort? In other words, is it a good game?

Published by Exploding Kittens, LLC after an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, Exploding Kittens: A Card Game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats is a designed to be played by two to five players aged seven and over, is very easy to learn, and can be played in about fifteen minutes. It is a tactical game of kitten-fuelled Russian Roulette in which players push their luck in an attempt to avoid detonating cats using kitten distracting things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches, whilst trying to stop their rivals doing the same. If a player is faced with with an IEK (Improvised Explosive Kitten), then he can use a ‘Defuse’ card—the aforementioned laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches—to save both himself and the kitten. Or at least, just himself. Otherwise he must accept both the kitten cuteness and the explosion, go boom, and be knocked out of the game. The last, unexploded player wins the game.

Play begins with each player receiving a hand of five cards, including a single Defuse card. On his turn, a player draws card. If this is an Exploding Kitten card, then he must use a Defuse card or be blown up and out of the game. If not, the card goes into his hand and his turn ends.

Before that though, a player is free to play any and as many of the cards from his hand. These have a variety of effects. ‘Attack’ cards force the next player to take your turn and their turn—that is two turns on a row, thus drawing more cards; ‘Skip’ cards ends a player’s turn without having to draw a card; ‘Favour’ cards forces another player to give you a card of their choice; ‘Shuffle’ allows a player to shuffle the Draw Pile; ‘See the Future’ lets a player look at the cards at the top of the draw pile; and ‘Cat’ cards are played in in like pairs or trios or quintet to steal cards from other players or take from the Discard Pile. The effect of any cards played can be blocked by a ‘Nope’ card.

As much as Exploding Kittens is about avoiding IEKs, it is as much about preventing the other players avoiding them. This can be done most obviously by playing ‘Nope’ cards to counter their actions, but ‘Attack’ cards force them to draw more cards and increases their likelihood of drawing ‘Exploding Kitten’ cards, as do ‘Skip’ cards. ‘Favour’ and ‘Cat’ cards reduce the cards a player has and thus the number of actions he can take on his turn or his ability to play Defuse cards.

This reduction of a rival’s options becomes ever more critical as the game progresses and the Draw Pile is reduced and the likelihood of an ‘Exploding Kitten’ card being drawn increases. Here the use of the ‘See the Future’ and ‘Shuffle’ cards come into their own because they allow a player some degree of control over the Draw Pile in manipulating the Draw Pile in their favour.

Physically, Exploding Kittens is vibrantly produced. Everything is in full colour and comes in a box that is both sturdy and amusing*. Similarly, the game’s cards are silly and amusing. For example, ‘Deploy the thousand-year back hair’ and ‘Attack of the Bear-o-dactyl’ (Attack cards); ‘Rub Peanut Butter on your Belly Button and make some New Friends’ and ‘Ask for a Back Hair Shampoo’ (Favour cards); ‘Feast upon the unicorn enchilada and gain its enchilada powers’ and ‘Deploy the Special-Ops Bunnies’ (See the Future cards); ‘A Plague of Bat ***** Descends from the Sky’ and ‘An Electromagnetic Pomeranian Rolls in from the East’ (Shuffle cards); ‘Don the portable cheetah butt’ and ‘Commandeer a Bunnyraptor’ (Skip cards); ‘Feed your opponent a Nope Sandwich with Extra Nopesauce’ and ‘A Jackanope Bounds into the Room’ (Nope cards); and ‘Cattermelon’ and ‘Beard Cat’ (Cat cards).

*Note that your cats may not necessarily agree about how amusing this actually is.

So gameplay is simple, even simplistic. Which begs the question, what is the appeal of Exploding Kittens? Part of the game’s attraction is the fact that it is illustrated by The Oatmeal, the comic and blog artist for the eponymously named website. The artwork for the game’s cards is silly, funny, even nonsensical, and there is no doubt that it will make you laugh out loud. The game’s title, let alone its full title—Exploding Kittens: A Card Game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats—should be enough to indicate that.

Yet is Exploding Kittens a good game?

For the gamer, it is not. Exploding Kittens is too light, lacks substance, and its ‘knock out’ mechanic will leave players with nothing to do but watch. For a family audience, its weird humour may be too odd for some and its adult expansion—Exploding Kittens: A Card Game for People who are into Kittens and Explosions and **** Wizards and sometimes Butts—is definitely not suited to a family audience. Well, it does carry the minimum age of thirty plus… For the casual player, Exploding Kittens will be a much more appealing prospect as the very light and silly diversion that is.

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2 of 15 gamers found this helpful
“Awesome Game”

That’s kind of interesting because for me CAH lost its appeal 15 minutes into the first game. From the very start it’s obvious there’s just nothing there. It’s an empty party game that rewards dull witted people with a couple of chuckles they couldn’t otherwise get themselves. It feels like game created for and by hack comedians. I mean it’s perfect for a group of people who get their comedy through memes and ebaums videos but for anybody else it has exactly the shelf life of an open can of tuna


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