Think of Exploding Kittens as a kitten-powered version of the classic Russian roulette. You need 2-5 players, though if you grab yourself another deck you can play with up to 9 of you.
While there are no guns or chances of getting killed for real, you’ll be instead risking the life of these kittens. (alright, no kittens are really harmed with this game!)
Exploding Kittens – Game Overview
Exploding Kittens was created by Matthew Inman, Elan Lee, Matthew Inman, and Shane Small. The developers managed to raise millions via Kickstarter, and while they’ve made other games (such as Throw Throw Burrito), this one stands out.
The game is loads of fun, with several easy twists that make things even more exciting. There’s an element of luck to it, but you also need to be calculative to win.
Exploding Kittens comes with some unique cards that you will need to keep in mind. They include:
- Exploding Kitten: When you draw an Exploding Kitten, you stop what you’re doing and discard everything with you. Primarily, you’ve lost, and you’re out of the game.
- Defuse: Allows a player that draws an Exploding Kitten card to put the card back in the deck in whatever location they choose. This location may be kept secret from other players. The Defuse card is the surest and easiest way to evade an Exploding Kitten. If you have a Defuse card and draw an Exploding Kitten, the Defuse card cancels the latter, and you can continue playing.
- Nope: This card forces you to stop any action except a Defuse card or an Exploding Kitten. Essentially, you imagine that any card after the Nope card doesn’t exist. Note that you can play a Nope on another to render the first one mute.
- Attack: End your turn. The player next to you will need to draw two cards in a row. The victim of an Attack card can play an Attack card to negate it, causing the next player to draw twice.
- Skip: End your turn. This card can protect against the Attack card, but it will only cancel out one draw. So, you will still have to draw one card. If you have two Skip cards, you’re clear!
- Favor: You get to force any player of your choice to give you one of their cards. Note that the player will choose what to give you.
- Shuffle: You have to shuffle the Draw Pile. No peeking!
- See the Future: Take a peek of the top three cards on the Draw Pile and put them back as they were. You can’t show the cards or disclose them to the other players.
- Cat Cards: These cards have no instructions on them. While they’re powerless, you can play them in Pairs or Special Combos. If you play matching Cat Cards, you can pick a player and steal a random card from them.
How to Play Exploding Kittens
The first step in playing Exploding Kittens is to examine the entire deck of cards. There are four Exploding Kittens and six Defuse cards in the deck, and you will need to take them out first. Then, reshuffle the remaining cards in the deck and deal four cards to each player — all done face down.
From there, you deal each player one Defuse card. Thus, every player in the game has five cards with them – four random cards and one Defuse card.
You will have to put back enough Exploding Kittens into the game so that you have one fewer than the number of people playing. So, if there are five players, deal four Exploding Kittens cards into the deck. By doing this, you are ensuring that everyone will explode — save for the eventual winner.
Also, you will have to put in the additional Defuse card into the deck. Shuffle the remaining deck once more, then place it face down in the middle of the platform where everyone is playing. The deck becomes your draw pipe, and everyone will have to take a card from there at some point.
How to Win Exploding Kittens
When the shuffling process is done, it’s time to play. The group will pick someone to go first — you can throw in a fun criterion like who has the most colourful shirt, the fullest beard, the tallest person, etc. It’s all about fun!
Once the first person draws, it’s game on! Everyone will have to draw the cards until they pick an Exploding Kitten. When you’re the last one standing, you win!
Remember that the Defuse card can save you from an Exploding Kitten. When you use the Defuse card, you’ll need to add it to the Discard Pile and add the Exploding Kitten to the Draw Pile. You can place both wherever you like.
If you’re in the mood to mess with the player next to you, you could place the Exploding Kitten right at the top of the deck.
Number of Players: 2—5 players
Game Time: 20—30 minutes
Age Grade: 10 years and above
If you’re a fan of the classic Russian Roulette or believe that you’ve got good luck, Exploding Kittens is a game for you. The game is a lot of fun, and it allows several people to get in on the action.
Here’s a video if you prefer;
- 56 cards (2.5 x 3.5″)
- All inside a fancy box!