Exploding Kittens card game review – can you play with kids?

Exploding Kittens card game review
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This “Game of the Year” award winner is the perfect holiday gift if you’re looking for board games for adults but want to be able to play fun games with your kids as well. Basically, if you draw an Exploding Kitten, you lose and you are full of loser sad-sauce. If you don’t explode, YOU WIN! Congratulations, you are full of greatness! More than 9 million copies sold, breaking records in games for kids, games for adults, and everything in-between. Find more in Exploding Kittens card game review.

Pros & Cons – Exploding Kittens card game

Pros

  • Easy to learn and no setup required
  • Strategy required keeps players engaged
  • Cards feature irreverent artwork

Cons

  • Limited to 5 players
  • Card uses can be confusing
  • Encourages aggressive play

Compare Exploding Kittens card game

Exploding Kittens: Original EditionStreaking Kittens: Expansion of Exploding KittensExploding Kittens: Party Pack
Number of PlayersYesNA2-10
Family FriendlyNoYesYes
Expansion DeckNoYesNo
Furry BoxNoNoNo
Includes Wearable AccessoriesNoNoNo

Price: Premium price tag

Considering it’s pretty much a deck of cards, Exploding Kittens is actually a bit on the pricey side at around $20. However, this is totally in line with other cult-favorite card games like Cards Against Humanity and Unstable Unicorns. A deck of UNO cards, though, only costs about $10.

Who can play Exploding Kittens card game?

The game’s creators recommend ages 7 and up, but we think that depends a lot on the 7-year-old. Age, really, is less relevant than temperament. There’s not a lot of reading, and the concept is simple to understand, but there’s strategy required to make the game fun and not just random, and that requires patience and concentration. Some younger kids might find that kind of a tall order. 

Exploding Kittens card game review

Design

Most people attracted to this game will love the ridiculous drawings of bats farting or cats shaped like hairy potatoes, all in Matthew Inman’s signature humorous style. Our players found the pictures hilarious, and they added a big fun factor to the game. Even the text on the instruction sheet is fun and slightly silly.

Gaming rule –

How it works

  • You put the cards on the table and take turns drawing from them.
  • If you draw an exploding kitten card, you explode. When you explode, you die and you’re out of the game.
  • Unless! You play a defuse card, which will stop the kitten from exploding using things like laser pointers, kitten yoga, and catnip sandwiches.

Or

  • Play various cards to skip your turn, attack other players, peek at the deck, or secretly relocate an exploding kitten card.
  • Relocating an exploding kitten to a new location in the deck lets you form complex, fun, and cruel strategies against other players.

Also

  • You can play cat cards, which are different from kitten cards. Cat cards activate special powers.

Exploding Kittens card game (review) details

Each deck of 56 cards can support a game of two to five players (if you want to include more players, you have to buy another set of cards). Shuffle the Exploding Kitten cards into the deck, making sure there’s one less than there are players so that someone can win.

The whole point of Exploding Kittens is to not draw an Exploding Kitten card. Once you do, you’re out. That’s the (bad) luck part. And since you can’t end your turn until you draw a card, the threat is always there. But to stay in the game, you can try to use all the other cards to your advantage. That’s where the strategy comes in: You want to lower your odds of drawing the dreaded card by increasing the odds that your opponents will.

This is done with the use of the other cards in the deck. Every player gets one Defuse card, which counteracts the Exploding Kitten card. You only get to play it once.

There are six other types of cards, including an Attack card, which lets you immediately end your turn and force the next player to take two turns in a row. Why is taking two turns a bad thing? Because you’ll have to draw two cards, and you never know if the Exploding Kitten will be one of them.

Play the Skip card if you have it, and you won’t have to draw a card to end your turn. If you have a See the Future card, you can take a peek at the top three cards in the deck to see if it’s there, then play another card to avoid it. Maybe you’ll play a Skip card, an Attack card to force an opponent to deal with it, or a Shuffle card to get it back further down the deck.

You can use a Favor card to force an opponent to give you one of their cards (of their choice), or a matching pair of Cat cards to steal a random card from an opponent. While drawing a card from the pile is always fraught, getting one from an opponent is great because there’s no way it’s an Exploding Kitten—and you might end up with a coveted Defuse card. Of course, these strategies will all be used against you too, which is where the Nope card comes in handy. It counteracts any action against you, except for the Exploding Kitten.

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