Exploding Kittens is the only Kickstarter project that I have backed. With two real games designers behind the game and Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal providing the artwork, it looked like a pretty safe bet, and it was. The game duly turned up and, rather embarrassingly, I never actually got around to playing it.
That changed at the weekend when Macsen found the box and asked about it. So he, me and the twins set about reading the rules and dealing the cards. And I will say upfront that we had a lot of fun with this game.
The game is essentially a version of Russian Roulette, in which players draw cards until someone draws an exploding kitten card and, if that player doesn’t have a defuse card then he or she is blown out of the game with a Kaboom!
The other cards in the deck allow you to do things like peek ahead, force other players to draw extra cards or end your turn without drawing a card. Of course, not drawing a card drastically reduces your chance of ending up as a feline fireball.
The last player to survive wins the game.
Exploding Kittens is not a very complex game and nor is there a lot of strategy involved — avoid drawing cards as far as possible and hang onto your defuse cards — but it is a lot of fun. And a large part of this fun comes down to the cards themselves.
If you have ever read The Oatmeal, you will recognise the often juvenile sense of humour behind the Rainbow-Ralphing Cat, the puntastic Jackanope and — a household favourite — the Transdimensional Litter Box. I enjoy this sort of silliness and the boys are still repeating some of the jokes three days later.
Exploding Kittens is a quick, simple and very funny game. We have a bag of portable games that we take on trips for emergency entertainment. This game is going in the bag.