Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens is a new brand you may have seen floating around your favorite stores lately. You’ve probably already wondered just what is an Exploding Kitten? Do they erupt into confetti when you open the package? Maybe, they make annoying exploding sounds constantly? Why are they everywhere I go now and where did these things come from? Is this product for people who love or hate cats? These are all very valid questions as Exploding Kittens is a pretty weird concept. We assure you though both dog and cat people can enjoy this franchise equally!

It All Began on Kickstarter

A few years back we saw a Kickstarter pop up with the first mentions of these cats. The Kickstarter began in January of 2015 and had a rather simple and easy to follow layout. The goal to reach was just $10,000 and the game was laid out as a base deck and a NSFW expansion. That set up stayed until the project made 2 million in the first 24 hours after launch. That’s right a card game called Exploding Kittens went from being funded at 10,000 to having 2 million dollars for its budget in a single day. Yeah, this thing has a pretty impressive track record even before it’s launch.

As it so happened the creators decided to turn the NSFW expansion into a fully playable deck The team used unlockable achievements as stretch goals instead of money. Each achievement required the backers to get so many likes on the game’s Facebook page and post some pictures with a few goats. Every achievement was unlocked in the end except one. The game ended up making over 8 million dollars by the time the campaign reached its end and had over 200,000 backers supporting the project. It probably also helped that the creators were constantly posting updates throughout the campaign and where communicating with their supporters frequently, an area where other Kickstarts tend to fall short

Another unique part of this Kickstarter was the fact that the reward tiers where simple. Instead of offering the usual game + incentive merchandise the team decided to keep it short. This was because they planned to get the game out as fast as they could and didn’t want any complications popping up in the process. The team also sent people to playtest decks to help them develop the game’s unique playstyle. Just a few months after the quick starter ended everything was set and the games were printed. Backers got their rewards pretty fast and the online demand for the game was growing as more people learned about the now-closed project from their friends.

The Game Itself

Exploding Kittens is a strategy card game revolving around outplaying your opponents hands. This means a lot of bluffs are involved and you have to learn when to save or not save your cards. There aren’t any pro level Exploding Kittens players yet, but there are tons of people who have worked out sure-fire strategies for winning. With that said it is still a card game meaning you will need a little bit of luck with your draw. The games are short and get shorter depending on how many people you add it to the session. A game between two players usually takes about 15 minutes and goes down by about 2 minutes with each additional person added on. The time can be increased if you combine both decks and the new expansion, however.

So, the basic way to play this game is to not draw an exploding kitten. If you draw an exploding kitten that means you are taken out of the game unless you can defuse it with a card. This is rather easy to do the first time. At the beginning of the game, every player is given one diffuse card before the game begins. That means you basically have one extra life before you actually fall into the danger zone. The cool thing about being able to defuse a kitten is that you pick where it goes back into the deck at which can make a game a lot more interesting.

The game contains quite a few cards that can mess up the rhythm of gameplay. Players have skip cards that allow them not to take a turn. There are also attack cards that can make another player have two turns instead of one. There is also a nope card that pretty much negates everything someone can throw at you. Often times you will see a battle of the nope break out between the players trying not to draw an exploding kitten. There are also matching cards that will let you steal right out of your opponent’s hand. Lastly, there is the see the future cards and shuffle cards these cards allow you to have more control over the deck than any other player and give you insight into when to draw or not to draw from the deck.

The cards in the game all have various strange drawings and titles to them. The basic decks have things like a Taco cat while the NSFW deck has things like a mystical boob wizard. The cards are hilarious to call out and can turn any boring night into a fun laugh. It’s up to you whether it’s a rule to say the title of the card to use it or not. We do suggest you make it a rule though because hearing some of your shyer friends shout things about smoking with a baby owl is one of the most entertaining things you can ever do for yourself.

If you want to add a little more variety to your game then pick up Imploding Kittens. Imploding Kittens is the first expansion of the card game. This features all new types of cards to complicate the game and your winning strategy. The expansion will give you 20 new cards to play with and expands the core game to include 6 players instead of 5. You also get a cone of shame to wear in every box. That means you will always know who’s turned it is based on a super embarrassing wearable!

Need even more Exploding Kittens for your party? Then there is a party pack available for purchase that will make a noise every time you open it! This pack will allow up to 10 players to be able to play at once making it an essential party game. On top of that, the party pack is suitable for all ages unless you do something like mix in the NSFW deck. It will cost you around $30 which is double the cost of the standard deck.

The Merchandise

Now that this game has grown immensely in popularity cats are one step closer to taking over the world than they were before! Now, companies like ThinkGeek are helping put out more and more Exploding Kitten themed items for you to purchase. Just in case you wanted to show your love for the card game to the world. This has caused things like plushies and backpack hangers to be sold in stores around the U.S. There is even a newly released rainbow puke scarf complete with hanging cat at the end.

Most of the merchandise is based on cards in the game. You can buy a big old cup of nope to drink your coffee in from the official site. If coffee isn’t your thing then there are tons of shirt designs for you to choose from! This even includes a shirt for guys of a mama cat shooting out kittens with the words pew pew around her. If you don’t think that’s hilarious then there isn’t much we can do to help you here. Overall, the merchandise isn’t something you’d generally wear to work though.

If you want to display your love for the game in a more subtle way then pick up a plushie. The taco and potato cat plushies are cute and safe for work ways to display your passion at your desk. The only people they could possibly upset our dog loves. Once, you tell them that it’s a game about cats blowing up we have a feeling even dog lovers will come around to your passion, just for different reasons than you.


So, I guess I should give you guys some strategy for winning this super competitive game, huh? Generally, I always say to let your opponents fight each other. By letting everyone else duel it out they will use up all of their good cards. That means you can hold back your hand to the end when there’s only two of you and an exploding kitten left. If you get attacked always just take it if you have a diffuse card. Chances of drawing an exploding kitten early on our pretty slim and if you like math you can even figure out how close you are to seeing one. Also, always use your view the future cards as soon as you get them. This will allow you to have insight into what is about to happen within the game, not just the location of the kitten

Jessica has been working with the gaming industry for about two years now. She enjoys playing quirky Japanese games and learning about the newest trivia in the industry. When not working with games you may find her chilling with her naked cat Prince Noko... he's pretty cool we guess.