REVIEW: Exploding Kittens Card Game

What’s in the box?

56 Playing cards:

Exploding Kitten cards – 4

Defuse cards – 6

Nope cards – 5

Attack cards – 4

Skip cards – 4

Favour cards – 4

Shuffle cards – 4

See the Future cards – 5

Cat cards – 20 (4 of each type)

Aim of the game:

To not get blown up by an Exploding Kitten.

To start the game the Exploding Kittens and the Defuse cards are removed from the pack, the rest of the cards are shuffled and each player is dealt 7 cards, add a Defuse card to your hand so that you have 8 cards in total. The left over Defuse cards are inserted in to the pack and you add the Exploding Kittens cards – insert 1 fewer than the number of people playing e.g. if there are 4 people playing then 3 cards should be put in the deck. Shuffle the deck and place it face down on the table.

To Play:

Decide who goes first, you can choose to pass or play during your turn; to play you lay a card face up in the discard pile and follow the instructions on the card. You can play as many cards as you like during your turn and to end your go you have to draw a card from the deck and hope that it is not an Exploding Kitten! To pass your go, don’t lay any cards and simply draw one from the deck to end your turn.

What do the cards do?

Cat cards – There are 5 different Cat cards and you can collect up to four of each, they do nothing on their own and if you want to get rid of one you can simply play one by itself during your turn. If you have two matching cards you can steal a random card from another player and three matching cards lets you name the card you want to steal (if available).

See the Future – A very handy card to have as this lets you privately view the top 3 cards in the deck which will help you plan your next move.

Attack – Lay this card and you won’t have to draw a card to end your go, but the next player will have to take two turns in a row which increases their chances of drawing an Exploding Kitten!

Shuffle – Use this to shuffle the pack before you draw your next card.

Nope – This stops any action and it can be played at any time, even if it’s not your turn. This card can’t be used on an Exploding Kitten or on a Defuse card though.

Skip – Use this card to end your turn so that you do not have to draw a card, these are good to use if you suspect an Exploding Kitten may be lurking at the top of the draw pile.

Favour – Ask another player for one of their cards, it is up to them what they give you!

Defuse – If you draw an Exploding Kitten, you can use this card instead of dying. The Defuse card goes in the discard pile and the Exploding Kitten can be secretly inserted back in the deck! Starting with a Defuse card doesn’t guarantee you will always have one though, there are plenty of chances for them to be stolen from you!

Exploding Kittens – If you draw one of these you have to show it straight away, if you have a Defuse card you can use it, but if you don’t, your’re dead! Discard the card once you are out and play continues on.

How to win:

As there is one fewer Exploding Kitten cards in the pack than there are players, there will always be one person who doesn’t get blown up. If you are this person, you are the winner!

There is no limit to how many cards you can hold in your hand at any one time, and often the more you have, the better. The game can be played with between 2-5 players, we have played with 2 but it is more predictable and playing with 4 or 5 people is much more fun! Exploding Kittens is quick and easy to pick up and you will build your strategy up the more you play, this has quickly become our ‘go to’ card game as it can be set up and played quite speedily. It is suitable for ages 7 and over, the instructions are really clear and well written and the cards are printed on high quality, textured card and presented in a sturdy box. I’d heard lots of good things about this game but I’d never actually played it until now and we have all really enjoyed this, it has been out several times over the holidays as we’ve introduced it to friends and family.

Great fun, competitive, silly and highly recommended! Exploding Kittens retails at around £19.99 and can be found in all good toy shops.

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