First question to definitely pop into your mind when you read this would be “why the term honest review?” See, when you play this game and become the primary piñata for all the exploding kittens, you tend to become a bitter pussy… cat. Losing every time while you’re only one card away from escaping the dreaded bomb loaded deck can make you a very honest person, bringing out that part of your vocabulary that your mother never taught you. But that’s the whole fun of Exploding Kittens, I guess.
In today’s ever reducing attention span of the human kind, it is almost nigh impossible to hold anyone’s attention for 15 minutes without them fiddling with their phones. But I did just exactly the opposite when I brought the Exploding Kittens game onto the table that night, as I kept my friends fixated on the game round after round. And honestly, that was fun.
The game consists of 56 cards and a box, which like most boxes, does not meow. The rest of it, including the rules, is almost intuitive to even the most non experienced gamer. To put it simply, the game operates very much like a roulette game. The main rule is if you explode you lose, if don’t you win! Such a simple game that can cause so much of strife between you and your (ex) friends.
All you need to do is shuffle the deck after you remove all the Explode and Defuse cards, deal 4 cards to each player and deal them each 1 Defuse card. Then according to the number of players, you put that many Exploding Kittens minus one into the deck (e.g. if there are 5 players, shuffle 4 Exploding Kittens into the main deck) and the additional Defuse cards will be shuffled into the main deck. The most basic of cards that you need to know are the Explode, Defuse, Attack, Skip, See The Future, Nope, Favor and Shuffle cards. Each of these cards has its own description and is fairly easy to understand for anyone after playing the game a few rounds.
You will be attempting to defuse the suicidal kitties in the main deck, or die trying. And that ladies and gentlemen, is the whole objective of the game.
Gameplay is fast, quick and thrilling due to its simple mechanics that make it easy for anyone to understand. You want to avoid drawing all the exploding kittens, but this where all your (ex) friends will do their level best to make sure that you end up burnt to a crisp when the bomb explodes in your face as you run out of Defuse cards.
You can use the Attack cards to attack your friends, use the See the Future card to literally seal the fate of the other players, or use the Skip card to escape imminent doom that may have been planned meticulously by someone whom you may no longer call friend. In addition to being suspenseful and thrilling, the game induces laughter aplenty and harnesses vengeance by the droves. You can also discard cards with the same name to steal cards from other players or take cards from the discard pile. Each round lasts between 15 to 20 minutes averagely and most of the time one round is not enough.
If you have more than 5 people who want to play the game, no worries. All you need to do is combine two decks to accommodate up to 10 players at a time to double the fun. But be warned, you will lose your friends twice as fast as well.
This game is fast and fun, and it can be played almost anywhere at any time. You can play it while waiting for dinner to be served, during your lunch hour and in between other activities. All you need are people that want to play and whom you don’t really want to be associated with anymore. The game can last longer than the average 15 – 20 minutes, and tensions can run really deep as even people who have been eliminated start betting on who will be the ultimate survivor and who will be the sad person smoking crack with baby owls after getting blown to bits.
As a conclusion, this game is engaging, affordable and fairly fast. It is one of those rare games out there that fulfils the trifecta requirements for most casual gamers. Great as a distraction and even better as a party game, Exploding Kittens redefines physical gaming even in this era dominated by smartphones (there is also the Exploding Kittens app for you to download!) So what are you waiting for? Go blow up some kittens… in Exploding Kittens.