Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition, front of box

Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition

Name: Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition
Type: Card Game 
Publisher: Exploding Kittens
No of Players: 2-5
Size: 16.2cm x 11.3cm x 3.8cm
Weight: 225g
Age: 30 and up?
Price:  £16.99
Playtime: 15 mins
Rating: 4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)

Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition, front of box

I’m not a big fan of Black Friday, what with being English and it basically being transposed onto us as a way to try and persuade us to spend a little more in the weeks leading up to Christmas. With that said, I’m not an idiot and so I generally browse the Amazon deals to see if anything on my wishlist is coming up and, this year, something did and that something was Exploding Kittens.

Like so many offbeat games Exploding Kittens first appeared on Kickstarter where it, and its sister game the Safe for Work edition, managed to accrue $8.5 million in funding in February 2015, making it the most funded game on Kickstarter at the time. I’d heard good things from people who had backed it and, honestly, I couldn’t see how wouldn’t enjoy a game for people who like Kittens and Explosions and Boob Wizards and sometimes Butts and so, when the deal rolled around, I decided to pick it up.

Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition, contents

In the box you get-

  • 56 cards
  • Instruction leaflet

The box is nice and small, being around the size of one of the Tiny Epic game boxes and perfect to just throw into a bag at the last minute. The box is matt black with the title in big letters on the front along with the tag line about boob wizards and this very much set the tone for what you’ll find inside the box. On the front of the box is an illustration of a cat with it’s nether regions pixelated out and this pretty much says everything you need to know about the game.

The box is made from a nice, thick, sturdy card, showing evidence of the upgrades it received during the Kickstarter campaign and although the cards themselves are printed on a card stock that is a little thin, they still seem well made. That said, I’m not convinced that the cards would survive the beer test that well and for a simple and comedic game, thats not a good thing.

As for how it plays, it’s pretty simple, as you’d expect for a 56 card game that plays in 15 minutes. The instruction leaflet very much advises you against reading it, claiming instructions are boring and telling you to watch the video at this link instead.

All told though, it’s a very simple concept. You remove the Exploding Kitten  and Defuse cards and deal one Defuse to each player before shuffling the rest back into the deck and dealing 4 more cards to each player, for a total hand of 5. You then add Exploding Kitten cards to the deck equal to the number of players minus 1 (to guarantee a winner).

After that decide who goes first and I like using the ‘who has the shortest spleen’ method. On their turn players can play as many cards as they like before drawing one card from the deck and adding it to their hand unless they draw an Exploding Kitten card. Drawing an Exploding Kitten card means a player is out, unless they can use a defuse card and last player out is the winner. If a player Defuses an Exploding Kitten then put it back in the draw deck wherever they choose, allowing them to try and force it upon another player.

Cards played before drawing can allow the active player to miss their draw, make another player draw twice, look at the top card in the deck etc. All of which can help minimise the chance of drawing an Exploding Kitten.

The game plays with a real air of suspense as turns are quick and frantic and the further down the deck you go the higher the level of tension as the games turns into a game of Russian Roulette with Kittens but in a good way, not in the pet the belly and have your eyes scratched out way that Russian Roulette with Kittens ends with.

I buy and play a great many mini games as I like simple mechanics that allow for endless play. Sure I like deeper and more involved games like Arkham Horror, Battlestar Galactica or Pandemic Legacy but it’s hard to ignore how much fun a simple mechanic can be, especially one that lets you attack a friend by growing a magnificent squid tentacle and slapping them like a fat baby.

Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition, Attack Card

As fun as the game is, it’s the art style and comedy that really makes the game and this comes from Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal webcomic. Aside from the aforementioned squid tentacle cards such as Cat’s Schrödinger-

Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition, Cat's Schrodinger

A rather upset kraken-

Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition, Upset Kraken

The Pope of Nope-

Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition, Pope of Nope

Boob wizards-

Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition, Boob Wizards

And, of course, the eponymous Exploding Kitten-

Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition, Exploding Kitten

Exploding Kittens is a very fun game, in the same way Cards Against Humanity is fun, however, unlike Cards Against Humanity, you actually care about winning in Exploding Kittens and the game has a tense feeling to it, not just an air of hilarity (although it certainly has that too). I found that Exploding Kittens works best with a bigger group, 4 or 5 players so as to maintain the tension and feeling that everyone is out to get you. As a 2 player game it’s not that good, you don’t feel that constant threat of drawing an Exploding Kitten as there is only one in the deck.

In addition to the NSFW edition, which was originally just an expansion for the basic deck and it was only the massive overfunding that it received on Kickstarter that meant it was produced as it’s own game, there is a child friendly edition (which you can read more about here) and both sets can be combined to allow the game to support up to 9 players, which I imagine would be extremely frantic and nerve wracking.

If you are after a quick, fun game to play with none gamers or during drunken evenings you could do a lot worse than to pick up Exploding Kittens NSFW Edition. It’s not going to satisfy the hardcore gamer’s urge for complex and time consuming games, but thats not a bad thing, you can’t play Pandemic Legacy or Twilight Imperium while waiting for other gamers to arrive on a games night or as a bit of fun to round out an evening.

Exploding Kittens is silly, it’s funny and it’s dumb and all of that works in it’s favour. If a game can force players to collapse in fits of hysteria when playing a card (and I wholeheartedly recommend that all players read out the text on their card when playing them to make sure that happens) then it’s a winner in my book and one i’d suggest to anyone.

 

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