Tacocat and Hairy Potato Cat Go Digital
The popular card game Exploding Kittens has blasted its way into electronic gaming, with versions now available on the Nintendo Switch as well as on iOS and Android devices. The original version raised $1 million in its first seven hours and went on to explode records by becoming the most-funded game in Kickstarter history. Now it’s bringing its wacky brand of fast-paced competitive fun to mobile and Switch gaming.
Exploding Kittens combines elements of Uno, Hot Potato, Go Fish, and Russian Roulette. Players take turns to draw a card from the deck. If you draw an Exploding Kitten card, then you explode and you’re out of the game.
If you draw an Exploding Kitten card, then you explode and you’re out of the game.
The other cards in the deck are all used to avoid this fate. Most of them are Action Cards, which you can play before you draw. These allow such actions as peeking at the deck, skipping your turn, and reshuffling the deck.
In contrast to the plain design of a game like Uno, the cards in Exploding Kittens have humorous themes. So, to skip your turn, you might Don a Portable Cheetah Butt to help you escape. You might force another player to draw cards by attacking with the Bear-O-Dactyl, or shuffle the deck by invoking the aid of Abracrab Lincoln. Each card is appropriately illustrated with a cartoon by Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal. The game mechanics are fun and inventive, but the names and illustrations add a vividly silly personality that makes Exploding Kittens a joy to play.
Nope! cards allow you to cancel another player’s action - including their own Nope! cards. You can use one of these cards to cancel another player’s cancellation of your action, turning a Nope! into a Yup!.
A Disarm card allows you to survive drawing an Exploding Kitten by distracting the kitten with a Laser Pointer or Catnip Sandwiches.
There are also “plain” cards like the Tacocat and Hairy Potato Cat. These can be collected in sets. A set of two allows you to steal a card from another player. A set of three allows you to demand a specific card from another player. However, just as in Go Fish, if that player doesn’t have that particular card, you’re out of luck.
The most coveted cards in the deck are the Disarm cards. A Disarm card allows you to survive drawing an Exploding Kitten by distracting the kitten with a Laser Pointer or Catnip Sandwiches. When you Disarm a kitten, you get to secretly reinsert it into the deck at any location you choose. This means that you, and only you, know its location ... at least until another player does something nefarious like shuffle the deck.
More significantly, the digital forms of Exploding Kittens allow for different modes of gameplay.
The Switch and mobile versions of Exploding Kittens keep the same gameplay and art. A few elements of the gameplay actually work a little better on the screen. You don’t have to worry about the other players sneaking a peek when you reinsert the Exploding Kitten into the deck or lying about whether they have a Disarm card when you try to steal one from them.
More significantly, the digital forms of Exploding Kittens allow for different modes of gameplay. You can still play together with people in the same room, but you can also play online with friends or strangers around the world. The game can even supply you with computerized opposition for solo play.
Play in Single-player mode against bots or as local or online multiplayer.
Kind-hearted gamers might find themselves a bit worried about all the cheerfully-illustrated harm to animals featured in this game. However, in honor of the imaginary cats and goats whose likenesses are used in the game, the makers of Exploding Kittens partner with animal protection charities. As part of your purchase, you can donate to Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS), a nation-wide “no-kill” animal rescue, and the game makers will match your donation. So, no guilt - go ahead, have fun and explode your friends!