Are There EXPLODING KITTENS For Real? – Game Review

Exploding Kittens Review Cover

Some kittens that explode? Really? What is the card game is that!? If you’re reading an article about family card games, the Exploding Kittens will definitely catch your eye. The latter is a delightful casual dedicated deck card game, fun for all ages, and very simple to learn. 

Since it’s one of our go-to games, we thought it deserves a review of its own. We undoubtedly know that after reading this review, you’ll be able to know if this is the right game for you, by reading the game description and our sincere experience with this game.

Against the name, the game has nothing to do with hating cats or any kind of violence against animals. Exploding means that the kitten (the specific card) will ‘explode’ something, which in our case, is exploding a player,  so they’re out of the game (we’ll get to that later).

  • A short biography of the game;
  • Talking about the box design & the cards;
  • How do you play the game?;
  • Sharing our game experience;
  • The price & its competitors;
  • Editions & extra packs;
  • Other ways to play the game;
  • Frequently asked questions;
  • Is this game the perfect match for you? – final thoughts!

A Short Biography Of The Game

Box Dimensions: 4.41 x 6.38 x 1.5 Inches;

Publishers: The Oatmeal;

Designers: Matthew Inman & Elan Lee;

Released year: 2015; 

Cards: 56;

Recommended age: 7+; 

Number of players: 2-5;

Playing time: Around 15 minutes;

Game motto: For people who are into kittens and explosions;  

Official website:;

Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars (84,551 ratings on Amazon);

Talking About The Box Design & Cards

We talked about the game’s history, what’s next? The design! Let’s see how our lovely game looks once we open the box.


The box is pretty. End of discussion!  It has a red color on the cover and it tells us the basic details of the game, including the age range, number of players, playing time, the name, and who’s it best for. FYI, I find the ‘exploding kitten’ icon in the center of the front pretty funny. Elan & Matthew, that was hilarious of you! 

The back is kinda too much information at a time, but I mean, they’re all useful. Once again, there are the specifics that should characterize your group of people, just as we mentioned earlier. We also see some card samples and a short description of the game. Cool, huh?

Let’s not forget the sides of the box. Well actually, there are no important details on the sides… All we can read about is the name. We already know the name, right? Now, once we dealt with the box, we can finally talk about our favorite part: cards!!! 

Would it still be a card game, even if it didn’t have cards? No, of course not. What the hell am I thinking about?  You got it. The cards are the priority. Nothing makes sense without them…

As you can see, the cards are pretty special and creative as well. These are some of them:

  • Defuse cards;
Defuse Card
  • Attack cards;
Attack Card
  • Nope cards;
Nope Card
  • Super Nope cards;
Super Nope Card
  • Skip cards;
Skip Card
  • Shuffle cards;
Shuffle Card
  • See The Future cards;
See The Future Card
  • Tacocat cards;
Tacocat Card
  • Exploding Kitten cards;
Exploding Kitten Card

What makes the cards unique (even though lots of them share the same name), are the creative & funny drawings on them. 

We don’t want to spoil things, but anyways, here are some other cards:

Exploding Kittens Card List

(Note: This photo is a card list of the core game and one of the expansions.)

Also, check the cards list for every pack, it tells you about the types of cards inside every box.

How Do You Play Exploding Kittens?

We learned about the game and the history behind it, answered a few questions, took a look at the cards… But, feels like something’s missing, doesn’t it? The RULES, exactly!

Calm down, it’s not that complicated. Step one: ‘turn on’ the concentration mode!

What you have to do, basically, is to try not to explode, if you do, oh man, you lose… Here are the instructions defined and meticulous: 

  • Start by setting the Exploding Kittens cards & the Defuse Cards apart from the deck. Give each player 1 defuse card, and if there’s any card left (out of 6), you put them back into the pile. Whereas, what you do with the Exploding Kittens, is mix them with the deck, BUT, make sure that there is 1 card less than the number of players. For example, let’s say you are 5 people playing, that means you only use 4 Exploding Kittens.
  • Continue by dealing 7 cards to each player, and leave the remaining cards in the center of the table. Then, let someone begin the game, using creative criteria, for example, the player who is the oldest starts, the player with the most impressive hair, the shortest one, or other ideas.
  • The game continues clockwise. Each player plays cards from their pile, and puts it on top of the deck & does whatever it says. You can play as many cards as you want, or no cards at all. When you want to end your turn and pass it to the next player, you draw another card from the deck & place it in your pile.
  • Be careful though: If you draw an Exploding Kitten, you explode, so, you have to leave the game. Unless, you have a defuse card, which is the only way to save you from exploding.

That’s why we love this game. The cards are very detailed and it’s all easy with them. Almost all of them have instructions written, besides the cat cards.

What you have to do is to collect 2 or more cards of any kind. If you do that, you pick a player by whom you want to ‘steal’ a card.

This is it. This is all about the rules. If at any point something feels confusing, feel free to read our full article on how to play Exploding Kittens.

Here’s a photo of the instructions in case you were wondering:

Exploding Kittens Instructions

What about a surprise? Here are the instructions in African, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Arabic, Japanese, and Russian, babes!

Oh, and yeah, we’ll add a video link if you want to hear the rules once more: How To Play Exploding Kittens.

Sharing Our Game Experience: Was It Entertaining For All Ages?

To begin with, we were 4 players (which based on our experience, is a fine number of players when playing Exploding Kittens). 

Now, following the rules, we dealt 7 cards to each of us. Since I was the oldest in the room, I started playing first. The first card I played was a ‘See the future’. Meaning, I had the opportunity to privately view the first 3 cards of the deck.

See The Future - Experience Card

Next, I ended my turn by drawing one card: It was a Tacocat! Just so you know, I love how Tacocat cads look! (Ps. it doesn’t have anything to do with Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza).

Since we were playing clockwise, the next player was my nephew (9 years old), on my left. He played 2 cards in his turn: A shuffle (he shuffled the deck), and an attack (he ended his turn without drawing a card, and had the opportunity to force another player to turn, which fortunately wasn’t me).

Next was my younger sister, standing right in front of me. She chose to not play a card, so only drew one, and guess her bad luck? She drew an exploding kitten! She got back though: sis had a defuse card!

Exploding Kitten - Experience Card
Defuse Card - Experience Card

When my turn came again (for the third or fourth time I guess) I used a ‘strategy’: I did that by playing a ‘See the future’ card, to see that the second card in the deck was an exploding kitten, so it meant my little nephew had to explode. However, I didn’t want him to leave the game, therefore, I played a shuffle card and mixed the whole pile of cards.

After playing 2 cards, I had to draw one from the deck, and fortunately, it wasn’t an exploding kitten, because I had no more defuse cards left. I guess the game is sort of luck too…

Straight to the point, next, I drew a Nope card. Again, lucky human here! I had one card I could use to stop any action: (example) If someone attacks you, you can use the Nope card and stop the attack!

Nope - Experience Card

The game went on, getting better and better. I drew another defuse card & Tacocat, the others drew some more cat cards, skip cards, shuffles, personal attacks, nopes, and more. The first player to leave the game was my brother, but, someone had to do it, right?

Let me tell you one thing: you can’t imagine how competitive we all became! Guess who won the game? Me! Oh, I put all my effort though. The question is, did we order other expansions later? Of course yes! First, we got the NSFW for the adults in our family to have a blast, then the Party Pack for a larger group.

There was nothing inappropriate at all about playing this with kids. We all laughed so much and enjoyed it to its fullest. We even just get more connected with each other every time we play the game. 

The Price & The Game’s Competitors

Now, the real struggle is: Where to buy Exploding Kittens? Well, here are some shops you could consider:

Agh, it’s close enough to be one of the games under $10. Now, being this cool & fun, and not having competition? That isn’t a thing! For your curiosity, here are Exploding Kittens’ competitors:

1. Cards Against Humanity – $29.00

Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity is a game for horrible people! It includes 600 cards and is recommended for adults only, ages 17+, for 4 to 20+ players. The main idea behind it is making card combinations and creating the most hilarious one.  You could either be the Card Czar (the game judge), or one of the normal players!

2. Throw Throw Burrito – $14.92

Throw Throw Burrito

Will you throw throw that burrito? This is another cool game that contains 120 cards and 2 cute foam-made burritos. It is kid-friendly, of course, for everyone who is 7 or older! Besides getting an ‘ouch’ you’ll also lose points once you get hitten by a burrito! 

3. Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza – $9.84

Taco Cat Goat Cheese

This card game has one of the most creative names ever! Inside the box, you’ll find 66 cards, and it is appropriate for basically all ages. Can be played by 3 or more players! The point is to be the most competitive player out here! It will connect & gather the whole family!

As you assumed, not only Exploding Kittens, but all the other games like Exploding Kittens are super fun as well!

Editions & Extra Packs

No matter how fun a game is, its expansions and other packs make it way better! Exploding Kittens has a few other special packs, and below you’ll find our favorites:

1. The NSFW Edition


We had some good stuff for kids, now, it’s time for adulthood only! The NSFW Edition has very adult & explicit content, that’s why only people over 17 can play.

This edition has the same number of cards as the core game, 56, therefore, it could also be a great stand-alone expansion. It’s followed by the same rules, but there’s another expressive language used. For instance, here are some of the cards in this deck:

Exploding Kittens NSFW Deck Cards

2. Imploding Kittens – $14.99

Imploding Kittens

What’s the opposite of Exploding Kittens? It’s Imploding Kittens! We LOVE the design. It is a special box mostly for the astronomy-addicted fellas! Sadly, it is just an expansion. It has 20 cards to mix with your main deck, and there are applied the same rules.

It has super fun cards and content. To prove that to you, check some of them

Imploding Kittens Deck Cards

3. Party Pack – $24.99

Exploding Kittens Party Pack

It’s the party pack y’all, and who doesn’t love parties and everything related to them? This pack has a HUGE set of 112 cards! As you may assume, it is ages 7+, and unlike other packs, the Party Pack could be played by up to 10 people. 

Exploding Kittens Party Pack Cards

4. Barking Kittens Expansion – $14.99

Barking Kittens

Now, it’s time for another fascinating expansion! Barking Kittens? Kittens that have the spirit of a dog? Well, this special box has 20 more cards to add to your main game. It can be played by everyone who is 7 years or older. It also has some special cards, which is the coolest thing!

Barking Kittens Pack Cards

One more important detail: If you buy 2 or more decks of the same edition/ expansion, that DOESN’T mean you can play with more people. If you want to increase the number of players, you’ll have to buy different packs. So, If you already have the, let’s say, core game, you’ll have to buy another expansion.

We mentioned some of Exploding Kittens games, however, there’s also a Streaking Kittens expansion, Recipes For Disaster, Exploding Minions edition, Cat Burglar Edition, Zombie Kittens, and more.

Other Ways To Play Exploding Kittens

Playing the standard way is extremely fun. We all agree. Nevertheless, we’re about to show you 2 extra ways for you to kill the boredom:

Playing Online 

The good thing is that you can also download the game and use no cards at all! The better thing is that it is available on both App Store & Google Play.

Exploding Kittens App

It could be a single-player game, or you could play with strangers or friends. The app does all the job. Tells how many cards are left, who exploded, and what cards you could play. There are also 3 levels of difficulty, and other extra packs are included (the streaking kittens, betrayal pack, and the party pack). 

The purchase costs around $2-$3 for both IOS and Android, but we think that’s pretty reasonable, considering the fun.

Exploding Kittens App Gameplay

Turning it Into A Drinking Game

Exploding Kittens Drinking Game

Oh, the urge to turn all card games into drinking games… The thing about playing Exploding Kittens as a drinking one is that you could add any rule you want. Here are some ideas from our hearts to yours:

  • Decide on a word that is used often during the game, for example, the word ‘explode’. Now, every time someone says that word has to drink.
  • If you use a defuse card to stop yourself from exploding, you can make someone of your choice drink.
  • Take a sip when someone nopes one of your actions, you get attacked, you explode or someone takes a card from your deck.
  • When someone shuffles the deck, all players drink until the shuffling process is over.
  • If someone explodes, everyone in the group drinks. 
  • Bonus: If you’re playing Imploding Kittens, whoever has the ‘cone of shame’ has to take a sip of their drink. 

Most Asked Questions

Questions And Answers
  • What is the purpose of Exploding Kittens?
    To ‘betray’ & trick your friends or family into blowing up! 
  • Is the game hard to learn?
    No, not really. You can learn how to play in 2 minutes. (It gets better when you play it a few times.)
  • Is it totally appropriate for a family game night?
    Absolutely yes! Everyone who is over the age of 7 can play (or younger as well), there isn’t any adult language in the cards.
  • How many players can play the game?
    It can be played by 2-5 people.
  • What’s the difference with the NSFW edition?
    The NSFW (Not Safe For Work), is the grown-ups edition, ages 17+, because of its content.
  • How can you play with more than 5 people?
    You buy the amazing game expansions OR other extra packs!
  • What are some of the cards?
    Defuse, Nope, Skip, Tacocat, Exploding Kitten…

Is Exploding Kittens The Perfect Match For You? – Final Thought

Well, it’s obvious we adore this card game. However, as a summary, take a look at this table where we clearly compared what we love and what we don’t about Exploding Kittens:

The strong pointsThe weak points
Kid- friendly (excluding NSFW);
Available in other languages;
The creativity of comics and content on the cards;
Lots of expansions;
The party pack is made for up to 10 players;
You could also turn it into a drinking game or play it online.
Simple to learn rules.
Improves different skills, including strategy and critical thinking.
Only 56 cards in the core game;
Most packs are designed for only 2-5 players.

Dear Kittens, keep reading, keep playing!

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