How To Play Exploding Kittens, The Kickstarter Card Game That's Breaking Records With Laser Beams & Enchiladas

With a name like Exploding Kittens, the project was already a winner before its Kickstarter campaign even launched. But when its creator did, the card game pretty much broke the crowdsourcing platform, garnering more than 100,000 backers in just a week and $3 million in just three days. OK, so it didn't break Kickstarter, but it did break records — Exploding Kittens is the most backed Kickstarter project in history. But just one look at Exploding Kittens, which is illustrated by cartoonist Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal fame, and you'll see why so many people are stoked for a card game featuring combustible felines.

The card game's Kickstarter page lures people in with possibly the most enticing tag line ever:

This is a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.

How could you not want to learn more and/or give all your money to that?

And the more the page reveals about the game, the more convincing it becomes that this might be the greatest thing ever invented. The About section describes Exploding Kittens as "a highly strategic kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette." It also teases that users can weaponize enchiladas, so now there's no turning back. 

The game was created by Inman, Elan Lee, former chief design officer for Xbox Entertainment Studios, and Shane Small, former principal art director at Xbox. With their unreasonably creative powers combined, the three created Exploding Kittens, the card game that literally features kittens blowing shit up.

Here's how you play.

You put the stack of cards on the table face down. Players take turns drawing them. Like Russian Roulette, if you draw an exploding-kitten card, you die and you're out of the game. Exploding-kitten cards include a kitten with dynamite in its mouth blowing up a ship, a kitten holding a grenade blowing up a house, and a kitten sauntering over a nuclear launch button blowing up the world.    

But you can save yourself from losing by playing a defuse card to keep the kitten from detonating. Defuse cards include a laser pointer that distracts the kitten, kitten therapy that changes the aggressive kitten's ways, and catnip sandwiches that take the kitten's attention away from explosives.

There are also special cards that make the game more interesting. For example, attack cards that feature weapons like thousand-year-old back hair, cards that allow you to see the future by eating a unicorn enchilada, and shuffle cards that feature bat farts.

But that's not all. There are also cat cards, which have different functions from the kitten cards, that feature characters such as Tacocat (a palindrome), Overweight Bikini Cat, and Hairy Potato Cat.

The different varieties of cards in the deck make the game highly strategic and it's up to you if you want to use them in good fun or with cruel intentions against your opponents. As a Kickstarter exclusive, the creators are also offering a NSFW deck, which can be a stand-alone game for two to four players or combined with the regular deck for up to eight players.

As of press time, Exploding Kittens has amassed just over $4 million from more than 108,000 backers, with 22 days to go.

Images: Exploding Kittens/Kickstarter   

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