GAME DESCRIPTION: Exploding Kittens is a card game for 2-5 players. Each turn players must draw cards and avoid getting an Exploding Kitten.
SET-UP: Before the game begins, remove all Exploding Kitten and Defuse cards, then shuffle the rest of the deck. Each player begins with 1 Defuse card and 4 randomly dealt cards. Shuffle all Defuse cards into the deck, as well as Exploding Kitten cards equal to 1 less than the total number of players. If there are only 2 players, shuffle 2 Defuse cards into the deck. Any cards left are removed for this game.
CARDS: Each turn, a player may play any cards during their turn, or end the turn. Once a card's effect is resolved, you may continue to play cards, or end the turn. Each player ends their turn by drawing a card.
- Exploding Kitten: These black border cards, when drawn, mean an immediate loss unless a Defuse card is played, and discard all cards as well as this card.
- Defuse: If a player draws an Exploding Kitten card, they may play a Defuse card. The player discards the defuse and places the Exploding Kitten card anywhere in the deck they wish.
- Nope: If a player plays a card, any other player may cancel it by playing a Nope card, and discard both cards.
- Attack: The player who plays an Attack card does not draw, and the next player takes 2 turns in a row.
- Skip: The player ends their turn immediately without drawing a card.
- Favor: Forces another player to give up a card of their choosing to the player of the Favor card.
- Shuffle; Shuffle the deck.
- See the Future: Look at the top 3 cards of the deck, and place them back in the same order.
- Kitten Cards: These cards have only images on them, and must be played as a matching combo of 2 or 3 of a kind.
COMBOS: Combo's are advanced rules which, when played correctly, ignore the text on the card and are instead applied accordingly.
- 2 of a Kind: If 2 matching icons (located at the top left) are played, randomly take 1 card from any opponent.
- 3 of a Kind: If 3 matching icons are played, name a card from a specific opponent. If they have it, it's now yours. If not, nothing happens.
- 5 Different: If 5 different icons of any card are played, you may take any 1 card from the discard pile and add it to your hand.
WINNING: When an Exploding Kitten is drawn, and the player does not or cannot play a Diffuse card, they are eliminated for that game. The game ends when there is only one player left. They are now the winner.
CONCLUSION: Exploding Kittens is a card version of Russian roulette, plain and simple. The randomness nature of the game will definitely put off more than a few people, but the simplicity of the rules combined with the fact that the game is random gives most players a chance to win, even if they play 'badly'. It makes for a great intermission game for longer gaming sessions and wind downs on game nights. It's a fun, enjoyable little game that both younger and newer players can pick up.