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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Exploding Kittens (2015) is a push-your-luck card game like Russian Roulette but with adorable kittens rather than bullets. You take turns drawing cards until you get the Exploding Kitten card and lose. The twist is the various comical and cunning ways you can avoid exploding, like defuse cards or peek cards that let you look through the deck before you draw.

Play involves taking turns to draw cards from the deck in the middle. If you draw the Exploding Kitten card (and don't have a Defuse card) you are out of the game. The non-exploding cards you draw go into your hand and offer a variety of ways to stack the odds in your favour and help you to dodge explosions.

If you defuse the Exploding Kitten card you can put it back in the deck anywhere you want. This means you can count down a certain number of cards to set up another player, or perhaps put it at the bottom or top. This makes the Defuse cards really powerful and adds lots of strategy to the play.

The other cards further subvert these tactics by offering ways to skip turns, attack other players so they can't go, cancel the action of another player, shuffle the deck and have a peek at the next three cards. As the play progresses and the number of cards in the deck diminishes it becomes more likely to hit the Exploding Kitten card and tensions ramp up.

Along with this, there's a set collecting element where you get to cash in groups of kittens to steal cards from other players. It's all very silly, but a lot of fun and a highly skilled challenge.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Exploding Kittens 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 4 weeks ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Brain Game and Sequencing game with Collecting, Communication and Push-Your-Luck elements. You can play with 2 to 5 players in the same room. Best with 4 or 5 players. You can play with 6 players if you add some of the expansions like the Imploding Kittens expansion.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Learn to Play: This takes 5 minutes to learn. It's a simple game but you do need to learn the different tactics. Understanding that it's a game about getting and saving the Defuse cards by any means possible, helps the penny drop in terms of tactics.

Play Time: This game will take between 10 minutes and 20 minutes to complete.


This game is good if you want to:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Level

7+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 7+ years-olds. The game includes the idea of cute kittens exploding. This is depicted in a cartoon style but might be unsettling to some. Other cards include severed heads on top of robot legs, feral zombie cats, bats, dinosaurs attacking, people being kicked in the crotch and cats vomiting rainbows.

The Not Safe For Work version of the game includes more graphic depictions and adult themes.


There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
You can purchase expansions for the game:
  • Barking Kittens: Expansion - 20 new cards and a game-changing wearable Cat Crown.
  • Streaking Kittens: Expansion - 15 cards, featuring 8 new types of actions and a Streaking Kitten that lets you have an Exploding Kitten in your hand without exploding.
  • Imploding Kittens: Expansion - 20 new cards featuring 6 new types of actions and an Imploding Kitten which increases the game from 5 to 6 players.

You can purchase different versions of the game:
  • Exploding Kittens: Recipes for Disaster - All the best cards from the expansions and Recipe Booklets to create new game modes.
  • Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition - Rude "sexy" version of the game.
  • Exploding Minions - Minion-themed version of the game.
  • Exploding Kittens 2-Player Edition - Version for two players. 

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2015

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Players: 2-5

Genres: Brain Game, Sequencing (Collecting, Communication and Push-Your-Luck)

Accessibility: 31 features

Components: Cards

Developer: Game Of Kittens (@GameOfKittens)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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