For Christmas I got my kids the card game Exploding Kittens, and last night we bought the iOS version of the game. Let’s just say there have been some very interesting noises in our house ever since.
For those of you that are familiar with the game, Exploding Kittens is a rather simple card game that takes about 15 minutes to play and is for 2-5 players. The objective of the game it to outlast all of your opponents. You “explode” out of the game when you draw an “Exploding Kitten” card and can’t defuse the exploding kitten with a defuse card. The basis of the game is part strategy and part maniacal mayhem, because you get to steal other people’s cards, make them draw multiple times and reverse the order of the turns. While Exploding Kittens may not be a masterpiece of a card game, it is a heck of a lot of fun. The game play has just enough meat to keep it interesting but is simple enough for young kids to understand and really get into (my 10-year-old had no problem jumping right in and schooling all of us). Speaking of kids, be aware that there is an alternative version of the physical card game that comes with what I would call “artwork for a more mature audience.” The standard card game, however, is relatively tame (unless you have an unhealthy fear of back hair) and can be safely played with your kids.
Enough about the physical card game, what about the new hotness that is the iOS game (and “coming soon” Android game)? Physical games don’t always make the transition well from the real world into the digital realm. This is not the case with Exploding Kittens for iOS. They took what was a simple and fun physical card game, mixed in some kitty cat butt butt, some horrendously historical sound bytes and sound effects and made a game that was vastly more entertaining than the original.
The game play is pretty much the same in iOS as is it in the physical card game, with a few exceptions:
– You’d don’t have to pair up certain cards in order to discard them
– There are no “Nope” cards
– Attack cards can be played on any player, not just the next person set to take a turn
– Then there are also some new cards that just wouldn’t work in a physical card game:
They did a really good job making this game a lot of fun to play with friends and family when you are all sitting in the same room. It also only works if you are all sitting in the same room. In fact, this game is using a combination of wifi and Bluetooth to find players and allow them to join a hosted game. Usually this is done with either-or, but this game uses both technologies at the same time. We have had issues hosting and joining games and the develop warned us in the game description that this is still a version 1.0 game with a new way of connecting players and this might take a little while to work out all the kinks. When we did run into problems I found that killing the app and turning off and back on the wifi and the Bluetooth on the devices fixed any connection problems we were having.
Last but not least, for the next couple of days, the developer is running a special on the in-app-purchases (IAP)…they are all free! There are a total of three IAPs, one for a small expansion set of cards called the party deck and two other IAPs for different sets of character avatars and sound effects. I highly recommend getting all of the IAPs, even if you have to pay for them after the promotion ends. The catch phrases of the avatars are hilarious and the extra sound effects that come along with them are not to be missed. It really enhanced the party game feel. In fact, you can check out the various sound bytes right on the Exploding Kittens website here (just scroll down the page a bit and click on the avatars for the sound bytes). If your friends and family are as goofy and twisted as mine you will all really enjoying playing this game the next time you all get together.