I seriously adore cats, so it's funny that I'm actually even remotely interested in a game with the title Exploding Kittens [$1.99]. Yet, Exploding Kittens, which has just popped up on the App Store, isn't just any game; it's the digital version of (and I'm sure you've heard this line before) the most-backed game in Kickstarter history and the campaign with the most number of backers, ever. Not an insignificant praise given the competition and considering that Exploding Kittens is a card game all about trying not to draw an Exploding Kitten card. If you do, you die, and you're out of the game, unless you have a defuse card that allows you to defuse that poor Exploding Kitten using laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches (my cat would love the latter one). All other cards in the deck simply help you move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kitten.

Exploding Kittens

So, as you can tell, not the most complicated or strategic card game ever, and that's fine because that's not what the people buying it are looking for. As the website describes it, Exploding Kittens is simply a kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette. What makes the game stand out - outside its cat theme - is the wonderful art by The Oatmeal (Matthew Inman) and the game's humorous tone. People looking for a cute but slightly-offensive card game flocked to the Kickstarter campaign and turned Exploding Kittens into a phenomenon.

Exploding Kittens

Now, the digital version is...interesting in its execution. The game does look great judging from the screenshots, and everything that makes the game fun seem to have made its way to the iPhone app. It even has new cards exclusive to the digital version. However, the game is multiplayer only and - at least at launch - the game offers only Bluetooth/WLAN multiplayer; in other words, if you aren't in the same room with the rest of the players, no kitties will ever explode.

This is an interesting port in the sense it's really just a digital extension of the physical game which you can play without owning the physical cards rather than one that takes advantage of mobile's multiplayer possibilities. I'm not aware of future plans to include online multiplayer, but I'm definitely keeping an ear out because as it stands, I see very few people being able to enjoy the game. The game is iPhone only and it costs $1.99, and as a launch special, all the IAPs are free. So, if you have people to play with, go grab it and (sniff) explode some kittens.



  • bendodson

    I kind of feel you're missing the point of this card game when you say that "I see very few people being able to enjoy the game [without online multiplayer]". This would not be a good game to play with someone remotely (especially without voice or video) as the game itself isn't really any good, it's just Russian Roulette like you say. The fun comes from being able to share the experience of the game (laughing at the cards, the shock when you do get a kitten, etc) with actual people in the same room. This would not translate well as an online game.

    • Tasos Lazarides

      My point is not that the current functionality doesn't make sense; it makes perfect sense for a card game like this one. What I'm saying is not many will buy it because not that many can count on having people with iPhones in the same room to play it with.

      • https://www.behance.net/rgdesignhouse Ron

        More like a lot of people will buy it not having read the specifics and be disappointed at the limitation, ensuring a bad iTunes Store rating.

      • Zwilnik

        That may end up being the case Ron, but the main market for this app are fans of the game, who will pretty much ignore the reviews and tell their friends to buy it (so they can play together when they haven't got their physical card pack)

      • http://geektopia.tumblr.com Mark Bruno

        I was looking forward to this having online multiplayer because absolutely none of my friends are even remotely interested in the game, which sucks because it's fantastic. Ah, well...not much we can do about that now.

      • http://www.appfreakblog.com appfreak

        I knew about the Kickstarter card game and instabought the iOS version without reading about the multiplayer 😓

  • https://www.behance.net/rgdesignhouse Ron

    I think the in app purchases thing might be a joke. Since none are listed on iTunes.

    • Tasos Lazarides

      Ron, there's a Party Pack expansion with 4 unique cards and quite a few avatars to get.

  • lemessie

    Not online multi-player....😭

  • Repulsa

    I totally wasted my $ on this game cause I have no one to play it with. I wish I had read this before I insta bought it 🙁 maybe one day they will add online multiplayer or at least an ai you can play against

  • http://backloggery.com/TJF588 TJF588

    I'd grab this, if not for only one person in my circle who uses an iPhone. Everyone else is Android. If I could be assured of cross-platform, then sure.

  • curtneedsaride

    For those of us who don't get to hang out with many friends day-to-day, but would love to play the game, it would be nice to have a single player option as well as online multiplayer. Otherwise, there's no reason for me to pick it up, unfortunately.

  • SpikeGuy

    In the game there's a link that asks if you're trying to play online with friends. It says "stay tuned" and that they haven't built Internet play yet. It sounds like it is coming.

  • Steven Lewis

    And not Universal either! Sigh.

  • Nettik

    "Same-room multiplayer."
    Uhhh, do you mean... "local" multiplayer?

    • Tasos Lazarides

      Wanted to make sure people see that the multiplayer part is limited. They might ignore the word "local," so went with "same-room"

      • iosuser

        Game is way too limited, they should get ready for bad reviews!

  • http://www.gameanalytics.com Tom Kinniburgh

    I think the problem comes when people who buy a product expect one thing (to play exploding kittens) and get another (the ability to play the game on mobile). It's a tough shout from the dev perspective as not all games can have decent AI or feel good played on your own. A good example of a boardgame done well for single players is Small World. The AI is fair and decent.