I had the pleasure of picking up Imploding Kittens, the highly-anticipated expansion to the smash hit Exploding Kittens, at Gen Con this year. Want to know how it adds to an already great game? Read on!
First, let’s talk about what is included in the package. At first glance, I was confused why a 20-card expansion is in such a large box. The reason … a human-sized cone of shame is included in the box as well! This cone of shame is a fun (goofy) way to keep track of the turn direction (because it can change – more on that below). When setting up a game of Exploding Kittens, and you want to include the new cards, you simply trade one Exploding Kitten card for the Imploding Kitten in the expansion. Then you deal six cards to each player and give each a defuse card, as normal. So each player will begin the game with seven cards (since you’re playing with more cards than before). Let’s take a look at what the new cards do.
Let’s break down the cards included in then box. Each new card adds new actions to the game. We’ll begin with the main new card – the imploding kitten itself.
The imploding kitten cannot be defused. This makes it an extremely dangerous card to draw. The first time the card is drawn, it is simply placed back in the deck – without using a defuse card. The difference is that it now goes back in the deck face up. When the card is drawn face up, that player is eliminated. Again, the card cannot be defused in any way. This makes cards such as Attack, Skip, and Shuffle all the more valuable than they were before. There are also some new cards in the set to help you avoid this dangerous kitten.
Alter The Future cards are similar to the base game’s See The Future card, except they allow you to place the top three cards back on top of the deck in any order (in stead of in the same order). So, not only can you see what’s coming, you can actually attempt to alter who draws what card.
Targeted Attack cards act just like the Attack cards in the base game, causing an opponent to draw two cards from the deck to end their turn. The difference here is that you can choose any opponent. It does not automatically target the next player to go.
What other options are available to keep you from drawing the ever-destructive imploding kitten? Well, if the game-ending card is on the top of the deck and it is your turn to draw, you can play one of the new Draw From The Bottom cards. These cards allow you to end your turn by drawing a card from the bottom of the deck, instead of the top. These cards can be very effective in avoiding elimination from the game.
You also have the ability to play a Reverse card. This card will reverse the direction of play (and the done of shame on whoever is wearing it). It also ends your turn without drawing a card.
The Feral Cat card
The last type of card that is added to the game is the Feral Cat. The Feral Cat is another cat card with no instructions (similar to the Tacocat, Hairy Potato Cat, and Cattermelon cards). The Feral Cat, however, acts as a wild card, and is played with any other non-instruction card to create a pair (or trio, if you already have a pair).
The Verdict: is it any good?
In a word, ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY!!! If you enjoy the original base game, then you should definitely pick up this expansion. It adds some new actions – and, hence, new strategy – to an already fun game. And, like the original, if you do not include the NSFW deck, it is completely appropriate to play with young children. My daughters (13 and 10) absolutely love this game. The expansion will be available in October, and you can pre-order it now through Amazon. For $10, it’s a great addition to your gaming library.