We had to finish Rise of the Runelords Adventure Deck 3 to clear some room on the gaming (diner) table to play Exploding Kittens and
play EXPLODE we did.
You start with a hand of five cards, four random and one diffuse. On your turn you may play as many cards as you like, following the instructions on each card in order. The only thing other players may do is stare, suffer the effects, or play a NOPE card, which cancels the last card played-unless that card was a DIFFUSE or EXPLODING Kitten. At the end of your turn you draw one card. If you draw an EXPLODING KITTEN, you have two options: EXPLODE (out of the game) or play a diffuse. If you play a diffuse, you get to put the EXPLODING KITTEN anywhere you like in the draw deck. Yes, even on top (its how I won).
That is it.
Of course there is more, but those are in the cards. In addition to the EXPLODING KITTEN, diffuse, and NOPE cards there are skip, favor, matching, see the future, and shuffle cards. Most of these are self-explanatory, i.e. shuffle allows you to shuffle the draw deck, great if you know the top card is an EXPLODING KITTEN. How do you know that? You used a see the future card.
Matching cards are the odd duck and some of the funniest cards to see. To play a matching card you must have at least two. When played as a pair, triple, or quad, you get to take a card from another player. This didn’t seem like that big of a deal when reading the rules, but in play is very useful for screwing over other players. Such as when I took our boy’s only diffuse. Then I drew an EXPLODING KITTEN, played his diffuse, and put the EXPLODING KITTEN on top of the draw deck for him to draw. I am a winner. 🙂
EXPLODING KITTENS is a fast game; everyone played as many cards as they could (opening hands usually gone in first or second turn), and while drawing (or stealing) new cards, hoped they did not draw an EXPLODING KITTEN. As we familiarized ourselves with the game, EXPLODING KITTENS sped up and became more vicious. Instead of using see the future to protect ourselves, we were using see the future to try and set up other players. Which lead to some interesting card combos and some interesting play.
There are two versions of the game, the safe for kids and the NSFW edition which has some cards that you will have to explain to your children, but adults will find hilarious.