The chance to praise an enjoyable family card game also gives me an excuse to test the Medium and Amazon Associates plugins I’ve just set up. And what could be a better test than the joy of Exploding Kittens?
For those of you not familiar with famed web comic The Oatmeal, and creator Matthew Inman, I should probably explain what I’m talking about before you suspect me of animal cruelty. As my son did when I first queued to buy the game at Christmas.
I should point out that after a substantial pre-teen level sulk, he not only enjoyed playing the game but proclaimed it one of the best ever.
As you can tell, Exploding Kittens is a card game for people into kittens, explosions and a certain sense of humour. In that they possess one, in my personal opinion.
I’d say it took a little longer than two minutes to learn how to play. Mainly because I was the only one of three generations in my family to actually read the instructions and attempt to understand them. But no matter how much older relatives try to ignore the actual rules, preferring whatever they’ve made up in their head, you’ll have it pretty much nailed by the time you’ve played a game.
Like all the best games, Exploding Kittens is simple. You have a hand of cards. You play whatever cards you want. And then you take a card at the end of your turn, which may result in an exploding kitten taking you out of the game.
There’s also the chance to irritate other players by using cards to stop them doing what they intend, or by simply using the game to target them again and again.
Obviously I enjoyed both the irritation and being able to constantly target my father in every game we played.
The joy of Exploding Kittens was that it was incredibly simple to get started, the humour worked across a 60-year age gap, and it proved that children will enjoy ‘traditional’ entertainment as much as ‘digital’ fun as long as it’s good.
Compared the price, complexity and frustration of Star Wars Risk, which we also tried playing, I don’t think I’m overselling it as a joy to play.
Before you rush to buy a copy, I should make clear there’s a child-friendly standard version, and an adult sweary NSFW version, so make sure you get the right one. There’s also an expansion pack out now (Imploding Kittens), which I’m eager to try as it includes a wearable ‘cone of shame’ which is part of the game.
If all goes to plan, there should be a handy Amazon link below for the standard version.
It’s an affiliate link, which means you don’t pay more, but I potentially earn a small commission if you buy something. Which I can then put towards buying the expansion pack.
And it also means that the official Amazon Associates WordPress plugin is working properly, which is good news as it makes linking and managing that content much easier. I definitely recommend it so far, alongside Skimlinks.
It’ll also be interesting to see whether it works when the post is auto-cross posted to Medium.
Here goes, and let’s hope no kittens explode in the process…