Exploding Kittens

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Exploding Kittens
DesignersElan Lee and Shane Small
IllustratorsThe Oatmeal
PublishersThe Oatmeal
PublicationJuly 2015
GenresCard game
Setup time< 1 minutes
Playing time15 minutes

Exploding Kittens is a casual dedicated deck card game designed by Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal webcomic, Elan Lee and Shane Small, and first published by The Oatmeal in 2015. Beginning as a Kickstarter project seeking US$10,000 in crowdfunding, it exceeded its goal in eight minutes.[1]

On January 27, 2015, after seven days, it passed 103,000 backers, setting the record for the most backers in Kickstarter history. At completion on February 19, 2015, it had US$8,782,571 in pledges by 219,382 backers. The campaign ended as the fourth most-funded campaign on the crowdfunding site.[2]

The first play test of Exploding Kittens was recorded on YouTube by Smosh Games, who had the first deck.[3] Delivery to backers started in late July 2015; all backers received the game by September 2015.[4][5][6][7]


All cards are put into a deck, except for the Defuse and Exploding Kitten cards. The deck is shuffled and each player draws 4 cards and takes a Defuse card (but in the newer version with extension packs you each draw 7 cards and a defuse card). The Exploding Kitten cards are then shuffled back into the deck so that the number of Exploding Kitten cards in the deck is one less than the number of players. The remaining Defuse cards are then also put back in the deck. A turn order is decided upon any trivial condition.

Each player may then play as many cards from their hand as they like on their turn, or choose not to do so, before drawing a card. Players are not to tell any other player what cards are in their hand. Played cards are put into a discard pile.[citation needed]

If a player draws an Exploding Kitten card, they must show it immediately and they are out of the game, unless they have a Defuse card. The last player still in the game wins.[4]


As of 2015, Exploding Kittens stood as the third-biggest campaign ever mounted on Kickstarter.[8] It launched with an initial goal of US$10,000, but by the end of the first day, the campaign had raised $1,333,586 from nearly 35,000 backers. By Day 4, it had raised more than $3,500,000 from more than 91,000 backers.[9] Ultimately, it raised $8.7 million from 219,382 backers.[10][11]

On February 3, 2015, achievements were announced in lieu of stretch goals because the game designers did not want to delay production or distribution of the game to backers. As of February 16, 2015, 30 achievements had been unlocked and the second stretch goal (Unlock 20 Achievements) and third stretch goal (Unlock 30 Achievements) were completed. With the first stretch goal accomplished, the company expanded the NSFW deck to a full stand-alone game.[12] The second stretch goal gave all backers an upgraded storage box that holds two full decks of cards,[13] and the third and final stretch goal includes a Kickstarter-exclusive surprise in the box.[14]

Exploding Kittens began shipping to backers in late July 2015.

At the 2018 South by SouthWest festival, Exploding Kittens maintained a booth that displayed merchandise and had interactive components such as a large kitten vending machine.[15]


The creators released four expansion packs, most of which require a copy of Exploding Kittens to play.

In October 2016, the Imploding Kittens pack was released. It increased the top number of players from 5 to 6, and added 20 new cards.[16] It introduced the cards/mechanics of Alter the Future, Draw from the Bottom, and Reverse from the mobile game, and the new Imploding Kitten card/mechanic.

On July 30, 2017, the Exploding Kittens Party Pack went on sale exclusively at Target.[17] The party pack is an update to the original game that allows for up to 10 players. It removes the Attack card/mechanic and replaces it with the Slap mechanic from the mobile game. The mechanics introduced in the Imploding Kittens expansion are also included. The Exploding Kittens display at Target stores also contained a hidden shelf containing an update for the Cards Against Humanity game dubbed the Hidden Compartment Pack. This pack contains 5 cards of the new mechanic, Blind as a Bat, and 15 new white CAH cards.[18]

On October 9, 2018, the Streaking Kittens expansion pack was released. Its 15 new cards/mechanics included Mark, Swap Top and Bottom, Catomic Bomb, Curse of the Cat Butt, Garbage Collector, Super Skip, and the Streaking Kitten.[19][20]

The Barking Kittens expansion was released on June 5, 2020. Its 20 cards introduced Bury, Alter the Future Now, I'll Take That, Share the Future, Tower of Power, Personal Attack (3x), Potluck and Barking Kittens.[21]

Mobile versions[edit]

Microsoft's Zo chatbot offered a single-player version of Exploding Kittens.[22]

In January 2016, a multiplayer version of the game was released on the iOS platform with new content not found in the original game.[23] In April 2016, the mobile version was also released onto the Android platform, and allowed for cross-platform play between all mobile versions.[24][25] It was also available on Nintendo Switch.

The Attack and Nope cards from the original card game were not released in the mobile versions on iOS and Android.[citation needed]

A free-to-play mobile game "Exploding Kittens - The Game" was announced in April 2022. It was launched on May 31 by Netflix.[26][27] The game is available to its users at no additional cost and has no in-app purchases.[26]

TV series adaptation[edit]

In April 2022, an adult animated streaming television series was also announced by Netflix and will be co-produced by Bandera Entertainment and Chernin Entertainment, with King of the Hill creators Mike Judge and Greg Daniels serving as executive producers, alongside Peter Chernin.[26] Additional game mechanics and cards tied to the show will be added to the mobile game at a later date.[26]

The series had a first look preview at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on June 14, 2023.[28] A teaser trailer was released on November 11, 2023,[29] followed by a full trailer in May 2024.[30][31] Originally planned for a late 2023 release,[26] the premiere was postponed to July 12th, 2024.[30][32]


  1. ^ Kooser, Amanda. "But why blow up cats? Inman gives inside scoop on Exploding Kittens". CNET. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  2. ^ "Most Funded Kickstarter projects". Kickstarter. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  3. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: EXPLODING KITTENS IS HERE! (Game Bang). YouTube.
  4. ^ a b "Exploding Kittens by Elan Lee". Kickstarter. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  5. ^ Imam, Jareen (January 28, 2015). "'Exploding Kittens' most backed Kickstarter ever". CNN. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  6. ^ Vincent, James (January 28, 2015). "Exploding Kittens becomes the most backed Kickstarter project of all time". The Verge. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  7. ^ Bischof, Jackie (February 2, 2015). "A Card Game About Exploding Kittens Broke a Kickstarter Record". Newsweek. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  8. ^ Dredge, Stuart (February 23, 2015). "Exploding Kittens card game raises $8.8m on Kickstarter". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "Kicktraq:Exploding Kittens". Kicktraq. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  10. ^ "Exploding Kittens". Kickstarter. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  11. ^ "Kickstarter folk pay $8 MEELLION for joys of EXPLODING KITTENS". The Register. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  12. ^ "Unstoppable". kickstarter.com. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  13. ^ "We said "STRETCH" and you said "HOW FAR?"". kickstarter.com. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  14. ^ "YOU DID IT! LET'S PARTY!". kickstarter.com. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  15. ^ Harrison, Will (March 17, 2018). "Five things we loved at SXSW Gaming 2018". Austin American Statesman. Archived from the original on March 28, 2018. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  16. ^ "Imploding Kittens Game Rules". Ultra Board Games. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  17. ^ Formichelli, Linda (July 28, 2017). "Target Unleashes Over 50 New Exclusive Games For The 2017 Holiday Season". Forbes. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  18. ^ "Secret shelf". Imgur. July 28, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  19. ^ @gameofkittens (July 16, 2018). "Happy #PrimeDay2018The latest expansion of Exploding Kittens is now available for preorder. 15 game-changing card…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  20. ^ "STREAKING KITTENS: Expansion".
  21. ^ "BARKING KITTENS: Expansion".
  22. ^ "Microsoft's Zo bot wants to play Exploding Kittens with you". September 13, 2017.
  23. ^ "The Oatmeal's wacky Exploding Kittens debuts on mobile with iOS game". VentureBeat. January 21, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  24. ^ "'Exploding Kittens' is now on Android". Engadget. April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  25. ^ "'Exploding Kittens' Now Available On Android: New Cats, Hilarity And More". Tech Times. April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  26. ^ a b c d e "'Exploding Kittens' Animated Series, Mobile Game Coming to Netflix". The Hollywood Reporter. April 18, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  27. ^ "All the New Mobile Games Coming to Netflix in May". Netflix Media Center (Press release). May 24, 2022.
  28. ^ Taylor, Drew (April 24, 2023). "Netflix to Debut Official First Looks at 'Nimona,' 'Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget' at This Year's Annecy". TheWrap. Retrieved April 24, 2023.
  29. ^ Inman, Matthew (November 11, 2023). "Exploding Kittens: Official Teaser Trailer". YouTube. Retrieved November 11, 2023.
  30. ^ a b Carr, Mary Kate (May 9, 2024). "Netflix's Exploding Kittens trailer is about as random as you'd expect". AV Club. Retrieved May 9, 2024.
  31. ^ Netflix (May 9, 2024). "Exploding Kittens - Official Trailer". YouTube. Retrieved May 9, 2024.
  32. ^ Reul, Kate (November 11, 2023). "Exploding Kittens Teaser Unveils Tom Ellis as God in Cat Form". IGN. Retrieved November 11, 2023.

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