Review of Imploding Kittens

Posted: August 15, 2016 in Board Games, Gen Con 2016, Reviews
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At game night on Friday I got to try out Imploding Kittens, the first expansion to the wildly popular game Exploding Kittens. Kittens exploded and imploded, the future was changed, and I wore the cone of shame–basically everything you need for a fun Friday night!

 

If you’re not familiar with the game Exploding Kittens, take a moment to go read my review on Exploding Kittens. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here when you get back. I promise not to start the review without you. Okay, now that we’re all on the same page I can begin.

Imploding Kittens was available for pre-order in July and is scheduled to ship in October, but one of the friends I went to Gen Con with managed to pick up a pre-release copy at the convention. As Imploding Kittens is an expansion, it takes the core mechanics of the base game and adds new twists to them to bring more strategy to the game. The eponymous new twist that this expansion brings is the Imploding Kitten card; this card replaces one of the Exploding Kittens in the deck and when it’s initially drawn it doesn’t kill off that player straight away. The Imploding Kitten doesn’t need to be defused and is reinserted into the deck face up, which means that everyone can see when it’s going to be drawn. The Imploding Kitten can’t be defused like an Exploding Kitten, so it needs to be dodged by other means.

This brings us to the other new twists Imploding Kittens brings to the table; the expansion includes five new card types which bring new ways to defend yourself and attack the other players. Targeted Attacks work like the Attack cards in the core game, but they allow you to pick the recipient of your wrath instead merely targeting the next player. Alter the Future cards allow to not only see what is coming up, but to also stack the top three cards to avoid getting hit with a deadly kitten. Reverse cards change the direction of play and skip your card draw (they also trigger the cone of shame when someone forgets which direction the game is going in now). If you know that there is some kind of cat of doom heading your way at the top of the deck, you can now use the new Draw From the Bottom cards to do just that. Last but not least is the “adorable” Feral Cat card–this card can be used as a wild card to create pairs with the other cat cards to steal cards from other players.

 

I must say that I really, really enjoy this expansion to Exploding Kittens. After a few plays of the core game, it becomes apparent that the original cards only allow for so much strategy and that it’s quite easy to get into a situation where there are no strategic moves for you to make and you lose by simple bad luck. The 20 cards in Imploding Kittens add in a surprising amount of strategy to the game. By allowing a few more ways to dodge the exploding or imploding cards, it increases that amount of planning and strategy that can happen within the game and makes the game a lot more fun. This expansion maintains the silly, fun feel of the core game while adding some depth that was missing in the original release. Imploding Kittens manages to do what many expansions fail to do–it enhances the base game without feeling like it’s tacking on arbitrary new “expansion rules.”

As this is an expansion to Exploding Kittens that keeps the feel of the original while enhancing the strategy I still give it a 4 out of 5 stars, but as an expansion doing what an expansion should do I give Imploding Kittens 5 out of 5 stars.

I’m eagerly anticipating the arrival of my copy of Imploding Kittens; after playing Exploding Kittens with this expansion I can say that I don’t want to go back to playing this game without the expansion. If you were part of horde of people who picked up Exploding Kittens, do yourself a favor and pick up this expansion when you can–it really enhances an already fun game.

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