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Tabletop Game / Exploding Kittens

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Exploding Kittens is a card game created by Matthew Inman (from The Oatmeal), Elan Lee, and Shane Small. Originating as a Kickstarter project and exceeding its goal in eight minutes, it went on to become the most backed project in Kickstarter history.

When beginning the game, players start with at an identical number of cards, including one Defuse card for each. All Exploding Kittens and remaining cards are then shuffled into a face-down deck. Players then take turns drawing cards from the deck until somebody draws an Exploding Kitten. Should this happen, they "explode" and lose the game (unless they can use a Defuse card). This continues until only one player remains, and is declared the winner.

There are numerous different cards that lessen players' chances of exploding. On a player's turn, they can play as many of the cards they have in their hand as they want (or none at all!), and then draw a card from the draw pile to end their turn. There are a variety of cards in the core deck, as well as many more in multiple expansion packs and additional full decks.

In April, 2022, Netflix announced that a video game and an adult animated series based on the game were in development. The early plot details indicate that the series will follow a war between the forces of Heaven and Hell. No, really. Tom Ellis and Lucy Liu lead the voice cast.

Exploding Kittens provides examples of (under construction):

    Gameplay Tropes 
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Cards with an identical basic function have a matching icon with its own distinct color.
  • Counterspell: Nope cards can cancel the effects of any card besides a Defuse card or any Kitten.
  • Expansion Pack: Three exist for the game: Imploding Kittens, Streaking Kittens, and Barking Kittens.
  • Extra Turn: Can be exploited as a harmful (if well-timed) Attack. An attacked player can stack their remaining turns onto those of another player with this. (A player can also use a Personal Attack card on themself to play this trope straight.) Also inverted with the ability to Skip a turn, ending it without drawing a card; and a Super Skip card, which skips all remaining turns.
  • Extrinsic Go-First Rule: Humorously, players can determine who goes first with whatever they want.
  • Kingmaker Scenario: Even if a player's chances of victory are diminished, they could still be capable of turning the tides of play for the others.
  • Official Game Variant: The RFD deck, encouraging players to choose the cards they want, comes with ten different official layouts or "recipes".
  • Out-of-Turn Interaction: Alter-the-Future NOW and Nope cards can be played outside the user's turn.
  • Single-Use Shield: The Defuse card can prevent an Exploding Kitten from exploding, but is discarded once it does so. A defused Exploding Kitten is then placed anywhere in the deck in secret.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: It is possible for players to use their cards and/or proper defused Kitten placement to immensely screw over another player of their choice. How strategically viable this is varies.

    Flavor Tropes 
  • Action Bomb: Why Exploding Kittens present a danger to players.
  • Autocannibalism: The Zombie Cat in the NSFW and RFD decks eats its own eyeball.
  • Cone of Shame: First released in the Imploding Kittens Expansion Pack alongside things like physical Reverse cards, this acts as a punishment for those who forget whose turn it currently is.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Heavily implied with a certain Exploding Kitten card that is exclusive to the Streaking Kittens pack and replaced in the RFD deck.
  • Mad Bomber: Exploding Kittens seem obsessed with blowing up anyone unfortunate enough to draw Exploding Kitten cards.
  • Pun: The Feral Cat functions as a wild card that can be used as any other cat card.