Exploding Kittens- Hand-to-Hand Wombat

Hand-to-Hand Wombat

Exploding Kittens brings us yet another original title where chaos reigns supreme with Hand-to-Hand Wombat!

What happens when you combine building with Exploding Kittens and blind folds or closed eyes? Well, you chaos, simple as that but more importantly you get one of the latest games from EK, Hand-to-Hand Wombat! By name it sounds like a fighting game. Based on the rules alone it’s not but any game with the wrong people can become one. Before playing this game I advise to look at how volatile your group can be. If it’s like my family there will at least be some yelling.

Players will either be blindfolded (if they can’t be trusted) or have their eyes closed. One player is designated the bad wombat. The good wombats will try to build three towers biggest to smallest and the bad wombat will try to screw the order up. At the end of each round players will vote on the identity of the bad wombat. Majority vote wins and just like in Among Us that player is removed from the game. This game is basically Among Us without the murder. Of course you may want to murder the bad wombat at times, comes with the territory.

Our entire family loves playing Among Us and we also love Hand-to-Hand Wombat. My only regret was not being able to participate in the Kickstarter when it was going on. The golden wombat pouch and timer would have been awesome.

Exploding Kittens- Happy Salmon

Happy Salmon

Exploding Kittens claims that Happy Salmon is a 90 second game that you will play for hours. Can the claim be true?

The 90 second game is a bold claim by Exploding Kittens. Claims like this are usually reserved for crazy speed runners in video games or liars. Are the folks at EK liars? Knowing my history with their games I was inclined to believe them but was still skeptical. How can a game of Happy Salmon really only take 90 seconds to play? How simple can this game be?

Let’s answer both of those questions. First, is it really does only take about 90 seconds to play. Second, the game is by far one of their easiest to learn. It’s so simple in fact that if you can read and yell then you can play this game. The only complaint I had about this game is that my kids used the Happy Salmon card as an excuse to slap my forearms harder than necessary. That card means you and whomever has your match slap each other’s arms a few times before discarding the cards. Switch It Up means you change seats with another player. High Five means you give another player a High Five and Fish Bump means you give each other fist bumps. In you hand of cards you are calling out specific cards until you find a match and perform the action. First player to run out of cards wins.

It doesn’t get much easier than that. Seriously. The game was easy to learn and a great time by the whole family.

Exploding Kittens- Zombie Kittens expansion

Zombie Kittens

Exploding Kittens has released a new expansion for their hit card game- Zombie Kittens and this time the Zombies are coming!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Exploding Kittens is one of my favorite games to play as a family. It has nothing to do with the fact I usually win. That helps, sure but not the main reason. Between fantastic art and cutthroat chaos we can’t get enough of this game. Zombie Kittens takes the classic format of killing each other and brings in the ability to bring players back from the dead. Normally if they can’t defuse the bomb that is the end of the game for them but now they have the chance to be resurrection as a zombie and can still terrorize the players.

The phrasing on the resurrection card could be better because as it is written sounds like it allows you to bring back all dead players. It can also be easily interpreted that it only brings back the player that is dying at that instant. Having carefully read the rules themselves though this is explained a bit better. You can use it to save yourself if you are dying BUT you automatically bring back one dead player with you. To really take advantage of this expansion you really need a group of at least four players. Playing with two players makes this effectively a defuse card but with some added features that are impacted by other new cards. This is similar to what the Imploding Kitten did for the game.

Adding new features and cards to an already great game helps keep it from getting stale. This version was a lot of fun but would absolutely be better with a larger group. Being able to save yourself continues to lengthen the game time but overall not significantly. If you are a fan of Exploding Kittens or looking for a new game to play with your group then this is a great choice for you!

Exploding Kittens- Mantis


Who here likes rainbows? Who likes revenge? Who likes both? With Mantis from Exploding Kittens you get BOTH!

One thing I love about games from Exploding Kittens is their originality. Some of the games may have borrowed some mechanics from others but as a whole they look and feel entirely original. Mantis is one such game that has seemed to borrowed a basic mechanic but made it their own overall. The mechanic I’m referring to is simply trading matching cards like in Go Fish. A very simple mechanic for sure but they still made it their own. Instead of collecting numbered cards you are collecting styles of mantis shrimp. What makes this game unique, aside from what is printed on the cards, is that instead of scoring points with your shrimp you can steal cards from the other players to try to make your tank earn you points.

Let’s talk about speed of play. Most titles make claims about how quick they are to play and Mantis is no different in that regard. However, it is very accurate at ten minutes. Our first game took closer to fifteen but that was more because we were learning the rules of the game. This game is really good at reminding you who may not want to play certain games with. Some members of the family are just too cutthroat. I’m looking right at both of my teenagers. I don’t understand why they always target me specifically. It’s like they coordinate these assaults together telepathically. Overall we had a great time but it simply does not hold a candle to the Exploding Kittens game itself.

Throw Throw Avocado is the next food fight craze

Throw Throw Avocado

Exploding Kittens brings us another food based fighting game. Throw Throw Avocado is both sequel and expansion to its predecessor Throw Throw Burrito.

Ever since I was a kid I wanted to take part in one of those epic food fights where the whole school is involved. Sadly this dream was never realized but Throw Throw Burrito and Throw Throw Avocado are the next best things. Even better is cleaning up after this food fight is much preferred to a real food fight.

Players take turns passing cards around the table, scrambling to find matches until matching duel cards are played and the throwing of avocados commences. There is an added variation this time around called Leg Duel where the players stand back to back, take three paces, turn and throw them through their opponent’s legs in order to score a point. What makes it even better is chucking this little avocados at your own kids, even with hard a throw these things are so soft that they make a satisfying hit without injuring them.

Combing this game with its predecessor makes for a longer experience that is pure chaos. This variation is the best way to play the game but not as suitable for younger players as the chaos can be overwhelming or they grow tired of the game before it is over.

Exploding Kittens brings us this latest gem to their library of game titles and I sincerely hope this isn’t the final installment in the Throw Throw franchise.

Exploding Minions – the first licensed version of Exploding Kittens

Exploding Minions

The team at Exploding Kittens have returned with a reskinning of their hit card game with Exploding Minions and it is a blast!

Exploding Minions follows the same overall ruleset of Exploding Kittens but with some minor variations, such as fewer character cards to match and a new clone type of card. Cloning a card essentially allows you to duplicate the effects of an existing card. Players take turns playing cards to try to make the others explode. If you draw the Exploding Minion and have a defuse you can place the minion back in the deck wherever you see fit and hope that your opponent doesn’t have one as well.

Meet my youngest daughter Emmy. She is a fan of card games and especially anything where I might lose. She is learning to read and only six years old at the time of writing. The game recommends players be seven or older due to needing some reading skills beyond her age group but comprehending the effects are well within her skillset. She was my opponent for our review game and was assisted by my wife whom read the cards for her and helped her understanding their effects.

Quickly she had the game down and only needed a reminding of which abilities belonged to which cards and we had our game. Playing two games we had the same outcome each time- she won. Keep in mind I was not letting her win. She is a skilled adversary and I look forward to our next games together.

This was the moment she realized she beat me!

Exploding Kittens bring us a new form of charades

Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens has created their own take on a gaming classic, Charades, with On A Scale Of One To T-Rex.

Any time Exploding Kittens releases a game we look forward to it. Consistently their titles are among our family’s favorites so when they shared this with us we were more than excited. With Charades players try to get others to guess what they are pretending to be. I have always been terrible at this as most of the connections I make to different people or things most people weren’t making. You also can’t use any words to give hints either. On A Scale Of One To T-Rex flips some of these rules on their head.

With this game it doesn’t matter who knows what you are trying to act out, what matters is how intensely you do it. If you and another player have the same intensity level then you get points. On top of that the players all do theirs at the same time. When doing this in a large group can make things pretty loud quickly. Being the father of three things tend to get loud but that is where the problem with this game was for us. Two of my children have sensory issues and the volume of the game became too much for them.

For a party game this can be quite fun, just need to make sure anyone with sensory issues aren’t around while you play, it can get a bit overwhelming for them.

Tacocat Spelled Backwards by Exploding Kittens

Tacocat spelled backwards

When it comes to family games if there is a cat we will usually play it and Tacocat Spelled Backwards is no exception.

The folks at Exploding Kittens shared another game with us to review and that was Tacocat Spelled Backwards. As this is technically sponsored content the agreement is only that we would review the game but that agreement does not guarantee a certain opinion. The below are our thoughts on the game and ours alone.

The mechanics of the game are quite simple, like most games from Exploding Kittens. Each round both players draw up to seven cards and play those cards until ultimately you have your lowest number left in your hand to end the round. Whomever has the lower card at this point wins the round. In between depending on how you want to play you will either play a high or equal card to play first next turn or play lower cards and give control to the other player. Now, there are more advanced rules and I played the game with my children so we did not explore those options at this time. Specifically I played with my thirteen year old son and my five year old daughter.

He’s looking mighty fabulous in his Exploding Kitten scarf!

For both children this game was a ton of fun but as my youngest doesn’t know her numbers very well it did slow the game a bit. After playing two games though she can now visually identify the numbers 1-12!

As can be expected the cards and other pieces for the game were adorable and/or quite funny, like the baby yelling “Doom” on a yam. Hella random but we found it funny as hell. Now despite the simplicity of the game we had a blast as a family and immediately after the four games we played my youngest was begging to teach it to my father in law, and she rarely enjoys games that aren’t aimed at her age group. If that’s not a deal of approval I don’t know what it. As for myself I found the game to be quite enjoyable and well worth the low price point of $14.99!

At one point a kitten (that did not explode) joined the game.

Barking Kittens ~ An Exploding Kittens Expansion

Barking Kittens

Exploding Kittens has a new expansion called Barking Kittens and we were able to not only play it but blowup members of our family as well!

We’ve talked about the Exploding Kittens brand before but this time we are talking about the latest expansions- Streaking Kittens and Barking Kittens for the Exploding Kittens card game.

Streaking Kittens

This $5 pack of carts adds one HUGE advantage- if you find the Streaking Kitten card you get to hide an Exploding Kitten in your hand without having to defuse it. The idea is to get someone to steal the worse of the two cards from your hand and inadvertently blow themselves up. In our game this would have worked quite well for my wife’s dad if the rest of us weren’t already aware he was drawing a kitten into his hand- no one stole cards from him again until he blew himself up.

Barking Kittens

There are several new additions here that make for some great combinations. My favorites were the Alter the Future and Personal Attack cards. Personal Attack cards force the next player to take three full actions on their next turn but doesn’t end your turn like other attacks do. Having multiples of these cards allow you to overload the next player with several actions and may just remove them from play. Alter the Future works similar to the See the Future cards in that you can see the next three cards in the deck but with this variation you get to change their order when you return them to the deck. This means if you know a kitten is coming up you get to control how soon they do.

There are several other new cards in both expansions and are worth learning how to use them all. Playing the game we loved the new cards and their changes to the core game and hated when someone else used them against us. Both expansions are essential for any fan of the game and a ton of fun to use.

A Game of Cat and Mouth by Exploding Kittens

A Game of Cat and Mouth

The Exploding Kittens have released another feline-centric game with A Game of Cat and Mouth.

In our house there is one species of pet that ranks higher than all others and that is the majestic feline. My son’s love for cats is so strong that if there is a cat on it or it is cat themed it is almost guaranteed to win him over. It’s no surprise that Exploding Kittens is one of his all time favorite games to play. When he learned that the team behind it were releasing another cat themed title he was more than excited. We received our copy of A Game of Cat and Mouth soon after he heard the news.

Cat and Mouth

Players rapidly use magnetic paws to launch balls through the eyes, nose or mouth holes in the divider between sides. The first player to get all white, all yellow or the single black ball on the opposing side wins. The launchers themselves make use of the most powerful magnets I’ve ever seen that didn’t have electricity amplifying their strength.

Getting the balls through the holes require a bit of skill but with a little practice and even a four year old can do well at the game. The entire family has a blast with this game. This game is so much fun it even draws the attention of one of our own cats.

Cat and Mouth