But why blow up cats? Inman gives inside scoop on Exploding Kittens

Careless kittens, cards, Kickstarter and The Oatmeal combined to bust crowdfunding records. CNET chats with Matthew Inman, and it's not all SFW.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

Watch this: Exploding Kittens rake in millions on Kickstarter

Kaboom! That sound you heard rollicking around the Internet was Kickstarter project Exploding Kittens blowing away its humble $10,000 funding goal to the tune of more than $4 million in pledges. A card game full of dangerously naughty felines has inspired a considerable amount of crowdfunding fervor. The original goal was met in only 20 minutes. It reached 1,000 percent funding within an hour. Now, it's setting new records.

Exploding Kittens is a card game with an online geek-hero celebrity attached in the form of The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman. His bug-eyed, enthusiastic art style is the basis for the card designs. CNET pressed him for the inside story -- see the video above -- and for more exclusive footage, see CNET's Snapchat.

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The game itself works a bit like Russian Roulette, with players drawing cards and trying to avoid getting bumped out of the game by accidentally triggering an exploding kitten. It has tragedy, drama, strategy and weaponized back hair. No wonder it's so popular.

The card game is available in a regular deck suitable for players ages 7 and up, but the more popular pledge choice (backed by about 90,000 more people) is the not-safe-for-work deck featuring raunchy cards that aren't meant for young 'uns.

The project's popularity has already triggered a stretch goal of a larger NSFW deck. For more about the racier aspects of the game, see the video below.

Watch this: Exploding Kittens: NSFW edition

Exploding Kittens currently sits as the eighth- most-funded Kickstarter project in history and it still has 23 days left to run, so chances are good it will continue to move up the charts.

Watch out, ""="" shortcode="link" asset-type="article" uuid="17c6d30b-f918-493a-80d0-67ee6b7e16ad" slug="reading-rainbow-brings-in-5m-eclipses-record-for-most-kickstarter-backers" link-text="" section="news" title="'Reading Rainbow' brings in $5M, eclipses Kickstarter record for most backers" edition="us" data-key="link_bulk_key" api="{"id":"17c6d30b-f918-493a-80d0-67ee6b7e16ad","slug":"reading-rainbow-brings-in-5m-eclipses-record-for-most-kickstarter-backers","contentType":null,"edition":"us","topic":{"slug":"online"},"metaData":{"typeTitle":null,"hubTopicPathString":"Tech^Services and Software^Online","reviewType":null},"section":"news"}"> the kittens are hot on your crowdfunding tail. "Reading Rainbow" set a record in 2014 for most backers, finishing with 105,857, but Exploding Kittens has almost beaten that already and the pledges are still frisking in.

Inman is still busy creating artwork for the cards, but backers can look forward to catnip sandwiches, a bear-o-dactyl, a clairvoyant pig-a-corn (part-pig, part-unicorn) and a nuclear missile-launching kitten. Good times will no doubt be had by all.

Exploding Kittens thank-you art
Matthew Inman created this monster cat to thank the Kickstarter backers. Exploding Kittens/Matthew Inman