Exploding Kittens game blows up on Kickstarter

A new card game involving ticking kitten time bombs goes bonkers on Kickstarter as The Oatmeal fans and other backers clamor to fund its existence.

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

The Web comic The Oatmeal launched its creator Matthew Inman into the limelight, leading to multiple books and aiding in the creation of a Nikola Tesla museum. Now all that Internet love is rubbing off onto a Kickstarter card-game project called Exploding Kittens. Inman is one of the creators, along with game designer Elan Lee and Xbox Entertainment Studios art director Shane Small.

Exploding Kittens cards
Beware of exploding kittens. Exploding Kittens

The promo video promises all sorts of incredible things, like kittens, goats, magical enchiladas and weaponized back hair. How could anyone resist? The freshly launched project reached its $10,000 funding goal in just 20 minutes and is now up over $800,000 in pledges with 30 days left to go. The pledge total is rising rapidly.

The game is basically a card version of Russian Roulette. It's illustrated in The Oatmeal's enthusiastically weird style. You draw cards until some unlucky participant pulls an exploding-kitten card. That person is out of the game, unless he or she happens to have a special card that can be used to defuse the kitten. Those cards including defusing by means of a laser pointer, catnip sandwiches or kitten therapy sessions.

More complexity enters into the equation thanks to cards that grant special powers or that can be used to attack other players, get a peek into the deck or skip your turn. This adds an interesting strategy element, so it's not all about the bad luck of drawing an exploding kitten.

A copy of the game suitable for ages 7 and up is going for $20 (about £13, AU$24). A copy of the game along with an extra set of not-safe-for-work-or-kids cards is going for $35 (about £23, AU$43). So far, the NSFW deck is handily outselling the regular deck.

Exploding Kittens cards
These cards can defuse an exploding kitten. Exploding Kittens