Kittens. Explosions. The Pope.

Taking a look at Exploding Kittens, the wildly popular card game that made kickstarter history, that is also available as an app on Android and iOS. App-wise, I've only played the iOS version on my iPhone.

If you've loved the tabletop game, you are in for a real treat with the online version.

For those who have been living in a cave lately, here's a summary from the accurate spin copy on the Exploding Kittens home page: "It is a highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette. Players draw cards until someone draws an Exploding Kitten, at which point they explode, they are dead, and they are out of the game — unless that player has a Defuse card, which can defuse the kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kittens."

This app is an instant winner. It's streamlined and simple, has everything it needs and nothing it doesn't. Game startup is quick. You can create or a join a game with your friends / known associates or you can play with random strangers, and really, who doesn't enjoy that?

In-app purchases included additional cards with enhanced abilities and the option to change your avatar to something less blobular and more recognizably Oatmeal-ish.

The tabletop game comes with optional NSFW flavor cards that are missing from the app. I am hoping for this version to come to an app as those cards are muy gracioso.

Abrupt disconnects are common. I guess people get bored or it's dinner time or the Hulk plunges into your house after having been dropped from a helicarrier and smashes your iPad or (more likely) you find yourself in an untenable position in the game and about to asplode.  Just part of gaming online I suppose. If it's not going your way you can dump the game and start another. Understandable: after you've blown up a couple times the shine is off that apple.  This game feeds impatience... turns are timed and it marches along smartly to a pressure gauge showing you the growing "chance of kitten" leading to someone's inevitable fiery feline doom. It's the perfect scratch to the attention challenged itch for novelty felt by all screen-obsessed monkeys (that's you and me, amigo).

Since I'm not OG (I'm OWG: Old White Guy) I took the question to mah peeps for the funky fresh 411 (see, even my street lingo is dated and horrible) on how the app is being received. Anecdotal. Not a scientific sample. One neighborhood kid, to be perfectly honest; I asked my friend Sinéad's 11 year old daughter Alanna what she thinks of the game. 

She says "I love Exploding Kittens because of the fun Russian roulette themed game set up. I love the artwork for the cards and the suspense is unbearable and the game is all around funny. My favorite card is the NopeStradamus one :ALL SIGNS POINT TO NOPE! (note: only in the tabletop card game, not in the app) Also it brings out the 'love' between all.  I would rate it like I do Doctor Who on Netflix : FIVE STARS. It brings out the most quiet people's inner competitive side. I love it but I wish it was free on phone" and she adds: "Alanna rules.

I concur.  Alanna shows no mercy when it comes to blowing your ass up.

My favorite card, and hers as mentioned above, the NOPE card, is missing from the app. In the tabletop game it empowers you to stop any action of another player except a kitten exploding or a defuse, even if it's not your turn. I do hope it can be included in a future version. It's lovely to drop that NOPE on someone who's getting high and mighty.

 The "Nope" card in the adult version, becomes "The Pope of Nope." 

The app differs from the tabletop also by using the order of play as a tactic. You can change the order of play with reversal cards and slap cards that force another player to take turns immediately. This bring extra hilarity to the game when players get annoyed and start throwing slaps around. It can go on for a bit. It is gratifying and entertaining to watch a literal slap fight while you spectate from the comfort of your defuse-heavy hand.

Alanna's Mom, Sinéad, prefers the tabletop game as she finds the app too impersonal. The fun for her is in bringing the pain to people sitting at her kitchen table, you know, so she can see that look on your face as you go down in a kitten-y conflagration.  You don't want to mess with the Irish.

Exploding Kittens on the App Store

Exploding Kittens on Google Play

Exploding Kittens