Best Card Games Like Exploding Kittens In 2023

Exploding Kittens is one of the most beloved card games in recent memory. It isn’t the most complicated game, as it’s simply about avoiding certain cards. Yet, it still manages to be very entertaining; along with the hilarious art. As a result, the game became quite popular, with a lot of other card games taking inspiration from it.


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These games are like Exploding Kittens in various different ways. Most either have similar art style and presentation or have a few similar gameplay mechanics. The best ones even rival Exploding Kittens in overall quality. So, if you’re looking for comparable card games, check these out.

Updated on December 25, 2023, by Vaspaan Dastoor: Exploding Kittens is a very popular game, mostly because of its cute and funny art, as well as its relatively simple gameplay. We’ve updated this list to add a few more tabletop games that follow a similar philosophy, but without blowing up any kittens.

Sushi Go Party! board game box

Sushi Go Party!

For those who aren’t cat people.

$20 $22 Save $2

If you’re not much of a cat person, maybe you can swap them out for some adorable looking sushi. Sushi Go Party! allows for more players than the base version, making sure everyone can play and make the best menu they can. The card drafting formula is relatively simple too.

Pros

  • Adorable artwork.
  • Great for sushi night.
  • Will get you hungry.

Sushi Go Party!’s card drafting gameplay is pretty simple. The aim is to create the best menu, based on how your cards work with each other. Creating combos and pairs will work in your favour and make your menu more powerful.

7 Wonders Board Game

7 Wonders Board Game

Wondrous indeed!

7 Wonders is a bit more serious when it comes to card drafting. Each player picks an ancient city to govern, and must draft cards that will help their city become prosperous. However, if someone else’s city is getting a bit too prosperous, you can always flex your military might.

Pros

  • Great for history buffs.
  • Tactical gameplay.
  • Features a 2-player version as well.

7 Wonders takes the card drafting formula of Exploding Kittens, but adds a layer of history and strategy on top of it. It’s a great game for anyone who loves history and strategy. Sure, it’s not as cute as some of the other games on the list, but neither is history.

Happy Little Dinosaurs

TeeTurtle Happy Little Dinosaurs Board Game

Best Player Elimination Card Game

Dinosaurs have a lot of problems

Happy Little Dinosaurs is all about avoiding the many problems life throws at the average person or dinosaur. Each round has a new disaster that one player will be forced to pick up. Get too many of them and you’re out of the game. So, you want to stay away from them and make your way to the end of the board.

Pros

  • Adorable art style
  • Many of the cards are funny
  • Easy-to-understand rules
Cons

  • Isn’t as good with only two players

Two of the best things about Exploding Kittens is the cute art style and the player elimination aspect. You will find both of these elements in Happy Little Dinosaurs. However, it isn’t exploding felines you have to watch out for in this one; there is a litany of different disasters. Three of them will remove you from the game and eliminate your chance of getting to the end of your board.

Avoiding disasters is partially down to chance, but there is some strategy involved too. Things like your chosen dinosaur and certain cards can alter the overall experience. So, there is more depth to the game than it may initially seem. The fact the cards are also funny and adorable is another selling point.

Hanabi

Hanabi

Best Cooperative Card Game

Light up the sky!

In Hanabi, your objective is to put on an exceptional firework show. You do this by quickly putting groups of cards together in the correct order. Unfortunately, you can’t see the cards you’re holding. Therefore, you must rely on your teammates’ clues to play the right ones.

Pros

  • Unique concept
  • Time pressure adds tension
Cons

  • Hard to remember your teammate’s hints

Hanabi is similar to Exploding Kittens because both games require you to manage your hand and, more importantly, remember things. The biggest difference, though, is that Hanabi is a cooperative game. And it’s very different from the average co-op board game or card game.

For starters, you can’t even look at your own cards, which is a fresh concept. As a result, plenty of emphasis is put on teamwork and communication. You have to rely on other player’s hints to know what cards to play to get the same colored ones in the correct order. It’s such a clever and creative idea for a team game.

Throw Throw Burrito

Throw Throw Burrito

Best Simultaneous Play Card Game

Burrito fight!

From the creators of Exploding Kittens comes Throw Throw Burrito. The objective of this game is to collect matching sets of cards. Yet, in the process, you sometimes have to participate in and win games of burrito-based dodgeball. It’s outlandish and fun.

Pros

  • Fast-paced
  • Unique concept
  • Contains the cutest burritos you will ever see
Cons

  • You need ample room for the burrito fights

Exploding Kittens is a fairly fast-paced game, but it can’t match the speed of Throw Throw Burrito. The main reason for this is the fact it’s a simultaneous play game, meaning players don’t need to take turns. They can all grab and discard cards at the same time.

The goal is to acquire as many matching sets as possible before the round ends. The burrito aspect of the game is what makes it stand out among the average title. Certain cards initiate some burrito-based dodge ball fun, where players attempt to throw stuffed burritos at one another. It can get a little chaotic, but it adds to what is already a fun and unique game.

Love Letter card game

Love Letter

Best Round-Based Card Game

Woo the princess

The goal of Love Letter is to gain the affection of the princess. Do you do this by charming her, giving her gifts, or writing her sonnets? No. You do it by eliminating the competition, leaving you as her only option. So, it isn’t incredibly romantic, but the concept makes for an entertaining card game.

Pros

  • Simple to understand
  • Card abilities are all very distinct
  • Involves a surprising amount of strategy
Cons

  • Doesn’t work well with only two players

Many games involve romance, but most of them aren’t about tricking and eliminating other suitors. But that is just part of Love Letter’s distinct charm. Each round, you’re encouraged to get rid of your competition using your abilities or by having the highest-numbered card. Either way, as long as you’re the last person left, you get a token of affection. Acquire enough of them, and you win the game.

It’s very easy to get the hang of it, especially as there is only a limited number of cards, and you only hold one at a time. However, thankfully, there is still plenty of strategy in the game. In fact, it’s a good blend of simplicity and strategy, just like Exploding Kittens.

Unstable Unicorns card game box

Unstable Unicorns Card Game

Best Deck Building Card Game

Build your unicorn army

A game about collecting unicorns sounds very wholesome. Yet, Unstable Unicorns is also about stopping other people from getting them, which makes for a less wholesome but more competitive and exciting experience. The only way to help yourself or hinder your opposition is by drawing cards. The first player to draw enough unicorns and place them in their stable wins the game.

Pros

  • The unicorns are cute and funny
  • Cards contain a range of actions that severely impact the game
Cons

  • Luck plays a significant part in winning

Those who like the comical and colorful cards in Exploding Kittens will appreciate the cards they pick up in Unstable Unicorns, as they’re of a similar style. But, while you’re trying to avoid the titular animal in Exploding Kittens, you want to find the starring animals of Unstable Unicorns. This is because the whole goal of the game is to build a collection of the creatures.

The general gameplay is really simple, as you just pick up cards from the deck. But the addition of actions and abilities on some of the cards mixes things up and adds a bit of tactical thinking into what is largely a luck-based game. The result is a light-hearted and humorous set collection game that is very fun to play.

Coup

Coup

Best Social Deduction Card Game

Lying is not only acceptable in this game, it’s encouraged

The political world can be complicated. In Coup, however, it’s fairly straightforward. You just have to bluff your opposition and get them all killed. After all, the one objective in this game is to survive while everyone else falls. This is certainly not a morality contest.

Pros

  • Varied character cards
  • Very strategic
  • Easy to understand

In Coup, each player is given two character cards that they place face down on the table. They essentially serve as lives, as when you lose them both, you’re out. There are various ways to lose them, such as through coups or assassinations that players have to pay for. You can also lose a card by getting caught in a lie or by calling someone a liar when they’re actually telling the truth.

This is because bluffing is a huge part of the overall experience. You’re encouraged to deceive other players, primarily to gain coins and take them out. It’s risky because you can lose lives quickly if people see through your bluffs. But it’s also the most effective way to win the game. This risk-and-reward element is what makes the game so amazing. It does make it a bit of a departure from Exploding Kittens, but Coup provides the same level of tension and desperation to survive as that game.


FAQ

What type of card game is Exploding Kittens?

Exploding Kittens blends various types of games together, including player elimination, hot potato, and take that games. The best way to describe it, though, is by saying it’s like a feline version of Russian Roulette.

Is Exploding Kittens a strategic game?

While it isn’t the most strategic game on the market, there is certainly some level of strategy involved. So, for a game to be like it, it also has to contain an element of strategy.

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