Unstable Unicorns vs Exploding Kittens: Which One Is Better?

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Trying to decide between Unstable Unicorns and Exploding Kittens? That’s understandable since they are both Kickstarter juggernauts, with strong followings.

Exploding Kittens raised nearly $9 million on Kickstarter and while Unstable Unicorns didn’t quite match that they did raise a “measly” (ha) $1.8 million.

Unstable Unicorns
Exploding Kittens
Preview
Unstable Unicorns Card Game - A strategic card game and party game for adults & teens
Exploding Kittens - Ridiculous Russian Roulette Card Game, Easy Family-Friendly Party Games - Card...
Player Count
2-8 Players
2-5 Players
Play Time
30-45 Minutes
15 Minutes
Age Group
14+
7+
Difficulty
Easy
Easy
Prime Benefits
Unstable Unicorns
Preview
Unstable Unicorns Card Game - A strategic card game and party game for adults & teens
Player Count
2-8 Players
Play Time
30-45 Minutes
Age Group
14+
Difficulty
Easy
Prime Benefits
Amazon Button
Exploding Kittens
Preview
Exploding Kittens - Ridiculous Russian Roulette Card Game, Easy Family-Friendly Party Games - Card...
Player Count
2-5 Players
Play Time
15 Minutes
Age Group
7+
Difficulty
Easy
Prime Benefits
Amazon Button

Both of these games have been successful but which one is going to be best for your group? We will break it down for you. This guide lists the clear pros and cons of each.

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How are Unstable Unicorns and Exploding Kittens Similar?

These games were targeting close to the same audience. Both were made for kids to play, although they both have more adult versions and expansions. They are also both party games, meant to be played with a close group of friends or family. Comedy is a central theme of the game and they both are good for a laugh.

Just to recap, here are the similarities:

  • Same target audience
  • Party card games
  • Have adult versions
  • Crowdfunded by Kickstarter
  • Comedy games

As for the gameplay, they both involve attacking everyone. There is also some aspect of hand management in both, so collecting and playing cards in certain sequences.

That pretty much sums up the similarities. These games play very differently, so let’s jump into that.

How is the gameplay different?

The main difference between these two games is the amount of strategy involved. Exploding Kittens requires almost no strategy, the foundation of the game is pushing your luck and seeing the outcome. This can go over fantastic for a lighter get together.

In contrast, Unstable Unicorns actually has some strategy involved. We are talking a very small amount of strategy though. Here’s a breakdown of the mechanics of each game:

Unstable Unicorns MechanicsExploding Kittens Mechanics
Hand Management
Set Collection
Attacking Other Players
Hand Management
Attacking Other Players
Push-Your-Luck
Player Elimination

The set collection mechanic is the small amount of strategy that I mentioned. Also, it’s good to be aware that Exploding Kittens has player elimination which normally would put a damper on the game. Kicking someone out of a game is never fun. However, these games are so short (15 minutes) that it works out really well.

Still not sure which gameplay works best for your group? Check out these how-to-play videos to get a better feel for each of the games:

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Replayability

Both of these games have a great amount of replayability! But every game eventually gets a little old. Luckily, both of these games also have a fair amount of expansion material to add to the game when it does.

With that said, you won’t want to play either of these games more than about 4 times in a row. This still falls in line with other games of the same type.

Expansions

The first expansion for Exploding Kittens is Imploding Kittens. It adds 20 new cards, 6 new action cards, and raises the max player limit to 6 players. With that comes a slight change in the way the game is played. Ultimately, it just adds more of the same push-your-luck fun to the original game.

Since then there have been several more expansions released for the game: Streaking Kittens, Barking Kittens, and Exploding Kittens NSFW. There is also a party pack that allows for up to 10 players to play, which is great for bigger get-togethers.

As for Unstable Unicorns: Rainbow Apocalypse expansion is the main one in the set. There is also an NSFW (adult) expansion that does a very good job at adding some adult humor without crossing the line.

Both of these games add a good amount of content after you get tired of the base sets or if you just want more cards to laugh at.

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Unstable Unicorns vs. Exploding Kittens: Conclusion

The best game to buy is going to be the one that works best for the group you plan to play with. Keeping that in mind, as we go over the Pros and Cons of each.

Unstable UnicornsExploding Kittens
Pro’s• Some Strategy
• Good Artwork
• Funny
• Easy to Learn
• Quick Games
Con’s• Less Refined Gameplay
• Some Gameplay Flaws
• Player Elimination

Unstable Unicorns is going to work best for a group that wants a little strategy in their game. It also works better for groups that enjoy playing a game multiple times. There is enough expansion material with this one to keep this game rolling for a long time with any group.

Exploding Kittens is a better game for environments when people don’t want to put much thought into the game and would rather just enjoy it. It definitely has a lot of great humor going for it which makes it a fantastic party game.

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