Title: Exploding Minions
Designed By: Matthew Inman and Elan Lee
Art by: Matthew Inman
Published By: Exploding Kittens
Player Count: 2-5
Time to Play: 15 Minutes
What's better than cats that explode? Pudgy Cat would say "Anything! Cats should never explode!" Well good news for her, our friends at Exploding Kittens have decided to stop making cats go boom and instead have partnered with our favorite little yellow troublemakers.....the Minions!
Exploding Minions is the exciting spin-off of Exploding Kittens featuring all of your favorite minions from Despicable Me. Fans of the original, will find the game-play for this hand management, take-that game very familiar with a few new twists.
How to Play:
The aim of Exploding Minions is simple, be the last person to not explode.
To get started, remove cards based on your player count, some have symbols, some do not, use the correct set of cards (or both) depending on how many people are playing. Give one diffuse card from the deck in play to each player. Shuffle the deck (including any leftover diffuses) and deal each player seven cards. They will now have 8 cards total (7+the one starting diffuse). Then insert exploding minions into the deck equal to the number of players minus one. For if you had four players, you would have three exploding minions in the deck. Return any remaining exploding minions to the box; they will not be used in this game. Shuffle the deck and place it within reach of all players. Select a random starting player and you are ready to begin!
Players take turns going in clockwise order until there is one player remaining; that person is the winner! On a player's turn, they can play as many cards as they wish, including zero. If a player does choose to play a card, they add it to the top of the discard pile must fully resolve it before playing any additional cards they wish to play this turn. When they are done, they end their turn by drawing a card from the deck. If it is not an exploding minion, their turn is over and the next player goes. If it is an exploding minion, they must diffuse it or they are out! If a player is able to diffuse an exploding minion, they then get to place that minion anywhere in the draw deck that they would like. Then, the next player goes. Once a player is eliminated there is no way for them to get back in the game. The game continues with the remaining players. When they are done, they end their turn by drawing a card from the deck. If it is not an exploding minion, their turn is over and the next player goes. If it is an exploding minion, they must diffuse it or they are out! If a player is able to diffuse an exploding minion, they then get to place that minion anywhere in the draw deck that they would like. Then, the next player goes. Once a player is eliminated there is no way for them to get back in the game. The game continues with the remaining players.
Be the last unexploded minion and you get all the bananas. Just kidding. You win the game.
What's purr-ty cool:
Exploding Minions is a chaotic good time. We are fans of the original Exploding Kittens game and have always loved the minions, so it was a lot of fun to see the merger of these two together. Thematically, the minions fit perfectly into this game and it is really easy to imagine them exploding after all of their shenanigans.
Exploding Minions is perfect for game groups that like take-that games, as the entire game involves around trying to get others to draw the exploding minions. Lots of cards let you come after fellow players.
The different card actions themselves are a blast, and the card art and flavor text are hysterical. We tried to feature some of our favorite cards in the review, but there were so many good ones.
We particularly like the new card action, called Clone. This allows the player to copy the card that would be beneath it in the discard pile. This includes diffuses so it has a lot of useful purposes. As with Exploding Kittens, we also love the Nope cards. Nope cards, allow players to block actions and can be played at any time regardless of who's turn it is. They are a good way to keep players engaged while waiting for their own turn to come around again. And yes, you can indeed nope a nope.
Exploding Minions is quick to play, easy to teach, and has a good balance of strategy and luck. As players can ever only draw one card at a time at the end of their turn, hand management becomes important. Player's can have an unlimited amount of cards in their hand, so sometimes when the risk is low for exploding (like early in the game), players may choose to play no cards and work on maximizing their hand size and options for the future.
For fans of the IP, Exploding Minions is a must-have. As the holiday season approaches, Exploding Minions would make a great gift for a minion lover in your life, or an awesome choice to play with non-gamer family members.
One last thing we just want to comment on is the awesomeness that is the box cover. It is one of those images that change as you look at it. Challenging to photograph, but oh so cool to see in real life!
The cat's meow:
"They finally stopped making cats explode. Thank goodness. Their last game was the stuff of my nightmares. This one is much better for cat around the globe!" - Pudgy Cat
Disclosure: Pudgy Cat Games was provided a copy of this game in exchange for a review, however, this review reflects the honest thoughts of the author.