Just when you think the makers of Exploding Kittens have used up all their crazy, cat-based ideas between the original game and the first expansion, Imploding Kittens, you find out you’re wrong. Following on from the incredible Kickstarter success of the original game, and the enthusiastic reception of Imploding kittens with its cone of shame, comes the newest expansion, Streaking Kittens.
Like the first expansion, this pack offers more strategic options to the gameplay. But is it a must-buy, a nice-to-have or a waste of money? Read on to find out.
What is Streaking Kittens?
Streaking Kittens is the second expansion pack to the core game, Exploding Kittens. You do need to have the core game (or the NSFW version) to use the expansion, but you don’t have to have the first expansion, Imploding Kittens. For maximum chaos, you can combine the core game with both Imploding and Streaking expansion packs. This expansion does not work with the party pack.
The new expansion pack is cheaper than the first. That’s partly because there are fewer cards; only 15 in this pack compared to 20 in the Imploding pack. The Imploding Kittens expansion also included the ‘Cone of Shame’ and so needed more packaging, adding to the cost.
There are nine new card designs, and the pack includes an extra Exploding Kitten card which is needed when you have the maximum number of players. As with Imploding Kittens, the new cards are either enhanced versions of previous cards or add new mechanics to the game. The new cards are:
Streaking Kitten There’s just one of these cards in the deck. You should think of this as a containment field for an Exploding Kitten. If you have this card and you draw an Exploding Kitten from the deck, you can hold it in your hand. Streaking Kittens don’t have any effect on Imploding Kittens, though.
See the Future x 5 A powered up version of the original card, this lets you take a look at the next five cards in the draw pile.
Alter the Future x 5 This card allows you to look at, and rearrange the first five cards in the draw pile.
Super Skip Use this card to skip your turn, and if you were supposed to take more than one, skip them all.
Curse of the Cat Butt You know that moment when your cat turns and presents their rear end, close to your face? It’s not a pleasant experience. Neither is getting this card. When you play this one, you choose one player who must shuffle their cards and place them face down on the table. They can then only play cards blind, from the top of their deck. If they turn a card over and they can’t use it? It goes straight to the discard pile.
Swap Top and Bottom Without looking, swap the top and bottom cards of the draw pile.
Mark When you play this card, you can target a single card in another players hand and ‘mark’ it. That means they have to turn it around so the other players can see it, and keep it that way until they play it or it is stolen.
Catatonic Bomb Do you want to bring the game to a sudden, catastrophic conclusion? Play this card. Then search through the deck for all the Exploding Kitten cards and put them at the top of the draw pile.
Garbage Collection All players take one card from their hand and return it at random spots in the draw pile.
Set up is similar to the core game; the only difference is that you add one extra Exploding Kitten into the deck. If you’re using the Imploding Kittens expansion as well, then substitute one Exploding Kitten for an Imploding one instead.
Review of Streaking Kittens
Like Imploding Kittens, the learning curve is quite shallow with this game, because many of the cards are similar to those of the core game. The cards that are completely new don’t take long to master at all.
What this expansion adds is versatility. As well as refreshing the core game with the new mechanics, you can choose whether to use both expansions or just one. This can help refine debating skills as you and your fellow players work out just how chaotic you want the experience to be.
What Streaking Kittens really brings to the table is more opportunity to do the dirty on other players. You can booby trap your hand using the Streaking Kitten card, so anyone trying to steal gets instantly exploded. You can blind opponents with the curse card, or wreak havoc with the Catatomic bomb. In other words, this expansion gives players more influence although at its core Exploding Kittens always remains a game of chance.
The flip side of that is that there are more opportunities to feel picked on or persecuted. The silliness of the Exploding Kittens franchise usually means that even when playing with kids, no one gets too upset at attacks or similar. When you add in both expansions, there are many more chances to influence other players. My 8-year-old eventually began to find it a bit hard to take.
On the whole, though, this is another winning expansion from Exploding Kittens LLC. If you were looking to choose just one expansion, then my opinion is that this is the best option. Factoring in the lower cost, and the higher impact of new mechanics, Streaking Kittens delivers more fun for your buck than Imploding Kittens.
Strategy Tips to Help You Dominate in Streaking Kittens
This guide should be read in association with our strategy tips for the core game, and the Imploding Kittens guide, if you have that expansion too.
Know Your Cards As with the other decks, it pays to know what the cards can do before you start playing. Not just because it speeds up gameplay, but also because you’ll be able to use them in combos and that’s where you can really wreak havoc.
Poker Face While evil cackles do become par for the course with this game series, knowing when to look innocent can be important. Don’t look too keen when someone tries to play an attack card while you have an Exploding Kitten contained in your hand. It spoils the fun of the dramatic, explodey reveal.
Catatomic Bomb Consider carefully when to play this card. You can use it early, and force other players to use their defuse cards up, or play it late, and know that it will cause multiple fatalities.
Reduce Their Hand Curse of the Cat Butt is a great card to use if your opponent has lots of cards in their hand. By blinding them and forcing them to use their cards in a certain order, they will probably waste a lot of opportunities and end up with far fewer cards as a result.
The Bottom Line: Yea or Nay?
If you enjoyed Exploding Kittens, then this expansion is probably the best way to revive interest in the game. Both Imploding and Streaking Kittens add new mechanics, which improve on the core game and add to the fun.
If you already have Imploding Kittens, then adding the Streaking expansion does increase the mayhem considerably. If you only have the core game and you’re looking to choose your first expansion, then for us Streaking Kittens has the edge. This is mainly due to the lower price, though.
Sarah Dixon is a freelance writer and author who lives in York, England. A Couch to 10K veteran, she takes full advantage of the beautiful Yorkshire countryside to get outside, hiking, geocaching or just playing games with her two children