Unstable Unicorns Vs Exploding Kittens

Unstable Unicorns Vs Exploding Kittens: Which One Is For you?

Aren’t you bored with the robotic life we all have succumbed to? Is that the question which haunts you at night like most grown-ups? Maybe it’s time for some childish harmless fun!

So jump on the bandwagon of boundless adventures with adorable creatures, amusing moves and more! We are going to present you with two great options for these kinds of card games called Unstable Unicorns and Exploding Kittens.

Yes, raising eyebrows to both or frowning upon their names is fine. However, these are quite quirky in their moves and come with colorful cartoon designs of the two lovely creatures.

Let us compare them against each other in details through the legendary battle of Unstable Unicorns Vs Exploding Kittens! Gear up to find your new favorite card game!

All About Unstable Unicorns Card Game


Unstable Unicorns is one of the newer card games which was first published in 2017. The creative minds behind TeeTurtle designed this cute and vibrant game.

It represents the colorful mythical creatures of unicorns in a completely new light! Here you get to build an army of them and destroy your enemies!

Terms, Components and Setup

  • Stable: This is the space in front of each player where he places all the cards of unicorn, upgrade and downgrade.
  • Nursery: This is the stack of Baby Unicorns.
  • Deck: Similar to nursery, this is the stack of black-backed cards.
  • Draw Pile: You and other players will get to draw cards from this stack.
  • Discard Pile: All the destroyed, sacrificed and discarded cards of a session goes into this stack called the discard pile.
  • Inplay: These are the cards which are present in your stable at the moment.
  • Moves:
    • Sacrifice: You sacrifice a card by moving it to the discard pile from stable.
    • Discard: Discarding a card means transferring one of YOUR cards in hand to discard pile.
    • Destroy: Destroying a card means to transfer a card from ANOTHER player’s stable to discard pile.
  • Cards
    1. Baby Unicorns: You can identify Baby Unicorns by spotting their purple corner with triangular horn. This is the starting card for every player and all of these are placed in the nursery at the beginning. You can bring it from the nursery to your stable through special effects of other cards. These come in many variations including pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, brown, white, rainbow, death and Narwhal. If any of your baby unicorns is destroyed, sacrificed or returned, you need to place it in the Nursery.
    2. Basic Unicorns: These cards are indigo in color with a triangular horn symbol on their top left corner. They have no effect and stay in your stable until you sacrifice it or someone destroys it. You will see them in the variations of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, purple and Narwhal. There are three cards of each variation at the start.
    3. Magical Unicorns: This is the kind of unicorn you have read about in your childhood! The magical unicorn cards have a blue corner with the horn icon and each of them brings a valuable effect for your game. They stay in your stable unless destroyed or sacrificed. There are 30 types of magical unicorns like Rhinocorn, Puppicorn, Llamacorn, Americorn, Magical Kittencom, Rainbow Unicorn, Angel Unicorn, Zombie Unicorn, Chainsaw Unicorn, Extremely Fertile Unicorn, Extremely Destructive Unicorn and StabbyThe Unicorn.
    4. Ultimate Unicorns: These special unicorn cards come with unique effects in the Control And Chaos edition. They all come with a black corner bearing the horn symbol. It has 20 variations including Archangel, Ancestor, Chronocorn, Hypocorn, Nightmare, Valkyrie and Reaper.
    5. Magic: These cards have a green corner bearing a star icon. You can use them for their effect only once in the game. After using its effect, you need to place the card in the discard pile immediately. There are 15 types of magic cards including Unicorn Poison, Back Kick, Glitter Tornado, Change Of Luck, Mystical Vortex, Good Deal, Unfair Bargain, Targeted Destruction, Unicorn Swap, Re-Target and Two-For-One.
    6. Instant Cards: This kind of cards can be identified with the red corner bearing an exclamation mark. You can only play these cards when someone else has played his card and combine several of them in a single turn if necessary. There are 21 types of instant cards in total.
    7. Upgrade Cards: You can spot them with an orange corner bearing the “upward” symbol. They can bring positive effects in another player’s stable. It will stay in your stable until you sacrifice or destroy it. Rainbow Sprinkles, Dominatrix Whip, Glitter Bomb and Extra Life are some of its 27 variations.
    8. Downgrade Cards: These cards have a yellow corner bearing the downward arrow icon. You can use this card to bring negative effects to a competitor’s stable. It will be in your stable unless it is sacrificed or destroyed. There are 25 of these including Slowdown, Catastrophe, Brain Freeze and Unicorn Tax.

Start setting up the card by separate white-backed cards and black-card cards in separate piles.

Then take the baby unicorn cards from the first pile and shuffle them. Give one of them to each player and place the remaining ones facing down in a pile at the center called the nursery.

Shuffle the other cards and give 5 of them to each player. The remaining cards will make up the stack of Draw Pile.


When your card is set, start the game by drawing a card from the Draw Pile. You can then choose to draw another card or play one from your hand depending on the nature of your first drawn card. Discard any card if necessary to maintain your hand limit of 7 cards. Then let the next player make his move by going clockwise.

Remember that each player’s turn consists of four phases:

  1. Beginning – You can activate an effect in this phase.
  2. Draw – Draw your first card.
  3. Action – Draw the second card or play one from your hand.
  4. End – Discard one or more cards as necessary.

The goal of each player will be to complete their Unicorn Army since that how you decide the winner! A silly rule followed by players of this card game is that the person wearing most colors will begin the game. While this is not a steadfast rule, you can surely follow it for some fun!

Spinoff and Expansions

There are four major expansion packs of this game named NSFW, Unicorns of Legend, Rainbow Apocalypse and Dragons. Besides, there are two editions of Unstable Unicorns along with their Kickstarter version with original text released in 2017.

The kickstarter of another card game based on this one was released in 2019 called “Unstable Unicorns: Control and Chaos”. Its designers claim this one to be standalone and not an expansion despite the similarities.

Duration and Player Requirements

You can play the base edition of Unstable Unicorns with up to 7 people. If the total number of players participating is 2-7, then the winner needs to secure 7 unicorns to complete his army and be the victor.

If 6-8 players are participating, then the required number of unicorns to be the winner will be 6. The recommended age threshold for the players is 14 years since this game comes with some complex rules for setup and gameplay.

It should take about 15 minutes at maximum to set up the card and the game itself can continue for about an hour since then.

All About Exploding Kittens Card Game


If you find cats undeniably adorable, this is the perfect card game for you! Once you get pass the frowning stage of its unique title, Exploding Kittens is all about the hidden power of the mighty kittens!

Designed by Mathew Inman, Elan Lee and Shane Small, this game was originally launched as one of the Kickstarter projects. It reached its goal of ten thousand dollars within the first eight minutes! Then it was finally published in July 2015 by The Oatmeal – a comics website created by Inman.

Exploding Kittens made history by achieving the funding of almost nine million dollars from over 200,000 backers – the third-highest crowdfunding in Kickstarter. It garnered more attention when the popular YouTube channel Smosh Games played its first deck.

Terms, Components and Setup

  1. Exploding Kitten: The player who draws this gets EXPLODED and is out of the game right away! But if they have the Defuse card, they can be safe and still in play.
  2. Defuse: Along with negating the Exploding Kitten effect, this card also allows the player to put it back in the deck in whatever place he pleases! This new place needs to be kept a secret from other players.
  3. Nope: Drawing this card anytime will negate all kinds of card effects except Exploding Kitten and Defuse.
  4. Attack: If you play this card, you sadly have to end your turn without drawing any more card and make the next player draw two turns back to back.
  5. Favor: You can play this card on another player to force him into giving one of his cards in hand. However, you cannot choose which card to give. That decision will depend on the giving player.
  6. Skip: This card will stop you from drawing any more card and end your turn.
  7. Shuffle: You need to shuffle the deck without looking until someone tells you to stop.
  8. See The Future: You can take a peek at the top three cards on the deck in secret with this card.
  9. Combo Cat: This card will only come to use while three or more players are participating in the game. By playing this card:
    • two players can take a random card from another player
    • three players can ask for a specific card from other players
    • one player can take a card when five different cat cards are available

The setup of this game is very simple and takes no longer than just a minute! All you need to do is shuffle up all the cards and place them facing down in a pile or deck in the center.


Like the setup, Unstable Unicorns follows a very straightforward gameplay. In each turn, every player needs to draw a card from the deck and follow its action as described above. Every player getting the Exploding Kitten card will be eliminated from the game unless he owns a Defuse card.

To begin the game, each player will draw seven cards and then the turns will begin in any way they please. The played cards need to be placed in a stack called the Discard Pile.

Spinoff and Expansions 

There are two expansions to Exploding Kittens named Imploding Kittens (2016) and Streaking Kittens (2018).

The first one came with a new card called Imploding Kitten, along with many new mechanics like Reverse, Alter The Future and Draw From The Bottom.

As for the second expansion, Streaking Kittens had 15 new cards and mechanics including Swap Top And Bottom, Super Skip, Catomic Bomb, Curse Of The Cat Butt and Garbage Collector.

You can find special editions of this game like NSFW and Party pack as well.

For those of you who prefer playing on smartphones, you can download the high-rated mobile app of Exploding Kittens on your iOS, Android or Microsoft device!

The Apple and Android versions are enabled with multiplayer opportunities while the Zo chatbot of Microsoft only allows single-player mode. Look forward to playing the brand new cards on this mobile version!

The new entertaining cards of this lineup include Catnip Sandwich, Clear The Litterbox, Kitty Slap and Rainbow-Ralphing Cat! However, there will be no Attack or Nope card in the iOS and Android editions.

Duration and Player Requirements

If you have been looking for a fun, quick and light-hearted game with adorable designs and hilarious moves, Exploding Kittens is definitely an ideal choice for you! It will take a few seconds to set up and each session will be over within 15 minutes!

You can play this game with up to four more members at a time. They can be as young as seven years old, in their 20s or even older. So you can take out the cards for a fun relaxing evening with family or friends!

Comparing Unstable Unicorns vs Exploding Kittens

Player Requirements

The minimum number of players required for a session of Unstable Unicorns is only two. They need to be at least 14 years old since it is a fairly elaborate game with complex strategies. You can include up to 8 players in one session of this game.

Exploding Kittens, on the other hand, needs only 2-5 players. As a result, you may not be able to include all the players available. However, the age limit goes down for this game since each player needs to be only 7 years of age or older.

Difficulty Level

Unstable Unicorns is undoubtedly the more difficult game since it includes a total of 135 cards with several categories and many mechanics. For any beginner, it will take a while to get used to all of them.

But it is very easy to get started with Exploding Kittens from the start. It comes with only a handful of cards and has a few simple mechanics to get familiar with.


Exploding Kittens take less than a minute to set up since you only need to stack up the cards and distribute them by giving seven cards to each player. You will be done with a session within just 15 minutes.

If you do get bored with the simplicity and short duration of Exploding Kittens, switch to Unstable Unicorns for some challenging strategies! It will take up to 15 minutes to set up the table and up to an hour to complete the game.

Mobile Availability

Exploding Kittens stays a step ahead in this field since it has a standalone mobile app functional on all major mobile platforms including iOS, Android and Microsoft. Although there is no mobile version of Unstable Unicorns yet, there is an ongoing petition for it which was launched by its huge fan-base.


Apart from the huge popularity across different age groups, both games have earned several individual achievements since their inception.

For instance, Unstable Unicorns won the People’s Choice Award for Toy of the Year in 2019 and Exploding Kittens was the 3rd highest crowdfunded game on Kickstarter when it came.

Final Words

Keeping all the discussed factors of Exploding Kittens vs Unstable Unicorns in mind, the latter comes out as the winner for us.

That is because anyone can play it without facing too much difficulties or getting entangled within complex rule-sets.  You can also play it from your smartphone which is not possible for the other.

Besides, cats exist in real life whereas unicorns (and we hate to break this to you) don’t! However, if you do prefer challenging gameplay and more players in the table, Unstable Unicorns will be the better choice for you.

You may be interested in:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *