A contemporary hit party game hopes to find new success amongst American audiences via aesthetic translation by Exploding Kittens, the team behind the recent Happy Salmon and Throw Throw Burrito redesigns.
Anarchy Pancake is a new incarnation of the fast-paced and frenetic Dobble, also known as Spot It to US players. Exploding Kittens worked with French studio Zygomatic Games to find a way to better present the simple game-in-a-tin to audiences on the Western side of the Atlantic Ocean while also fulfilling “a desire to generate refreshed awareness”, according to a press release.
The result is a diner breakfast staple illustrated in the recognisable brand aesthetic first popularised by Exploding Kittens co-owner Matthew Inman. The press release claims the design team “optimized the rules for a predominantly U.S. audience” but does not elaborate beyond mentioning the addition of a few new card types, so we assume the core experience remains much the same as the original.
Players in Anarchy Pancake start the game with seven pancake cards and attempt to match the topping printed on the card - ranging from party hat skulls and earthworms to visual puns such as a butterfly wielding a knife - with any of their opponents’ toppings. Once they manage this, that opponent forms a pancake stack with both cards, which is a massive setback when the goal of the game is to empty your hand. The first to do so and shout “Anarchy Pancake!”, Uno-style, earns a butter slab token, and whoever earns two of those greasy prizes takes the whole game.
Rounds last about five minutes and the game supports between two and six players, situating Anarchy Pancake firmly in the category of highly transportable party games in a pinch. According to Exploding Kittens senior game designer Carol Mertz, this is based on some apparent trends research.
“With travel back in full force this year, we’re seeing our players prioritizing portability in their games so that they can play anywhere,” said Carol Mertz, Senior Game Designer at Exploding Kittens. “Anarchy Pancakes is not only a convenient size to toss in your bag, but also provides hilarious, loud, and lively entertainment for the whole family.”
Anarchy Pancake is available for $13.99 at Target’s retail locations and online shopping sites, along with Exploding Kittens’ official website. Exploding Kittens has cornered the market on quick, punchy and often hypermobile party games, such as Happy Salmon, Throw Throw Burrito and Hand-to-Hand Wombat.