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Exploding Kittens: Recipes for Disaster is a one-box greatest hits card game of incendiary felines

Includes a cone of shame for distracted players.

Competitive party game Exploding Kittens has announced a new box collecting over 100 of the best cards from past expansions, as well as introducing a variety of new play modes through recipe cards that twist the original formula - due out in August of this year.

Recipes for Disaster wants to appeal to both veteran exploders and those new to the mayhem. The box offers the most comprehensive introduction to a title that has received fairly constant expansions and supplements since its initial publishing run in July of 2015, following a successful Kickstarter campaign. Experienced players, or those who may not have checked in for a bit, can appreciate a greatest hits-style complete-in-box edition with plenty of options for mixing up a well-heeled experience.

Created by Shane Small and Elan Lee - and illustrated by internet comic artist Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal fame - Exploding Kittens tasks two to five competitors with playing cards from their hands until someone draws the eponymous Exploding Kitten, which immediately boots them from the game. Luckily, their hands should be full of Defuse cards, as well as absurdly named powers and skills that punt the bomb back into the deck, skip their turn or pass the deadly responsibility to their neighbor. Play continues until only one unexploded player remains.

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The new release will collate 121 cards from Exploding Kittens and its catalogue of follow-ups, hand-selected from the designers’ “favourite cards”. For those who haven’t played or aren’t familiar with Inman’s work, the tenor and art style can best be described as a cross between insular online humour and a baseline assumption that cats are, by definition, evil. In short, if you like The Oatmeal, Exploding Kittens plays in the exact same key.

More exciting, perhaps, are the 13 included Recipe Booklets that shift the game into a distinctly different mode - two-player cooperative and lightning rounds were teased on the official site as examples. The booklets will contain the instructions for which rules to change or add, along with special Kittens and other cards to shuffle into the core decks. The booklets will also outline how the new mode fits varying numbers of players, skill levels and session lengths.

Cunning groups can use the several blank Recipe Booklets in the box to create their own modes and codify house rules. Somewhat sadistic groups can make use of the newly included Cone of Shame: a replica veterinary cone meant to keep pets from gnawing at surgical sites, but here is awarded to “ players who forget whose turn it is” or other minor transgressions.

Exploding Kittens: Recipes for Disaster is available now to pre-order through the game’s website for $24.99 (£18), though it seems to be limited to a waitlist at time of writing. Shipping is expected to begin some time in August.

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