A family board game for two to six players, Mantis revolves around the underwater crustacean and its ability to see many different colours, which is a topic covered by the webcomic created by The Oatmeal. In the game, each player begins with a hand of four cards that remain faceup for all the players to see. The rest of the cards are kept in a draw pile that is left facedown, with the backs of the cards providing the group with clues as to what is contained on the front.
On their turn, players look at the top card of the draw pile to decide whether to score all the cards matching that top card within their own hands, or to steal the matching cards from an opponent of their choice. The more cards players are able to collect and score from, the more points they’ll acquire. As soon as someone scores 10 points or more, they win the game.
Besides the original Exploding Kittens card game and Mantis, Exploding Kittens is responsible for releasing the dexterity games A Game of Cat and Mouth and Throw, Throw Burrito, as well as other card games such as You’ve Got Crabs and the recently announced Hand-to-Hand Wombat.
Exploding Kittens became the first tabletop publisher to release an NFT, which was based on the studio’s re-release of the beloved party board game Happy Salmon. In order to pre-emptively respond to backlash to the decision, Exploding Kittens has stated that it will partner with Aerial – a carbon offsetting company – to offset 10 times the emissions generated by the Happy Salmon NFT, despite the fact that carbon offsetting does not balance out the impact created by the cryptocurrency industry in the first place.
Exploding Kittens has announced that it is starting a youth outreach program designed to offer summer camps and organisations for young people copies of its games. The studio has already provided nearly 1000 copies since January, with Mantis being added to the program.
Mantis is currently exclusively available at the US store Target at a retail price of $20 (£14), with a wider release yet to be confirmed.