Unstable Unicorns VS. Exploding Kittens: A Comprehensive Comparison

Unstable Unicorns VS. Exploding Kittens - Cover Photo

For some reason, people have been mistaking Unstable Unicorns and Exploding Kittens since forever. Yes, it’s true they have stuff in common, but tons of differences as well. And don’t worry; I used to mess them up too! To end this confusion once and for all, we’re about to present to you a comparison article, which besides all, could help you if you can’t choose what game to get. 

  • Similarities;
  • Differences;
  • Overall comparison;

Similarities Of Unstable Unicorns And Exploding Kittens

The elements below are just what makes people confuse Unstable Unicorns and Exploding Kittens, every single time!

  • Game name inspiration. If you have no idea what we mean by that, it’s basically about both games’ names. Both include animals in their names, fantasy, and they’re related to the gameplay too! We just found out people think there’s a game called Exploding Unicorns…
  • Game type. Both Exploding Kittens and Unstable Unicorns are popular card games, with similar ideas behind the cards.
Game Type
  • Competition: Neither UU nor EK are cooperation games. Players tend to make their opponents get kicked from the game and be the winners themselves.  
  • Expansions: Considering the popularity of both games, they each have several expansions and extra packs. If you didn’t know, we have a special list of Exploding Kittens’ editions & expansions for you to read! 
  • Contents: Each of these two card games contains cards only. There’s no extra equipment. Pure card games, by all means. However, Unstable Unicorns includes a huger deck of 135 cards, while Exploding Kittens has a deck of 56 cards.

Differences Between Unstable Unicorns & Exploding Kittens


  • In Unstable Unicorns, you win when you successfully create a unicorn army and reach the number of 7 unicorns in your deck. 
  • In Exploding Kittens, you aim to be the last player standing in the game, meaning, not drawing an exploding kitten (or if you’re lucky, play a defuse card after). That’s how you win, pals! Ps. If you need a refresher, read the Exploding Kittens rules again!

Game tactics: 

  • In general, how the game of Unstable Unicorns works, is when it’s your turn, you draw a card, and then play one, or, if you don’t have one to play, you draw again.
Game Tactics - Unstable Unicorns
  • However, in Exploding Kittens, you first play cards (1 to as many as you might play), and then draw other cards from the draw pile, hoping it isn’t an exploding kitten!

Gameplay time:

  • A usual game of Unstable Unicorns lasts around 30 to 45 minutes, and on each turn, players must complete four phases: the beginning of turn phase, draw phase, action phase, and end of turn phase. 
  • On the other hand, games in Exploding Kittens last only around 15 minutes, and on their turn, players only go through the draw and turn phase. Considering the fact that players might get exploding kittens any time, unexpectedly, the game may end even faster. 


  • Considering our experience with both games, Unstable Unicorns involves deeper strategic thinking and better card management. 
  • Exploding Kittens depends on luck as well, and requires immediate and tactical decisions. 

Level of difficulty:

  • Counting the number of cards, different phases, and the game goal, Unstable Unicorns is a bit more complex. To master the game, you have to really know the power of each card before playing it.
  • Exploding Kittens, on the contrary, is a bit more luck-based, and has a limited deck of cards, therefore, it’s simpler and quicker.

Number of players:

  • Unstable Unicorns can be played by 2 to 8 players, talking about the main game only.
  • Exploding Kittens can be played by 2 to 5 players only, however, if you add expansions, the number of players can get expanded to 10+ players.


  • Making allowance for one of the most significant elements of a game, we might say that Unstable Unicorns is more replayable. This is affected by the number of cards & rules too. 
  • Exploding Kittens is less replayable, clearly. Nevertheless, this element can get better if you mix other packs into the game. 
Replayability - Exploding Kittens

Overall Comparison 

Personally, I prefer Unstable Unicorns. Probably because the game lasts longer, everyone gets involved and uses their strategic & management skills. Also, there are more cards and more hilarious art, and the replayability is higher. But, in case you prefer card games that include luck as an element in their gameplay, and something that ends quicker & gets more competitive, you must totally go for Exploding Kittens. Or games like games like Exploding Kittens, for all that matters.

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