By: Exploding Kittens / The Oatmeal
I was a big fan of Exploding Kittens back when it released on iOS, in part due to it being free of any grinding or collectibles. You simply open the app and either set up a game with friends or match with strangers and you’re good to go. Each game is self-contained and you can play as much or as little as you want without falling behind or feeling like you missed out on something. So that was a big selling point for me with their new game, Kitten Letter, too. Once again, you can hop on a game as often as you want without having to worry about catching up to others. And on top of that, it’s just fun to play.
There are a few different modes in Kitten Letter. You’ll want to start with the story, as that will both teach you the basics and entertain you with an all-new comic from The Oatmeal about your neighbor sending exploding kittens over to your house. In each chapter, you need to counter his attacks by creating words from the letters provided. The bigger the word, the more cats you send out, either to nullify his attacks or to damage his house. You each have a health bar and you need to get his down to zero before he does it to you. But you can’t just make random words. If he creates a word starting with the letter T, you need to do the same if you want to absorb that damage. There are also power-ups you can grab that can give you a leg up, such as a ham that enlarges one of your groups of cats or a vacuum that destroys a whole column of incoming cats.
Aside from that, you can play the high score endless mode, which has you making words against an AI and racking up points until you get overwhelmed and die. I find that mode stressful and I’m not sure I can beat my current score. But I think the multiplayer mode is where the game really shines. You can play against friends or match with strangers, and then it’s a frantic few minutes until one of you goes down. Matches are quick, so if you’re losing momentum, just take a break. The game is also completely free, with optional cosmetics you can buy that don’t affect gameplay at all. So take advantage of the new game hype and play while there are plenty of people to play with.