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‘Exploding Kittens’ Game Goes Viral on Kickstarter

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Exploding Kittens Kickstarter page (From Kickstarter via CNN)

It’s like UNO, except there are goats, magical enchiladas and kittens that can kill you.

And that’s apparently enough for people to pledge a gajillion dollars.

Matthew Inman, the cartoonist and grammar enthusiast behind the popular comic website The Oatmeal, launched a fund-raising campaign on Kickstarter Tuesday for a new card game that got more than $700,000 in pledges in just the first few hours. By Wednesday morning, Exploding Kittens raised over $1.7 million.

The game is a cross between Inman’s signature absurdist comic drawings and the popular card game UNO. It was dreamed up by Inman and game creators Elan Lee and Shane Small, according to the Exploding Kittens Kickstarter page. The initial goal was $10,000.

Although there are a lot of reasons why the Internet loves kittens, one hint to Exploding Kittens’ fiery success is the Oatmeal’s cult following. Its Facebook page alone has more than 3 million followers.

The game rules are explained in a short animated video on the Kickstarter page. Each player draws a card from the deck until someone draws an exploding kitten card. Once an exploding kitten card is drawn the player is booted from the game. The more cards that are drawn from the deck, the higher a player’s chances of pulling an exploding kitten card.

The game also adds a bit of humorous complexity, featuring cards that enable players powers such as weaponizing back hair and laser pointers to defuse a kitten’s explosiveness.

Exploding Kittens might seem too magically absurd to be true, but with the success of other Kickstarter campaigns such as party game favorite Cards Against Humanity, this project might be another crowd-funded home run. CNN reached out to Inman and his creative team for a comment, but no one was available to talk.

“Sorry all inboxes are so flooded right now,” Lee wrote.

The game creators did note on their fund-raising page that they are staunchly against the harming of actual kittens.

On The Oatmeal’s Facebook page, Inman wrote that the Kickstarter goal was reached in eight minutes. “I love you, my precious Oatlets. Who wants a sandwich?”