Can “Exploding Kittens” bring some pyrotechnics to Netflix’s nascent games strategy?
The popular “Exploding Kittens” card game is coming to the streamer’s mobile apps starting May 31. It’s the latest in a string of more than a dozen games Netflix has introduced since last fall, but so far it’s too early to tell whether the titles — available for no additional charge — are helping to attract and retain customers in the way the company theorizes.
For Netflix, the pact with the creators of “Exploding Kittens” is a twofer: The debut of the mobile game comes ahead of a Netflix animated series set to arrive in 2023, starring Tom Ellis and Lucy Liu. Future versions of “Exploding Kittens – The Game” will have an exclusive expansion pack of cards themed around the TV series featuring the show’s characters.
“Exploding Kittens – The Game” lets you play alone or with up to five friends (who must be Netflix customers as well). In the kitty-powered game of chance, players draw cards — until someone draws an exploding kitten and blows up.
The Netflix game introduces two new exclusive cards: Radar and Flip Flop, which let players manipulate the deck in new ways. Radar reveals to players the position of the Exploding Kitten card closest to the top of the card deck and Flip Flop reverses the order of the cards in the deck. “Exploding Kittens – The Game” features original artwork by The Oatmeal.
Netflix also is launching three other games, available starting May 24:
- “Dragon Up” by Canadian developer East Side Games, described as a colorful and beautifully animated idle adventure single-player game where players hatch and collect rare dragons in order to save their kingdom. The game’s flat graphics style takes inspiration from Scandinavian design and illustration seen in early storybooks and fairy tales.
- “Townsmen – A Kingdom Rebuilt,” the first Netflix game from Germany by developer HandyGames. The mobile version of the strategy game lets players build a medieval city and do whatever it takes to keep their people happy.
- “Moonlighter” from Poland’s 11 Bit Studios. By day, get ready to manage a shop in an idyllic village. By night, explore dungeons, slay monsters and unlock mysteries in this dual RPG adventure game.
The games are available in the Netflix apps for iOS or Android smartphones and tablets.
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