If you love deception, persuasion, observation and control, and cats, Kickstarter has a game for you.
Mafia Kittens, the cat-lovers take on the strategic party game Mafia, hit the crowdfunding site recently. So far, it’s raised just over $2,000 of its $12,000 goal, with 21 days remaining. But will it see the same success as Exploding Kittens, another feline-focused card game that raised more than $8 million back in February and began shipping to its more than 200,000 backers last week?
In Kittens Mafia, players each have a character and action card and belong to one of two competing groups of the Kittens city—good citizens or mafia. During the ‘day phase’ all players attempt to identify each other and eliminate the mafia, but at night, the mafia can silently murder good cats. Play continues until all the mafia members are found and eliminated or until the Mafia outnumbers the citizens.
“This game is great! But we should really change the name to Exploding Kittens because…the Internet.”
It sounds fun, but it’s just like Mafia, except with cats. So will the cuteness of the kittens be enough to drive the game to Kickstart success? Maybe. Even Exploding Kittens attributes their success to their use of Kittens. When we asked one of their founders, Elan Lee, why he thinks they were successful and able to grab everyone’s attention, he gave us a meow.
“My partner Matt Inman said it best when I first showed him the game last year and it was still called Bomb Squad,” Lee said. “He played the game for about two hours then said, ‘This game is great! But we should really change the name to Exploding Kittens because…the Internet.'”
The support from the Oatmeal comic community helped a bit too, but honestly, Mr. Inman was spot on with his suggestion because nothing sounds more Internet-y than a game called Exploding Kittens. The game was described to be “like UNO, except there are goats, magical enchiladas and kittens that can kill you.” That sounds like an Internet win for sure.
So Kittens Mafia. Hmmm. Well, there are cats (a plus), good illustrations (another plus), and murder (sounds exciting). But the game Mafia already exists and we’re still excited about Exploding Kittens. Does the Internet (and the crowdfunding world, especially) really need another card game about cute, murderous kittens? It seems every time there’s a hit, someone comes along and tries to ride out the wave.
The founders of Kittens Mafia claim they aren’t even trying to bank on the Internet’s obsession with cats, though. The game was created by a group of three friends that just really like to play Mafia together and decided to create their own new version. Matt Delekta, one of the founders, told the Observer the gang was just trying to think of a motif for the characters and settled on kittens after being inspired by the “something like a small zoo” one of the other founders has in her family home.
Kittens Mafia was already chosen as a Kickstarter staff pick, and they’ve raised a good portion of their relatively modest campaign goal already. It’s quite possible the game will be funded, but will it strike gold? We’re thinking no, but we’re curious how things would’ve played out if it wasn’t timed right after the mega popular Exploding Kittens.