This community-funded reboot of a classic game is a better than ever way for up to six players who like cows, bombs, and making money to test their mettle around a table.
|Unexploded Cow Deluxe Card Game||Cheapass Games||Card Game|
In The Box
There have been several deluxe editions of Cheapass Games’ titles over the years that depart from the company’s standard formula of producing games for people who don’t like spending a lot of money on components but who do expect the highest quality gameplay. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012, Unexploded Cow is back with durable color cards, cardboard chits representing money, and–wait for it–a single die for determining the chance of cows exploding or remaining in their titular form.
The cards are very solid and generously sized and the cardboard chits representing francs you’ll earn from French towns in appreciation for solving their problems with live munitions are of good quality. Replacement money isn’t hard to come by, but you’re likely to get plenty of mileage from these chits unless you really abuse them.
How It Plays
You and up to six players can dive right in after a thorough shuffle of the main deck, which consists of cards representing cows that can earn you money and events that generally benefit you or create some hardship for others around the table. A small remainder of the deck includes cards representing cities in France, that you can collect when one of your cow cards blows up on your turn. The basic strategy is to blow up more of your cows–and more valuable cows–than other players before the game runs through all available cities.
Adding to the complexity of collecting cow cards and playing them to the table is the chance of a bomb blowing up. Bombs are random by way of a dice roll each turn, but you can stack things in your favor by carefully building the herd of cow cards played in front of you, or playing into your opponents’ herds. Subtle strategy and a bit of luck converge to keep things feeling fresh each time you play, which is a huge part of why Unexploded Cow continues to thrive–deluxe and otherwise–long after its original delivery in 1999.
Super accessible as a family game or for a mixed gaming group, and the money-changing aspect almost feels educational for younger kids working on their addition and subtraction skills.
You want to get a good mix of cows in play, and remember that the goal of the game is to make money, not just collect city cards.