(Giveaway) Power Hungry Pets is a Single-Card Hand Shakedown

The Exploding Kittens team are back, this time with Power Hungry Pets a pet-based twist on modern-classic Love Letter.

If you’ve not played 2012 release Love Letter then you’re missing out. It’s a quick to learn, quick to play game about having the best card in your single-card hand, all while using the abilities of the cards you decide to not keep. The abilities are clever, with the chance for chaos increasing based on the scarcity of the card, but also becoming more dangerous as the game persists as card-counting is a core part of the game. However, if you’re not into the Love Letter, secret courting (to go with secret counting) element of it then Power Hungry Pets brings Exploding Kitten‘s art-style and humour to the formula.

If I’m honest, you’ve probably already got the full gist of the game based on what I’ve already said, but I’ll run through it anyway. A deck of cards are shuffled, one is handed to each player and then another is placed outside of the game, which means that if it comes to a showdown, it’s highly unlikely you’ll know what the other player has. Taking turns, players then draw a card, pick the one they’re going to keep and pick the one they’re going to discard. Numbers run from 0 (the only number that can beat a 10) through to 10. If you place 10 down in front of you for any reason other than it being the final showdown then you lose, others give you a chance to guess at another player’s cards, a ‘duel’ which the lower number loses, the chance to swap your card with the ‘blind’ card, and various other shenanigans.

We played through Power Hungry Pets about a dozen times in one sitting. It’s quick, it’s easy, and if players play without fear (or, at least, with overconfidence) then it’s rare that anybody will actually make it to a showdown situation. If you take your time, count the cards (as the book clearly states how many of each there are in the deck) and bluff sufficiently then you might make it through. It’s one of those games that completely changes depending on who you play against, and it’s incredibly easy to get almost anybody playing it due to how simple and easy to understand the rules are.

Do we need a new version of Love Letter? No. However, I’m glad that the team behind Power Hungry Pets have made it. The more approachable, eye-catching board games out there the better… In 2024 there simply aren’t many people picking up heavy euro-games to try and get into games and that’s not through a fear of getting Jumanji’d — it’s because most people only want to test out a new hobby with a little nibble before they take a big bite, and the Exploding Kittens team’s style presents as a lot more forgiving and easy-going than a lot of other games out there.

Power Hungry Pets is available now from Amazon.

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