At the start of the game, a City card is flipped over, everyone gets 5000 francs, antes 500 francs to the pot, and players draw three cards. On a player's turn, that player draws two cards and can buy cows (for the price on the card) and add them to their own herd. All cows have a value (if they explode), and some have special skills: stealing a bomb from another cow in the herd, passing a bomb to another cow in the herd, blowing up themselves and the cows on their left and right, or defusing a bomb for 200 francs. A player can also play events (some of which have a cost) or play cows into other herds, forcing a player to pay that cow's cost and possibly suffering from a bad cow (which costs a player money when it exploded) or a spy (which "works for" the player who put it in another herd).
Unexploded Cow is silly fun. While there's not a whole lot of strategy (buy good cows for yourself, send bad cows to other herds), event cards and the variety in the bomb rolls keep the game from being anywhere near predictable. The deluxe edition has the colored cards that the original Cheapass Game eschewed, but the artwork is funny and every card has all the information about each cow readily available. The game plays quickly, and everyone involved should have a good time (as long as they don't think about the fact that they're blowing up cows). Here's to bovine madness and a quick buck, er, franc with Unexploded Cow!
Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch