How to Play Unstable Unicorns – Rules & Instructions

Set aside all your other adult party games because there is a fresh new kid on the block. The only thing you will need is this guide that will teach you how to play Unstable Unicorns.

The game started out as a successful project on Kickstarter. Would-be players smashed the developer’s original target of $10,000 by raising $1,865,140 instead.

And they’re faith and backing got rewarded with this wacky yet entertaining party game. It offers replayability that similar games of the same genre can sometimes lack.

The premise of the game could not be easier, become the player who collects the most unicorns. Getting to that stage is where the challenge and fun lie, yet.

So if you’re someone who loves party games that offers plenty of variety, read on to find out how to play Unstable Unicorns.

What is Unstable Unicorns?

Considered to be in the same mold as other card games such as Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens. Unstable Unicorn combines strategic play with a hilarious tongue-in-cheek art style.

It combines the suspense of games such as Idiot the card game with a fantasy element like 5-minute dungeon.

It’s a game in which Unicorns firmly meet Destruction for the first time.

Number of Players Required: 2-8 players required for gameplay.

Who Can Play It: 14+ for the base game, but the Not Safe For Work edition is for 21+.

Difficulty: Easy to learn the game whichever edition you pick.

Length of Play: 30 – 45 minutes.

Main Goal: Become the player at the end of the game to have the most Unicorns. Do this by amassing the strongest Unicorn Army as the game progresses.

Why we love it: Unstable Unicorns has the entertaining gameplay and charm that makes players laugh with its outlandish rules. Plus there’s a reason how it managed to reach its Kickstarter goal in 71 minutes.

Playing Unstable Unicorns – What You’ll Need:

All that you’ll need to begin playing Unstable Unicorns is the base game set, either in normal or NSFW edition

The NSFW edition has many cards that are very risque. Definitely only get these if you’re playing with like-minded adults.

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The base game comes with 135 Unstable Unicorn cards in black, white, and reference card varieties.

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The gameplay doesn’t stop with the base packs and there are in fact plenty of expansions that enhance the game further.

There are plenty to choose from, with the Rainbow Apocalypse Expansion pack added. This gives players a different perspective on the game with new cards.

How to Set Up Your Game

Like most card games, setting up Unstable Unicorns is a simple task.

Start by removing the reference cards from the pack and setting these to one side.

Each game set should also come with white and black cards. Shuffle up the white cards and give each player one white card each, also known as a Baby Unicorn Card.

The remaining cards get placed face down in the middle of players, otherwise known as the nursery. The nursery is where the Unicorns needed to win live.

Shuffle up the black cards and give each player 5 of these each with the rest placed face down next to the nursery. This is the draw pile.

Have a third pile as the discard pile, to place cards that get removed from the game.

Give each player a reference card so that they can use this to refer to the rules.

How to Play Unstable Unicorns

Once all players have the correct amount of cards and have all agreed that they are happy with the game rules, Unstable Unicorns can begin.

Unstable Unicorns Rules and Gameplay

Official game rules state that the player who the group agrees is wearing the most colorful clothing begins. So whoever’s dressed most like a Unicorn!

Starting the Game

You play Unstable Unicorns in rounds. Players need to fulfill different requirements when it’s their turn, these requirements consist of 4 different phases to be played in order.

  1. Turn Begins – Skip this step and go to phase 2 unless you have a card that states ‘at the beginning of your turn…’. Do whatever action displayed as this is your only chance to do it. If a card gets drawn before the players complete an action, then it cannot do it again.
  2. Draw Phase – draw a card from the draw pile.
  3. Action Phase – Play one card from your hand or draw one more card from the draw pile.
  4. End Of Turn – Ensure that players have at most 7 cards in their hand when ending their turn. Any cards above 7 must go into the discard pile before a turn can end.

Card Types in Unstable Unicorns

The most vital aspect of Unstable Unicorns is to know exactly what each card type does when drawn.

Usually, there is a clear instruction on what to do but they can also break them down into different groups with a certain symbol and color.

Red Instant – Played at any time and normally used to stop another player from playing a card. Put into the discard pile once played.

Orange Upgrade – Used to upgrade your stable. You can apply this card to any other player including yourself.

Yellow Downgrade – Use this card to give another player a negative effect.

Green Magic – Played to cause havoc and mayhem. Discarded once used.

Light Blue Magical Unicorn – Place this card in your stable to gain a magical effect.

Dark Blue Basic Unicorn – Place this card in your stable to gain a less than magic effect, but one that is still useful.

Purple Baby Unicorn – Each player starts with a Baby Unicorn, but more can only get summoned by using special cards.

Use each card to either enhance your position or undermine another opponent’s chances to win. 

Scoring in Unstable Unicorns

The gameplay continues until someone has the correct number of unicorns in their stable. 2-5 players need 7 Unicorns whilst 6-8 players need 6 Unicorns to win.

Playing Unstable Unicorn image

Frequently Asked Questions

In Unstable Unicorns, what happens if we run out of cards before a player is able to form their Unicorn Army?

If this happens, then unfortunately there aren’t any winners, only losers.

If you’re determined to find a winner though, you can always reshuffle the discard pile and resume playing after shuffling.

How to play Unstable Unicorns if you buy the expansion packs as well?

The expansion packs in Unstable Unicorns keep the gameplay exactly the same. It adds in different cards which can affect gameplay in different ways.

They add a fresh dimension to the base game by introducing different potential tactics. It’s ideal for those who want a fresh spin on Unstable Unicorns.

What makes the NSFW version of Unstable Unicorns unsuitable for kids?

This deck contains a lot of adult humor which may offend younger players to the game, including artwork and jokes that may be a bit too risque.

If dirty jokes and lewd themes offend you, definitely stick to the base pack as it still has the same fun gameplay as the more adult version.

Alternative games to Unstable Unicorns

Games like Unstable Unicorns are for teenagers and adults when they are hosting game nights. It is one of a whole host of games that you can bust out when with friends.

There are games such as Battle of the Sexes that includes a team-based competitive element to proceedings. It pits men vs women as they try to answer questions.

Or if you’re playing card games with players who aren’t quite ready for slightly more mature group games, get them started with Apples to Apples.

Apples to Apples has very similar gameplay to Cards Against Humanity except designed more for the younger market. Although the gameplay means that adults will still have fun playing too.

And if you’ve got a standard deck of cards lying around, don’t be afraid to use them to play other card games.

These include games such as 5 Crowns or Conquian that are ideal for larger groups. 

Unstable Unicorns though is an ideal card game for any scenario. You’ll firmly believe that its re-playability can keep friends and family entertained for years on end.