Wednesday, October 19, 2016

That Rabbit's Dynamite (Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot)

Round and Round the Bunnies go,
Shot at and Burned and Turned into dough,
magical carrots are sought from afar
while Bunnies are Drowned in pits of tar,
all while we Watch
and Laugh.

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GAME DESCRIPTION:  Killer Bunnies is a card game developed by Playroom Entertainment for up to 8 players.  Each player attempts to find the Magic Carrot card that determines the winner.  Each player also attempts to gather Bunnies and keep them alive, while eliminating and killing other players Bunnies.

SET-UP:  The main deck and Carrot cards are placed in the center, next to the Starter Card: "Kaballa's Market".  Each player starts with 7 cards in their hand, and will always have 7 cards in their hand, minimum.  Place the small green Cabbage and blue Water cards in the middle, and place the small orange Carrot cards off to the side.  Then, each player places two cards horizontally in front of them, in a single column.  This is your run, and you should always have 2 cards in the run at the end of your turn.

RUN:  At the start of the turn, each player flips the top Run card over, and moves the bottom Run card to the top.  If it is a Bunny, it is played in front of that player, to the side of any other Bunnies (think of playing the Bunnies in one big circle).  Some cards cannot be played without Bunnies.

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IMMEDIATE:  If you get a Play Immediately card, it is played and resolved right away, regardless of turn order.  If you get a Kaballa Dolla, it is placed in face-up front of you.  Kabala Dolla's are spent before you reveal your top Run card at the Market.  Then, draw back up to 7 cards.

DEATH:  Most Play Immediately, as well as any successful Weapon cards and other various cards will Kill or Eliminate a Bunny.  Killed Bunnies go to the discard pile, and all other Eliminated Bunnies (such as Abduction) are placed where the card's effect states.  All cards have a small pink or white rectangle on their left side.  If a player has no Bunnies when any card with a pink rectangle is revealed from the Run, that card cannot be used, and is discarded as play continues.

SPECIAL:  Some cards have Special or Very Special at the top instead of Run.  Special cards may be played before you play your top Run card as well as in your Run.  Very Special cards can be played at any time from your hand, or in your Run.  Any Special or Very Special card in your run may be played off to the side to be played at any time.

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DICE:  There are various colored dice used in Killer Bunnies.  On the right side is a column of boxes, sometimes no colors, one color, or a bunch of colors.  The colors indicate which colored die or dice you roll.

TRIPLETS:  If a player has 3 Bunnies of the same color or name, they then play the 2nd card in their run at the time of the reveal.  Then, both cards in their Run are revealed during their turn, and place both cards in their Run instead of just 1.

WINNING:  Once the last player has bought or chosen the last Carrot card, the game is over.  If any player does not have a Bunny in play, they must give all their Carrot cards to the player with any Bunny and the most Kaballa Dolla left. A player then takes the small Carrot cards and reveals them one at a time.  Each time a small Carrot is revealed, the large corresponding Carrot card  is eliminated and turned face-down.  The last Carrot revealed determines the winner.

CONCLUSION:  The best way to describe this game is Rabbit Russian Roulette: The Card Game.  It is incredibly easy to lose your Bunny right before the game ends, or not get a Bunny for most of the game.  Still, the luck factor makes it so that even if you only get 1 Carrot the whole game, you can still end up winning, making it possible for even beginners and first timers to come out winning.  There are very few games where newer players have a chance to come out ahead, making this a rather strong recommendation.  Plus, the wacky build-up and planning ahead don't feel gimmicky, and the cultural references are all over the place, from puns like the Holy Angle, to the more obscure Red Dwarf reference in the Holographic Bunny.  This game is silly, luck-driven, and a whole lot of fun for the whole family.

AFTERTHOUGHTS:  One of the difficulties reviewing this game is the Expansions.  With the edition I played having one built in, and a dozen expansions, the gameplay has altered from one version to the next.  Still, with the extra cards and rules I've played with, the game changes a fair amount, allowing the game to have more life just from including or excluding a version of it.

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