About 15 years ago I had just graduated high school and moved out on my own for school in another state. This is a scary and freeing experience for a lot of recent grads. I moved in with a few roommates, none of which I knew, so of course those first few days is that awkward “feeling out” stage where you try to figure out what you had in common and determining if you would become friends or just stay roommates.
As much as I loved playing Halo back then I didn’t feel like spending every waking moment playing it like my roommates did, so I slowly began to just shut myself away in my room most days when I got home from classes.
One night one of my roommates had some of his friends from back home come over to hang out and one of them had a big blue box with a crazy looking rabbit on it under his arm. He placed it down on our kitchen table and then picked up a controller to join the rest of his buddies playing Halo. I came out of my room to eat some dinner and casually was looking at the game box on the table; the guy who brought it came and sat down and asked if I wanted to learn how to play.
I told him I did and he gave me a quick rundown of how the game went and then promptly called over everyone to come play. We ended up playing multiple games that night and I can contribute that night and that game to being the catalyst for turning my roommates into my friends.
The game of Killer Bunnies is simple in its rule set, that is, if you just use the core box. In the core set the game plays until 12 carrots have been collected by the players. In order to collect these carrots you play cards face down in front of you and each turn you turn the top card face up to play it, then you push the next card to the top, draw a new card and add another card face down below it.
Being that the game is called Killer Bunnies it is no surprise that having Bunnies is the key part of the game, but be ready to protect your furry little friends because you will need to be ready to feed them and keep them safe from all types of outrageous danger inflicted on them by the other players.
The two most common types of cards are Special cards and Run cards. When a Special card is placed face up you are allowed to put the card aside to play it later when you need it. These cards can do a variety of things such as give you additional supplies (i.e. money, cabbage, water, etc.), let you bring Bunny cards back into play and other fun things that are sometimes mini games unto themselves.
The Run cards that you push through must be played immediately and often times require that you have a Bunny card in play to even be able to use it. It is this requirement of needing a Bunny in play that puts that bit of strategy into the game. Knowing that you are essentially playing your cards two turns in advance makes you need to think ahead as best as possible to prepare for the best, and the worst.
The end condition for the game comes when the final carrot has been collected by the players. In the standard game there are 12 carrots up for grabs that can be acquired in a variety of ways. Once all carrots are collected it is time to determine the winner, this is done by slowly eliminating carrots until only one is left and that one is then declared the winning carrot and whoever has it has won.
There really isn’t a distinct singular theme running through this game, so this category is a tough one to really fill out. The more of the expansion boxes (they refer to them as Booster Decks) you add to the game you will begin to see more and more pop culture references in the artwork and names of the cards that are quite entertaining. I would ultimately say that the lack of a distinct theme is what makes the game so unique. Its fun to see what new cards will come out in the future as the creators can use anything and everything as a reference.
LEARNABILITY & DIFFICULTY
The game itself is very easy to teach in that your turns consist of: 1) flip a card, 2) do what it says, 3) draw a card, 4) lay down a new card. So, in the most basic sense this is a wildly easy game to teach and learn. There is a base set for the game that plays very simply, however, adding additional booster decks will increase the difficulty.
This adds more complexity to the game by increasing the ways that cards interact with each other. You will feel like you will want to reference the rulebooks or online FAQ threads pretty regularly to clear up any confusion but, at least for our house, we quickly as a group just decide on how we will interpret the card and move on and that really does help keep the game flowing.
They also have a children’s version of this game called Kinder Bunnies. My 4 year old has played this game and was able to pick up on the rules very quickly. She really enjoyed rolling the dice and drawing the colorful cards. She was able to play it without much assistance from an adult which was great. I would highly recommend Kinder Bunnies for children.
Killer Bunnies is a game where the amount you replay it will largely depend on how much you enjoy it. Well, duh, that’s just about every game right? Technically yes, but what I mean by that with Killer Bunnies is that there isn’t a variety of strategies or routes you can take to victory, you do just want to play the best card available to you each turn.
If you enjoy a game of chance then you will be very interested in playing this game over and over. There are so many cards and you will never get through them all in one game, so the anticipation of getting new cards each time you play is very likely and can add some fun replayability.
If you are looking for a game where you feel like you outplayed or outwitted the other players on your way to victory then this game may not meet that need. You can gather 90% of the carrot cards and still end up losing, because as they say… it only takes 1 to win!
Killer Bunnies ended up being a good game to have because I used it as a gateway game for some of my family who I knew wouldn’t be quite ready to jump straight in to some of the other heavier games that I owned at the time, just as it was for me years before. For this purpose, it has been a good addition to my collection.
Because this game relies so heavily on the chance of getting Bunnies and keeping them alive, there is potential to have those games where you can spend over half the time just waiting to get a Bunny card out in play because you were unable to feed them enough cabbage, or they were killed by one of numerous zany weapon cards. I highly recommend playing this game with family or friends as there will be lots of opportunity for socializing, snacking, and laughing while waiting for you next turn.
The artwork on the cards is incredible, it is one of the things I enjoy the most about the game because if you really take time to look at each picture there are so many secret items hidden in the artwork. It’s a beautiful game with some great humor. There is also something incredible to say about a game that still has new content coming out after 30 years.
This may not meet your hard-core gaming needs of strategy or achievements, but if you are wanting a game that’s full of dice rolling, luck of the draw, and obviously killing bunnies, then you will really enjoy the time you spend playing Killer Bunnies.
SUGGESTED SAND BOX GAMING PRODUCTS
Bunny Box Storage and Game Play Solution:
We have been so excited to collaborate with the creator and graphic designer of Killer Bunnies over the past few months in designing this beautiful and functional storage and game play solution.