Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot is a very apt name for this silly action game. Each player is on a mission to use their killer bunnies to find this magic carrot. The “killer” part refers to the fact that rival bunnies are trying to kill you so they can get the magic carrot for themselves, and it’s probably in your best interest to return the favour. There are aspects of this game that deserve merit, though other parts of it can be real deal-breakers for some.
Inside the box, you’ll get a few sets of small and large cards. The most important of which are the blue and yellow cards, which represent bunny and action cards. Each player is dealt 7 cards at the start. Then, there is a stack of large Carrot cards. These will need to be collected in order to have a shot at winning the game. These are placed alongside of the Carrot and Water cards in the store. Finally, a stack of small Carrot cards are put aside until the end of the game.
On each player’s first turn, they will play two action cards. The first is placed face up, while the second is placed face down. It’s highly recommended that you play a bunny card first, as you’ll need at least one active bunny to perform most actions. On subsequent turns, The remaining face-down is revealed, and a new action card is played face-down to replace it.
Because of this, you have to pick most of your cards two moves before they actually get played. This creates some very interesting sequence challenges, as a card that was great to play two moves ago may no longer be worthwhile once it’s actually live. For example, a Four-Leaf Clover card is a great modifier that makes a bunny harder to kill. However, if the bunny is killed between the time you play it and the time it’s active, it’s useless. Managing your risk is a big part of the experience.
Besides activating bunnies, your action cards grant you an assortment of different options. Weapon cards of varying strengths can kill as few as one bunny, or put the entire group at risk of mass murder. Hungry cards can force another player to feed their bunny before the end of their next turn or they starve to death. More straightforward cards, like currency, can be used to buy Carrot, Water or Cabbage cards.
From a gameplay perspective, they do the job of giving you interesting things to do on your turns. My problem with them is that the art style is garish and the attempt of satire of the card names and designs falls flat. Most specifically, I think the art looks like it was lifted from a clearance bin children’s colouring book.
Once all of the Carrot cards have been collected, the small Carrot card deck is brought back into play. The bottom card of that small deck is revealed, and if you’re holding the matching large Carrot card, you win! You successfully found the magic carrot!
Some will be just fine with the way the game is won. I am not one of those people. For the most part, it’s a fun experience of trying to gather carrots and protect your bunnies. But then you hit the end and winning is reduced to what essentially amounts to a lottery. While this rule does achieve its goal of giving players who performed poorly a viable chance of winning, it’s also going to infuriate players who played well and lost out to someone that was probably far less deserving. This form of equalization drives me mad, as it undermines almost everything you do leading up to that point.
Art direction concerns aside, your stance on the primary winning condition in Killer Bunnies and the Quest of the Magic Carrot will make or break this experience for you. If you can accept it for what it is, you’ll get an enjoyable action game that’s sort of gives off Munchkin-like vibes in terms of feel and gameplay with a few unique wrinkles of its own. For others, the randomness of winning and some of the randomness that occurs over the course of the game will be too much to bear. I enjoy it for what it is, I think that winning condition prevents it from reaching its full potential.
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