Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot
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Blue Starter Deck Box
|Setup time||15 minutes|
|Playing time||60-90 minutes|
|Skill(s) required||Hand Management|
Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot is a noncollectible card game created by Jeff Bellinger and graphic design/illustrations by Jonathan Young. Some early artwork for the game was also done by "Alex" Alexander, although credit for his contributions are not generally recognized. It is published by Playroom Entertainment.
The objective of the game is to win, accomplished by acquiring carrot cards, one of which is revealed to be the winning "magic carrot" at the end of the game. Acquiring carrot cards is done primarily through the use of bunnies, which allow the use of an enormous variety of in-game actions. Thus, the game revolves around playing bunnies and eliminating opposing bunnies through various means (some comical and some violent, but the game art never shows blood or gore).
Each player maintains a hand of five cards and a run cycle of two cards. In each turn, players normally turn the Top Run card face up to play it, then slide the Bottom Run card into the Top Run position, draw a replacement card, and place a card from their hand into the Bottom Run position, thus returning their hand size to five cards.
Cards may be one of different varieties: "Run" cards are the basic type of cards, while "Special" cards are those that may be either played normally, or may be saved for later use when put through the run cycle. "Very Special" cards are similar, except that the player may choose to play the card out of turn, immediately from their hand. There are also the "Play Immediately" cards, which are played whenever they are drawn. Finally, "Kaballa Dolla" cards represent the monetary currency in the game, which may be used to purchase various items at the start of the player's turns.'
Killer Bunnies consists of a 110-card starter deck, as well as Cabbage and Water cards, and 6 twelve-sided dice. Booster sets containing 55 additional cards and other equipment have been released, adding to the complexity of the game. As of the Epsilon revision of the game, Killer Bunnies includes the first booster set. Due to its nature as a noncollectible card game, each expansion relies on gameplay elements found in previous expansions, prompting players to own every previous booster set before acquiring the next one. Some have criticized the piecemeal release, although it is not atypical of collectible card games, to which Killer Bunnies retains a passing resemblance. However, Killer Bunnies and its booster decks were originally designed together, with certain components referencing or referring to mechanics found in later booster decks. There are a total of 10 booster decks:
- The Blue set is the starter deck, and contains eight Carrot cards, the Kaballa's Market starter card, and 101 cards used in the draw pile. The Blue deck features fifteen different bunnies (three colors of every type).
- The Yellow booster deck adds four additional Carrots to the game. It features yellow and violet bunnies, as well as the first Free Agent! bunny of the game. As of the Epsilon edition of Killer Bunnies, Yellow deck is included with the Blue starter. The combined decks include 12 small cabbage cards, 12 small water cards, and 12 small carrot cards.
- The Red booster deck (2003) adds Red Bunnies, which are bunnies that have built-in abilities that additionally benefit the player. This deck also comes with the Rooney's Weapons Emporium starter card, where players can buy used weapons and defense cards. This booster also adds four additional Carrots to the game. Small cards include a cabbage and a water card, as well as 6 defense cards and the 4 small carrot cards. A red dodecahedral die is also included.
- The Violet booster deck (2003) adds Specialty Bunnies, which are uncolored bunnies which may only be matched with each other to form Bunny Triplets. This booster adds the last four Carrots to the game and the twenty-sided dice. Another small cabbage and another small water card are included, as well as 6 more defense cards and the last 4 small carrot cards.
- The Orange booster deck (2004) adds Weil's Pawn Shop to the game. Players can buy dead bunnies from Weil's Pawn Shop, as well as six different colored "pawns." Pawns allow matching-colored dice to be re-rolled when a player has them in its possession, as well as allowing certain cards to be played twice before discarding. You can also make a bunny triplet with a pawn of any color and two bunnies of that same color. Four additional Specialty Bunnies are featured, as well as two Double Free Agent! bunnies. No small cards are included in this booster.
- The Green booster deck (2004) adds Zodiac cards to the game. Players collect Zodiac cards similarly to Carrots, and at the end of the game, but before the Magic Carrot is revealed, one Zodiac card is revealed to be the winning Zodiac symbol, which grants the holder of the respective Zodiac card greater chances of obtaining the Magic Carrot. Half-color bunnies have also been added, where these bunnies may be treated as either of two different colors. 12 small zodiac cards are included, and a 12-sided die featuring the symbols of the zodiac.
- The Twilight White booster deck (2005) adds The White Stuff, a twelve-sided white die, whose holder is granted the exclusive use of substituting the die for any unfavorable die roll. Two more pawns, a black and a white pawn, are added.
- The Stainless Steel booster deck (2005) adds Super Bunnies, which are more powerful but incur additional consequences if they are removed from play. Also included are 8 defense cards, and a cabbage and a water card. The cabbage and water cards give the player only 1/2 cabbage or 1/2 water, respectively.
- The Perfectly Pink booster deck (2006) adds Pink Bunnies, which are similar to Red Bunnies, but are more powerful. It also adds Ranks which must be assigned to bunnies, allowing the player owning the highest-ranked Bunny a special privilege.
- The Wacky Khaki booster deck (2006) adds additional Ranks into the game.
- The Ominous Onyx booster deck (2007) adds Mysterious Places to the game. Players can play Mysterious Place cards, and during the game, the last player to draw one is granted the privilege of deciding the destiny of cards with a yellow ball with a red stripe in the picture. At the end of the game before the Winning Zodiac is revealed, the small Mysterious Place deck is inspected, and the player holding the Mysterious Place which matches the one at the bottom of the deck may take all Zodiacs of one color/type from any opponents. This booster deck includes 110 cards.
- The Chocolate booster deck (2010) adds 55 cards including the previously released (at conventions) Psi and Omega booster cards.
In addition, "Bunny Blanks" are also available, which allow players to create their own cards. Limited edition "Omega series" cards have also been released, providing a collectible aspect to the game. The "Psi series" cards, included with the Bunny Blanks, are also a second series of collectible Killer Bunnies cards.
In 2004, the kids version of Killer Bunnies, Kinder Bunnies: Their First Adventure, was released. It is a very simplified and largely nonviolent game, created for children as young as five years old. The Sky Blue Starter Deck has very little reading and just a series of basic cards. The Sunshine Yellow Booster Deck (included in the same box as the Starter Deck) requires more reading and may not be suitable for the younger kids. There are no other booster decks available for this game. However the Kinder Bunnies cards can also be added to the Killer Bunnies cards as an eleventh booster deck.
The most common criticism of Killer Bunnies is that the game is ultimately a lottery, with the winner being determined by the random choosing of the Magic Carrot, which is set at the start of the game. Because of this, a player consistently outclassed through the game can still win as long as a single bunny and a single carrot card is retained. Fans of Killer Bunnies contend that this random element keeps the game exciting even when one player's early card draws leave him in a poor position. It also allows less skilled or serious players to enjoy a game against more experienced players. Others have complained about the complexity of Killer Bunnies, especially with the booster packs added to the game.
There are, however, alternate rules that allow for a non-random endgame. Points are assigned for each Carrot that a player has acquired, and the "Magic Carrot" is worth a slightly higher point value. This way, a player with only the Magic Carrot can still be beaten by a player that has dominated the game with collecting many Carrots.
Sequels to the original Killer Bunnies game have been released. Killer Bunnies and the Journey to Jupiter was released in October 2008. There is also a third game in the series by the name of Killer Bunnies and the Ultimate Odyssey that was released in 2010. Odyssey, like the others, is non-collectible and constructable. However, in order to fulfill players' desires for less randomness, it involves players building their own unique decks to draw from, instead of drawing from a central pile.
- Playroom entertainment games catalog http://playrooment.com/games.html