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Kinder Bunnies: Their First Adventure» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Family Focused Review rss

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Tim Royal
United States
Snohomish
Washington
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Sad as it is to report, not every child avidly loves Memoir '44. Having discovered this fact across the breadth of all three of my children, I set off on the unenviable task of finding the "sweet spot" games that are enjoyable to younger kids and tolerable to the adults who love them. Kinderbunnies, one of the games purchased under this premise, has grown to become a game not just tolerated, but thoroughly enjoyed by adults and kids alike.

In Kinderbunnies, players attempt to build up a sizable set of bunny cards and carrot cards, all the while avoiding the flurry of cabbage, water, and special event cards thrown at them by opponents. At the end of the game, depending on the choice of rules used for play, the player with the most bunny and carrot cards wins the game.

Kinderbunnies game components consist of a deck of blue cards, a deck of yellow cards, pink carrot cards, miniature "carrot cards" (used for the lottery in the really advanced game ruleset), and five ten sided dice. Bunnies have different themes, such as Sporty Bunny, Adventure Bunny, and others. With the exception of the Adventure Bunny, the themes have little to do with game play.

The game also ships with a rule book that doubles as a sticker book and color book, and facilitates usage thereof by providing bunny stickers for this very task. The instructions are relatively straight forward, though actual game play sessions instruct players equally as well as the rule booklet.

There are, in fact, three rulesets for play, seemingly to satisfy different age groups. At its most simple, only the blue deck comes into play, which includes a basic set of bunnies, water, cabbage, and a few cards used to obtain (or cause other to unobtain) carrots.

After a few games, judging by the interest level and adeptitude of the audience, it'll be time to roll in the yellow cards, which is where the excitement and less subdued player interaction begins. The deck of yellow cards includes more of the cards found in the blue deck, plus a wealth of additional events and havoc wreaking cards.

Finally, for those who don't mind the lottery nature of the super advanced rules, the miniature carrot cards come into play. At the end of the game using these rules, the top miniature card is flipped over and the owner of the carrot wins, assuming he has a bunny left alive.

Good Points:
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* High quality, durable components: The cards themselves are bright, colorful, laminated and rigid. In other words, perfect for kids and for lots of use without erosion. The cheerfulness of the card artwork masks the more sinister nature of some of their unneighborly use.

* Humor and theme. Tremendous effort, thought, and care was put into providing just the right balance of tongue in cheek humor with cards that legitimately offer strategic thought that kids, if they're observant enough, may wield to their advantage. Players unleash Feed the Bunny cards that require an opponent to feed its bunny, or lose it. Safety hazard cards force opponents to roll the dice in search of a specific number (noted on the card), in order to keep their bunny from the discard pile. Some of the sillier event cards can let you look at opponents cards, or make everyone give a card to the player on the left, or even discard all their water cards (wherein sly little children will immediately slap a "Feed the Bunny Water" card knowing all your water cards are now discarded).

* Player interaction. Few games promote the bantering and competitive spirit for younger audiences like Kinderbunnies. Even with the humor and light artistic mood, there are plenty of opportunities to pull off some nasty maneuvers against fellow players. It may be worth warning that resentment and hurt feelings have occurred in games, which is an opportunity to remind gamers about the importance of keeping emotions in check and playing competitively but with the emphasis on good sportsmanship (at least, that's what my kids have to keep reminding me of during this game).

Bad Points:
-----------------------------------

* Super Advanced Game Rules - In this version of the game, the real winner comes down to a lottery pick. Players can increase their chances by having more carrot cards, but a player with one lone bunny and a carrot could conceivably win the game despite all his opponent's efforts. Depending on the audience, this may be a game style that never sees use. Fortunately, the three different options provide enough alternatives for gamers to decide which ruleset works best within their gaming circle.

Without doubt, Kinderbunnies successfully merges the world of grown-up games and childrens entertainment in a style that can completely hook entire families into session after session of KinderFun. Young players to old, anyone could win this game, and no player is ever out of the running for victory at any time in the game. Like Rat a Tat Cat, for its budget cost you'd be hard pressed to find a better game that really works "for all ages".
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Green Knight Games
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Cheltenham
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... and when the kids have grown tired of this, you could start them on Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot.
www.boardgamegeek.com/game/3699
The rules sound exactly the same except the bunnies get to kill each other with various weapons of rabbit destruction.
 
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Jim Patterson
United States
Iowa City
Iowa
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It's kind of too bad I don't like Killer Bunnies better because it seems like some good thought went into the reworking of it as a kids title.
 
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Larry Welborn
United States
Anderson
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Thanks for the "family focused" review. There aren't that many reviews around that address playability for children so it is always good to see one.

One question: Is there any reading required to play?
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Tim Royal
United States
Snohomish
Washington
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One question: Is there any reading required to play?

I've found that while there is a definite need to read the cards initially, my kids quickly memorized the words and could easily identify the cards based on the distinct artwork. The youngest player we have is just turning four, and he's just able to grasp most of the cards. Our five year old, however, has every card memorized by heart.
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Tim Royal
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Thanks for the "family focused" review. There aren't that many reviews around that address playability for children so it is always good to see one

Thanks! Yeah, I set aside computer games for board games last year, so that I could spend some face time with the kids, and it's been fantastic. I'm always on the lookout for games all of us will enjoy.
 
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Bill H
United States
Absecon
New Jersey
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"A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation." LP Jacks
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larry welborn wrote:
Thanks for the "family focused" review. There aren't that many reviews around that address playability for children so it is always good to see one.

One question: Is there any reading required to play?

The Blue deck doesn't really require reading as long as the players can remember what a "Take a Carrot" and "Bunny Money" look like.

The Yellow deck requires some reading on many cards.
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