Killer Bunnies And the Quest for the Magic Carrot Game Review

Killer Bunnies BlueKiller Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot is a perennial family card game meant for older children and large groups. This is not a high strategy card game, as it is filled with a high degree of randomness; but it is a great party game that shines for large group games.

Appearance: Like it’s title, Killer Bunnies is both cute and slightly morbid, with cartoon bunnies armed to the teeth and looking scared. The magic carrots are a chuckle, as are the various bunnies and the weapons the bunnies wield. Both the card stock and general appearance of the game is of average quality – the cards won’t be wearing out after a few games but overall, nothing to shout about. The front cover pretty much gives ay purchaser the level of art they can expect to encounter.

Rules / Ease of Learning
: Overall, the game is relatively fast to pick-up once you learn the rules. It’s not particularly hard to play, with the basic rules being that players have a hand of 5 cards and 2 ‘run’ cards which are turned over at the start of the player’s round. This forces players to ‘plan’ their actions 2 rounds in advance, adding a slight strategic component to the game.

It does seem however that because Playroom Entertainment were trying to keep the rules very simple, a number of important points were missed out in the rules coverage or were hard to find. Examples include – when can I buy from the Kabala Marketplace, should I continue to draw cards after an ‘Immediate’ card comes into play and when does the cyber bunny attack the next bunny?

I also add that the rules should have taken time to explain the iconography on the cards, since certain important aspects (e.g. the pink bar indicating a card can only be played with a bunny in play) are not covered straight away.

Gameplay: Killer Bunnies is first and foremost not a very strategic card game. This is a tactical, humorous card game meant for beginner gamers, children or large groups of friends looking for a light board game. The game is not meant to be taken too seriously and should not be approached with a competitive state of mind – there’s too much randomness for the game to benefit a highly strategic player.

This is however a perfect game for those who want a simple, light and humorous game to have around the house or for those who play board games occasionally. The sudden swings in fortune caused by the sometimes over-powerful cards, the constant murder of bunnies and the twist of fate brought about by the dice can be a roller-coaster of fun and humour.

In many ways, Killer Bunnies can be seen as the compatriot of Munchkin – both have a high degree of randomness and interaction, both are light card games that are relatively easy to teach and both should never be taken seriously. It’s just that Killer Bunnies targets a larger, less specialised niche of the population.

Conclusion: Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot is a great card game to have in the house to bring large groups of players to the table – either whimsical adults or children. While this will not be the game for serious gamers, it is a good starter game that fills the gap like Bang!, Citadels or Munchkin.

Competitor Data – Or the long road left to follow

I recently went and visited Alexa to check up on our positioning on the web.  For those who don’t know, Alexa ranks websites by the traffic that they receive.  It’s data collection method and ranking is notoriously flawed, but since no one else has anything better, it’s still used.  To quickly summarise, data and rankings are generated by tracking the visits of individuals who have downloaded the Alexa toolbar.  This is obviously a sub-set and of a sub-set of the browsing population.

It’s interesting to see that we are currently ranked, by Alexa as the 1,658, 210th most visited website on the planet.  Of which, nearly 60% of all our traffic is from the US.  Many of our other major Canadian competitors are all ranked slightly higher than us except  for one whose rank is significantly higher at 763,224.

Now, the truly interesting bit for us is the fact that our competitors are considered the 33,103th, 65,307 and 207,157th most visited website for Canadians, while we don’t even rank.

Combined with some other competitive data we’ve found, we’re at least  4 time smaller, if not 5; than some of the other sites out there.

So, as a Canadian board game store, we’re still a distance behind.  On the other hand, some of these stores have been around for 10 years now, and many more launched in 2002 – 2005.  So we’re still very much the new kid on the block.

Truthfully, knowing how far there is to go is actually quite inspiring.  It’s obvious that running an online store is a viable business, and that there’s still a lot more that we can do to before we become the store to beat in Canada.  I’m looking forward to seeing  where we are in a year’s time

Vampire : Prince of the City Review

Vampire : Prince of the City is a game of Machiavellian politics, area control and backstabbing. Yup, it’s translated the RPG very well into a board game for 3 to 5 players, with players taking control of one of five Primogen in an attempt to gain sufficient prestige to be voted Prince of the city at the end of the game. A tense, backstabbing game of intrigue and politics, this is not a game for those groups who want everybody to play nice.

Appearance: Very good, with the artwork and miniatures all designed to coincide with White Wolf’s existing artwork. For those who have played their games, the artwork will help you fall into the theme of the game better. From a newcomers point of view, the work is rather dark and gothic and some of the colours might be a tad too close for those with colour blindness issues, but otherwise, the artwork on the board, cards and miniatures is of good quality.

Rules / Ease of Learning: This is perhaps Vampire: Prince of the City’s greatest flaw. The game breaks down into 5 phases per turn, with each phases rules being at first, simple to learn, but later on, quite complex due to minute errata and rules. The 5 rounds consist of Resource Collection; Movement; Challenge, Influence and Resolution Phases.

The Resource Collection phase begins with players able to take two actions from a list of 5; the majority actions being either to draw more cards, hunt for Vitae (blood) or raise a vampire (even yourself) from Torpor (unconsciousness). Players can only hold 3 cards and play 5 cards at any one time during this phase.

Movement is perhaps the simplest phase (but very important one due to how players can influence the board) as players can move to any location on the board. The challenge phase allows players to challenge individual characters or events that occur – with personal prestige being won for event challenges that are completed. Of course, if you fail a challenge, you can lose prestige or worst!

The Influence phase allows players to gain ‘influence counters’ to take over specific zones of influence. Control all the zones of influence and you gain a Domain, which provides more influence counters in the next game. Again here, there are minor errata on what type of areas you can influence. Finally, the Resolution Phase is where you resolve and count up the prestige with the Regent (first player) being chosen from the individual with the highest prestige.

The rulebook is written like a RPG book – a ton of text, with few bullet points to highlight exceptions or rules. This makes it hard to check for specific problems, and is perhaps the biggest failing of the game. Certainly it made our first game much longer than it should have.

Gameplay: You will have fun in your first game of Vampire : Prince of the City if you can ignore the constant searching for errata, since the base game is quite easy to get into and the events and challenges make the game intriguing. Also, the fact that this is a political game ensures that with the right group, the game is going to be thrilling.

It’s in subsequent games though that you will find true enjoyment as you realise the depth of strategy available, from backstabbing to specific challenges you can take to gain control. While the backbone of the game is area control, the ability to personally challenge and ‘hurt’ other players gives specific characters an interesting strategic dimension to these influence battles as they can potentially ‘force‘ another player to remove themselves from a region.

None of the characters seem over-powered and the fact that the characters each have their own series of ‘disciplines’ allow for quite a bit of repeat play value.

The game particularly benefits from a game group that has played it a few times, since (hopefully) they will all develop in their strategies and tactics, providing depth to the game through the gameplay.

Conclusion: Vampire: Prince of the City is a solid game that truly brings the idea of backstabbing and fighting to the fore, with players who enjoy the original RPG definitely being a fan of the board game. This is Vampire Diplomacy at its best with backstabbing, bestial battles and vitae hunting to the max.

August Best Sellers

As always, the latest bestsellers have gone up at on the main site. As a comparison, here’s July 2009’s bestsellers.

Dominion : Intrigue
1. Dominion : Intrigue

2. Agricola

3. Settlers of Catan

4. Small World

5. Carcassonne Big Box 2

6. Dominion

7. Power Grid

8. Puerto Rico

9. Bang! : the Bullet

10. Citadels Card Game

In addition, here are the bestselling board games that were released in 2009 for the month of July.

Dominion : Intrigue
1. Dominion : Intrigue

2. Small World

3. Carcassonne Big Box 2

4. Bang! : the Bullet

5. Space Alert

6. Tales of the Arabian Nights

7. Galaxy Trucker : the Big Expansion

8. Snow Tails

9. Arctic Scavengers

10. Le Havre

September Newsletter

Contest Winner Announcements

The winner off the small publisher contest is Ted Rubin as chosen by Kyle Gabhart at Driftwood. Congratulations Ted. We will be contacting Ted directly about his win.

In addition, Ryan Newell has won the review contest and the $20 coupon as well as enterring the draw for the Annual Grand Prize!

Ongoing Contests

The monthly review contest is on to its second month and the winner of each monthly review contestwill receive a $20 gift certificate and be enterred into the final; end of the year draw for the Grand Prize of $250 of board games! So start writing your reviews now, since every review is an individual entry into the monthly grand prize.

In addition, our Small Publisher Contest will be starting again on September 15, 2009 with the new contest winnner announced in the November newsletter. Our next contest will showcase Your Move Games who have generously offered two games – the Punic Wars & Battle for Hill 218.

Site Updates

VCon 36 (the Vancouver Fantasy & Science Fiction Convention) is coming on October 3 – 5, 2009 and is being held at the Mariott Pinacle in Downtown Vancouver. This is our 3rd year at VCon and we look to seeing all of you who can make it there.

Additionally, we’ve updated our product pages to showcase the various reviews that we have on the site and hopefully, clarified the stock status and availability of games on these pages. We are continuing work on the site and hopefully have a few more changes coming soon to make the site even easier to navigate.
Upcoming Games

A ton of greatly anticipated games have been announced. Space Hulk is receiving a limited print-run from Games Workshop with great quality components and a high price. The new Battlestar Pegasus Expansion is released early this month and the reprint of Race for the Galaxy : Rebel vs Imperium is arriving this week.

Lastly, Warhammer : Chaos in the Old World should be arriving in September as well as the Band of Heroes reprint.