Wascally Wabbit: A Review of Carrotia

Carrotia

Navigate a treacherous maze, fend off vicious birds, and bring home the carrots in this adorable, cooperative, bunny-themed board game for one to six players.

Gameplay

In Carrotia, players have to build a maze and then navigate a rabbit through it, while collecting carrots and avoiding birds.

The game is divided into three rounds, each of which has two phases. Every player is dealt a handful of tiles. During the first round, players draw a card from the first quest deck. The quest deck shows where in the maze carrots and birds will appear, where the rabbit will enter the maze, and by what tile he’ll leave it.

As soon as the quest card is revealed, a timer is set. During the first round, this timer is thirty seconds. Players then take turns placing or switching out tiles to create the maze. The first maze is made up of nine tiles. Paths have to connect to paths, woods to woods. The entrance must not be blocked, and the rabbit must be able to reach the exit.

After the timer runs out, players place the carrots and the birds as indicated by the quest card. If tiles were misplaced or players ran out of time before placing them all, another bird is added to the maze in exchange for placing and/or moving four more tiles.

During the next phase of the round, players take turns moving the rabbit. In round one, the rabbit has 10 moves in order to collect as many carrots as it can and reach the exit. After each move, dice are rolled for the birds which dictate where they move in the maze. Each bird has a unique effect upon reaching either a carrot token or the rabbit itself; normally it’s bad for the players.

After the rabbit reaches the exit, the next round begins. Each round, more tiles are added to the ever-growing maze, the timer is longer, and the rabbit is allowed more moves during the second phase. If the players collect 20 or 25 carrots by the end of the game (it varies based on number of players), they win.

Carrotia Components

Review

We'll start with the downside: the rulebook is a jumbled mess. Whole sentences are misplaced, there is misinformation, some images are wrong, and several situations are left unclear. However, the MAGE Company website offers a corrected set of rules, which makes it a lot easier to grasp the basics of the game. There are still a few times where we weren’t one hundred percent certain what to do, but for the most part the edited rules are a huge improvement.

On the upside, Carrotia’s blend of beat-the-clock gameplay with the slower, logical phase of puzzling out how to send the rabbit through the maze whilst picking up the most carrots and avoiding birds, is a unique combination and makes for a lot of fun variation in the game itself.

The theme and artwork are both adorable, but despite the kid-friendly look of them, it definitely has enough weight to interest adults. The challenge of building the maze, and building it quickly, isn’t an easy one, and it will probably take you playing the game several times before you really get the hang of laying your tiles down optimally. In fact, it would be nice if you could adjust the difficulty a little. Maybe have some choice in the length of the timers for instance. The first couple of times we played, we failed to keep up with the first round timer by a significant amount of time; for younger players, I would think it would be even more difficult.

Overall, Carrotia is a fun, light game. It may not be perfect, but the rabbits capture your imagination and the gameplay keeps your interest.

Pros: Adorable theme, clever mix of mechanics

Cons: Poor rulebook, no difficulty adjustment

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.