Run Bunny Run

Run Bunny RunRun Bunny Run is a new title from Mayfair Games that was originally published in Finland by Peliko in 2015 as Runny Bunny. I got a review copy of Runny Bunny back then from Peliko.

The game: Run Bunny Run by Dennis Merkx and Kees Meis, published by Peliko in Finland in 2015 as Runny Bunny and Mayfair Games in US as Run Bunny Run in 2017.

Elevator pitch: Kids’ version of X-Wing Miniatures Game, played with only a bunch of cards.

What’s in the box? A small pack of cards: movement cards for the bunny and the wolves and couple of cards to act as obstacles and scenery.

The original Finnish box was way too big for the cards; hopefully Mayfair will use a better box. The box art is much better than in the Finnish version, hopefully card art is also improved, as it looked boring.

I have not seen the Mayfair version, so I can’t comment on that.

What do you do in the game? One player is a bunny and tries to escape the wolves. Wolves try to work together to eat the bunny.

All movement happens with cards: one card is on table and shows where you are. When you move, you choose a card from your hand, place it on the table overlapping your current card and that’s where you move.

Wolves don’t turn fast: their cards can be played exactly one way, and offer little flexibility. The bunny can play new cards on any edge of the current card, allowing very rapid changes of direction and plenty of surprises.

A round goes on until wolves reach the bunny or the bunny can make it to the rabbit hole. Points are scored by the winner, and then a new round is played, until everybody has been the bunny once.

This is simple, fairly clever, but – given how fast the bunny is, the wolves are going to have really hard time catching it. Bunny never tires, it just goes on and on, and should always be able to escape the wolves, at least with one or two wolves against it (I haven’t tried the four-player game). That means the game is likely to end up in a draw: everybody should win their round as the bunny.

Lucky or skillful? There’s no luck involved, as all cards are always available, and you have full control over what you do. Some luck might be good for the wolves.

Abstract or thematic? The theme makes sense, mostly.

Solitaire or interactive? Highly interactive: all the other players are actively chasing the bunny.

Players: 2–5. At least with two or three players the bunny should always be able to escape. With more wolves, things might get harder for the bunny if the wolves play well together, but there are more rabbit holes, too.

Who can play? Age recommendation is 8+, which is nice. For kids, the game isn’t as obvious, as playing the bunny well requires a bit of thought. This is probably best as a game for kids.

What’s to like: Fresh idea; small footprint.

What’s not to like: Balancing the game requires work; playing the game isn’t much fun, in the end.

My verdict: Run Bunny Run has a good idea and some potential. As it is, the balance issues make the game quite anticlimatic: ending the game in a three-way draw is never very exciting in a three-player game.

There’s something that can be done to balance the game, for example adding obstacles for the bunny on the course, but that’s work I’d prefer the game developers do, instead of leaving it for the players.

I haven’t seen the Mayfair Run Bunny Run edition. Mayfair said in a tweet that the games were independently developed and there are minor rule changes. Hopefully they address at least some of the issues.

On the scale of Enthusiastic, Suggest, Indifferent or Avoid, Run Bunny Run gets Indifferent from me.

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