Bunny Kingdom: In the Sky
Genre: Card Drafting w/ Area Influence
Player Count: 2-5
Play Count as of Review: 8
- Bunny Kingdom is one of our favorite games of all time. I feel that is important to note as we dive into this review. While this expansion adds several new aspects to the base game, I think the main thing it targets is making smaller fiefs more beneficial.
- As with any expansion, In the Sky brings several additions to the Bunny Kingdom world. The most notable is the cloud board, which adds additional grids that includes another new addition, wonderous resources. These resources are fixed in their location and the board can be accessed by using rainbow bridge tokens, which are similar to sky tower cards in the base game. The cloud board differs from the regular board in that locations are no longer in a standard grid but offset in a way that a location tile will be adjacent to more tiles than if they were just stacked on top of one another.
- In the Sky also includes purple bunnies which allows for a fifth player to join the fray. In addition, due to the inclusion of a new board, there are additional bunnies for the original colors so that players have enough to do everything when the expansion is included. There are also new parchments for end of game scoring that incorporate the new mechanics and additions, such as new luxury resources. In the Sky introduces Carrotadels as well, which are castles with five towers (as compared to the previous high of three towers from the base game).
- Chimney’s are another new addition to Bunny Kingdom that incorporates more interaction between the cloud board and the main board. The chimney blows its basic resource from a cloud space onto fiefs on the main board. The main benefit of this is that it helps prop up small kingdoms as they no longer need to stretch to reach a basic resource if the cloud can provide it.
- The other big update is that of “trade”. Trade introduces coins to the Bunny Kingdom universe and they are collected when districts are formed. Players will receive bonuses based on their coins and luxury/wonderous resources.
- Trade may be the biggest change to strategy in the game as it makes smaller kingdoms more viable against making one large blob of a kingdom. More importantly though, it makes direct aggression a much more viable strategy. In the base game, there are plenty of times that you draw a card that is beneficial to an opponent but not to yourself. Taking it will hurt them but not help you in the slightest. Coins change that as now all you have to do is connect that location to another to gain coins. I really like the inclusion of coins and would like to experiment with just using this ‘module’ with the base game as it really adds to the options you have on a turn.
- When adding new content to a base game, a major worry is time. I love Bunny Kingdom but that does not mean I want to play a 90 minute game of it. Thankfully, we found that all of these additions really only added up to ten minutes of play time to the game. Even with the increased decision making, the core mechanics stayed relatively the same and while your first game may take longer as you get used to utilizing the new board and understanding trade, subsequent plays should fall in line with the time spent playing the base game.
- Five players in Bunny Kingdom is a lot and while I appreciate the ability to include a fifth person, it is something we have done rarely as the game becomes much too crowded for its own good. The expansion fits well with the original player count but definitely feels ‘better’ with more players. In a two-player game, the addition of the cloud board makes the map too large for the conflicts of land placement to really rear their head as it did on just the base board. It feels like players need to stretch themselves too thin to inhabit the base and cloud board or completely ignore one so they can maximize their potential on the other board. This is obviously hard to account for with the card draw which makes the expansion even more frustrating since you cannot easily plan your actions. I would recommend only incorporating this expansion when playing with three or four people.
- I do not find In the Sky to be a necessary addition to the Bunny Kingdom universe and caution against teaching new players everything at once. The inclusion of the new board and the wonderous resources may be enough to give players pause as they try to wrap their heads around the scoring possibilities and the way to navigate to such resources. There are enough items that are similar to base concepts but different (looking at your rainbow bridge) that differentiating in the first or second time you play the game may prove troublesome.
- This expansion introduces new concepts to a game that I felt was near perfect. I would have preferred more of what we had (maybe a new base map) as opposed to new mechanics and concepts. Bunny Kingdom is one of our more played games and yet, we do not find ourselves clamoring to return to the cloud world. It added more complication to a model that did not need it (in my opinion). Normally, for expansions like this I would say that if you are a diehard fan of the base game, then something that I personally am lukewarm on may still be of value to you but as a diehard fan of this game, I am glad to have tried it but I honestly have no idea when I will get the expansion to the table again.