When hares want to get food, they have not an easy task ahead. The forest is a dangerous place, where anything can happen. Only when bears and wolves leave shade of trees and walk away, it is safe to stick nose out. But this little heroes are unaware, that over their heads, completely different risk floats!
Adventures of these small conies is passed to players and board game Carrotia. It was prepared for us by designer Malte Kuhl, who carried out his work under auspices of Mage Company. Game was released in 2016 and its illustrations were done CDS Studio.
On the lid, heroic bunny awaits players. It is wearing a hood and holding some carrots under his arm. Maybe dinner. Packaging is not too large, but dimensions are perfectly corresponding to the content. Forty tiles with paths straight, curled and junctions, all are shuffled together to create a reserve in the middle of the table. They will also be accompanied by wooden figure of a bunny and two arrow tokens (red and green). Cards with tasks (distribution of map made of tiles) is divided into three packages according to their back and place pile aside as a reserve. All that remains is to prepare stacks of tokens (birds and carrots) and set of six dice. You will also need hourglass. Whole setup for players will end with selection of their own rabbit hero.
In each of three rounds, players have a common task. At the beginning, each player gets a random set of tiles and they together reveal also one goal card. Its rear side must match number of the current round. Map of forest grows with each round (3×3, then 4×4 and then 5×5 boxes). Once all tiles are visible and ready, players turn the hourglass to measure their building efforts. Anyone can attach one piece from his hand and immediately pass the baton to the next teammate in clockwise order (or against it again, following direction specified by goal card).
Gradually, tiles are attached to each other and players must stick within appropriate dimensions of the whole area. But that is not all. Pieces must always follow patterns, so road has to connected to another road. But there are many additional informations printed on the card of tasks in addition to given dimension. Players will find, where carrots grow and which places are watched by birds, but there is marked also the only entrance to the area (red arrow) and exit from it (green arrow).
After placing a tile, player draws new one from the menu. So everyone in the team alternates and besides classical adding, team has the option of swapping tiles and their disposition in any way they like. Once completed, the entire map must comply to the specified dimensions and rabbit endeavor ends. Whole team must do this in a predetermined time limit. Once elapsed, placing additional tiles can no longer be done.
According to goal card, appropriate tokens of carrots, birds, as well as entrance and exit in the form of colored arrows are spread on the map. If the players made a mistake during the construction, and discovered it only now, they must add one more bird token to it. But they also are given chance to swap positions of the three tiles to ensure, that their hero could avoid new danger.
Bunny then finally sets out on its journey. Players take turns again, this time pushing a wooden figure one step across the map, according to their plan or common agreement. In total, hare is clearly given number of steps, in which it should be out of the forest again (number specified by rulebook for each round). And while running, it should still try to collect as many carrots as possible.
In addition, also birds will be moving across the whole area and their movement is governed by roll of the dice. Rolled symbol determines, in which direction these dangerous predators should move, whether by arrows or direction towards rabbit or nearest carrot. If rabbit reaches its goal (red arrow), then it managed to escape with all collected carrots. Now these orange goodness are set aside and players continue by playing two more rounds. Each new round builds on an already finished maze. Players attach new tiles or swap them with each other. At the same time, they also have more time to build and even more steps to run away. After the third round, players count their commonly gathered carrots and need to have at least twenty of them. Only then can they celebrate victory.
Carrotia reminds us with its ease and fun gameplay of Leo game, where you are playing a hairdresser lion. Both are cooperative games, but while lion haidresser needs you to have good memory, here players must rely on quick decisions and lightning bargain.
Joint creation of path according to common goal is great. Game at this point beautifully passes over from turn to turn and all involved players are having fun. All players are constantly under pressure and tries to build a maze with all their strength, not only quickly, but also correctly. Bunny has to go through whole route quickly, safely, but also collect enough carrots, which are his main goal. Replacing pieces takes some of your valuable time, but at the same time allows also to correct any errors or decisions, that a few seconds later may not seem like the best solution to the puzzle.
But then suddenly, maze is built and second phase comes. Bunny is moving step by step, players roll the dice and move birds. And this part of each round is nowhere near as interesting and we rather called it right now boring. Unfortunately, pawn’s motion takes too long and completely spoils great feeling from match.
The game is of course primarily about cooperation, but there is not so much time to communicate your opinions. In the first part of each round, every second counts, so teammates quickly exchange ideas, but there is not enough time for some planning or negotiation. And in the second phase, it’s not too much to think about. Older children and parents see clearly best way forward and there is no fun in that.
In their way also can stand flock of unpredictable birds. And this is all purely about luck, which represents roll of the dice. Flying enemies are initially anonymous, circling above small bunnies out of their sight. But as they get closer, heroes can now recognize six different species, that can surprise heroes, eat their carrots or carry it around. And all this has absolutely crucial impact on the success of players, who have no option to influence this.
Game is reasonably fast and takes up some twenty to thirty minutes of your time. But you spend half of them sliding hare around. All players will be pleased, of course, by graphical processing, which is clearly directed at children and those are also closest to having fun with game (eight years is a good recommendation). At the same time, there is smallest chance, that they will mind slowness of the second part of each round. Smaller players will also need to negotiate over each step and will not see it at first glimpse. There should not be too much players in the match, because it will lose the feeling of cooperation and players get too little turns for themselves.
Carrotia lures you with beautiful processing. Players work together as a group of heroes, head to the area and try to collect enough carrots for their rabbit family. This requires a well build of ever growing maze and then leading their figure from beginning to end. All this with limited time. Carrotia is fun for smaller kids, but quite a disappointment for older players (mostly due to second part of the round).
Carrotia is a cooperative adventure game, in which you must accompany hares on their quest to collect carrots and avoid bird predators. Their main task is to collect orange food to feed their family. Their road is gradually build and expanded in joint efforts of players from dealt tiles. Players have to pave the way for their bunnies. In advance, however, that shows them spots, where carrots grow and which sites should be avoided. This is all depending on the cards of variable tasks. Unfortunately, against a great first part of each round, there is its opposite very weak second part, where actually nothing happens. And player's efforts still can be spoiled with bad luck. Carrotia remains an excellent choice for younger schoolchildren. All other will be discouraged by experience from second stage of each round.
Reader Rating0 Votes
nice cartoon graphics
special abilities of birds and heroes
pretty hard (increased difficulty with each round)