diana;;red eyed rabbit;;belgium;;publisher;;webshop;;board;;scifi;;fantasy Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee & Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams During our visit of the 'Revenge of the Dictators' launch party, we met Tom Pattyn and Erlend van der Haegen; the two guys that make up Red Eyed Rabbit, a Belgian webshop / developer that specializes in fantasy and scifi games. These guys are actually selling board games through their own webshop, as well as developing a number of games themselves! How cool is that?

RED EYED RABBIT

By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee and Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on October 17, 2016

During our visit of the 'Revenge of the Dictators' launch party, we met Tom Pattyn and Erlend van der Haegen; the two guys that make up Red Eyed Rabbit, a Belgian webshop / developer that specializes in fantasy and scifi games. These guys are actually selling board games through their own webshop, as well as developing a number of games themselves! How cool is that?

MANDRAGO

So, they make their own games, huh? Did you play any? Well, of course we did! The first Red Eyed Rabbit game we played was called Mandrago, and it whisked us away to a magical forest, filled with the sought-after colored Mandrago roots and various fairytale creatures. You are actually an adventurer on an important quest to save the princess' life. To find a cure for what ails her, you travel to a mystical forest. This is where your adventure begins!

Mandrago is a card / memory game that requires a tactical approach to win and, first and foremost, a decent memory! The aforementioned forest is made up out off tiles with a tree printed on one side and a range of different roots and fairytale creatures on the other. It's the roots you are after, because they'll save the princess! You can use the fairytale creatures to increase the value of your own flowers or decrease the value of your opponent's flowers, or even gain extra points for having a fairytale creature in your possession, so it's important to keep an eye on both the roots as well as the creatures in order to win...


Let's start with the most logical question about the game; how do I win? Well, by collecting enough points! The first to reach a set amount of points, wins! The game can be played with 2, 3 or 4 players, which changes the number of points that a player must score in order to be victorious. Our game had 3 players, so we had to reach the magical number of 13 points. So how do we get points, I hear you ask? Well, by collecting stuff from the forest. Each turn a player gets, he or she may take one of the tiles from the forest and put it in his or her collection. After this, they may also look at three tiles and must reveal one of them, before placing all three tiles back, facing down. Optionally, the player may turn over one of the three tiles he or she just looked at. This tile cannot be collected by any of the players for the rest of the game, but may very well have another influence on the game. It may increase or reduce the number of points that a particular color of Mandrago root is worth and, in the process, turn the entire scoreboard upside down.

The Mandrago roots are all worth two points at first, but a point can be added if you find an elf of the same color as your plant. You can also lose a point when a goblin of the same color is found in the woods and turned over by one of the players. Besides elves and goblins, you can find other creatures in the woods, like witches, dragons and knights. Each creature has their own values and special ability that can be either good or bad news for you, depending on the color of flowers you have collected. Knights and dragons can be used to vanquish either creatures of the light (if you're using a dragon) or creatures of the dark (if you're using a knight). This, also, can upset the balance and bring about big changes in the current value of a particular color of root.


Mandrago is an awesome game to play and even younger children can play along. Because most children have a better memory then most adults, they can actually win the game! The game features cool characters and artwork, very good gameplay and a crystal clear rule-set! And, because you can never tell who is going to win, right up till the end, Mandrago stays exciting from start to finish. This is something I love about the game, because it makes the playing it that more fun for all players! It's a must-have for everyone who loves an exciting and somewhat strategic game that doesn't take 15 hours to finish, but is challenging enough for even the most seasoned player.

HYPNOSE

The second game we played at the Red Eyed Rabbit booth, was Hypnose; a deck-building game with a twist that is currently available for backing on Kickstarter. All the players are hypnotists and the goal is to put all the other players under hypnoses before they do the same to you. To this end, each player puts his or her pawn on the outermost space of one of the four spiraling paths on the board. After this they all receive a starting deck with which they can start hypnotizing the other players. Each player takes a number of cards and shuffles the rest into a draw pile, which is placed face-down on the table. Every turn, the players get the opportunity to strengthen their decks with tools, experts and other cool items that help to make defeating other players that much easier.

Every round starts with a buying phase, in which you can buy cards, using the points at your disposal. Almost each card in the game has a value, which represents how much this card is worth if you use it to purchase additional cards. If you use these cards to purchase something, you put them in your personal discard pile. An optional second value on some cards tells you what this card is worth when it is completely discarded in order to purchase additional cards. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you can actually discard one or more of your cards, usually increasing their value, if you want to buy that one special card you've got your eye on. These discarded cards are taken out of the game and set aside. None of the players may use these cards until it's time for a new game.


After buying additional cards, you can decide whether you want to attack another player. Every card has defend and attack points. There's no limit on how many cards you may use to attack or defend with, but keep in mind that cards can only be used once per turn. So if you attack with an overkill of cards, you cannot use any of these cards before they're re-drawn from your personal draw pile. The fun thing about this point in the game is, that not only the defending party is in danger of losing hypnose points! No, no, the player who is attacking can also find him- or herself one step closer to being hypnotized. The player who loses the fight has to move one (or more, if it says so on one of the cards used in the attack) places inward on the board.

Finally, the last thing you do during your turn, is to refill your hand to the set amount of cards from your draw pile. Once you run out of cards in your draw pile, you shuffle your discard pile and start drawing cards from that, so you'll never, ever completely run out of cards. Each arm of the spiral has twelve spaces in total before entering the deep hypnoses phase. When you reach that space, you lose the game. Before landing on the pace marked '0', you will come across certain spaces that, although you've just lost a concentration point, give you certain advantages or bonuses, if you will.

It's hard for the developers to put a average play time on the game as of now. Sometimes a game can be done over within 15 minutes, but our group, for example, played for like an hour and still no one had won the game. (we were also learning to play the game that very round, so that may have had something to do with it...)

However you look at it, Hypnose is an excellent card / deck building game which is great for those of us who like nothing better than to thwart other players' plans. We definitely had a lot of fun while playing Hypnose, so please take a look at their Kickstarter campaign and support them if you think the game is as awesome as we think it is! And don't worry, we won't use hypnosis, so you're free to choose for yourselves.

FIGMENT

The next game we want to tell you about is a nice little card game, aimed mainly at kids: Figment! Figment is based on teaching young children (ages ? - ??) how to work together and that diversity equals strength.

Figment has already been tested at a number of schools and the results so far are really encouraging. Through playing the game, the children must guide their character through a great adventure. Now, as you can probably imagine, having lots and lots of the same characters doesn't really get you very far (unless that character is Chuck Norris, but let's not dwell on that...), so working together as a team is key to winning the game.


We didn't actually play figment ourselves yet, but let us just say that is always awesome to see that people are making clever use of games to teach. If they would have done this when Ferry was still a kid, he might even have liked going to school! To wrap things up for now, trust us when we say that we most definitely will play a few rounds of Figment really soon! So keep an eye out for Princess Diana and her chivalrous knight Ferry, when they embark on a magical adventure and feel like kids again!

AMBROSIA

The last game we saw during our time at the Red Eyed Rabbit Booth was Ambrosia, a Dungeons & Dragons type game with a somewhat less high fantasy setting. What makes this game especially worthwhile for us, is the fact that it is set in the Belgium and Netherlands region in days long past and employs local legends instead of the standard trolls and dragons that other games tend to use.


As with Figment, we didn't have the chance to play Ambrosia yet, so we can't tell you a whole lot more about it at this time, except for the fact that we're exceptionally stoked to get this medieval show on the road. We did, however, get our hands on a copy of the main game book as well as the gameleader-package (which both look awesome, by the way!), so you can expect a review of this game in the foreseeable future!

For now, Ambrosia is only available in Dutch, but the guys have started a Kickstarter campaign to release an English version as well.

We would like to thank Tom and Erlend for their time and wish them the best of luck with their future plans. We had a great time and hope to see them again in the near future! And be sure to keep an eye out for our review of Figment, which is set to appear, right her on DumeeGamer.com very soon...


RED EYED RABBIT
Red Eyed Rabbit website and webshop