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Andy Hopwood's DARING DUSTBUNNIES is a crazy game of leading fluffy dust-bunnies (aka Fluffballs) through the rooms of a house and into the waiting maw of the vacuum cleaner. Once on their way only you can decide which one gets sucked into the void (dustbag) first.

The Dust Bunnies are moved according to the cards played and the special effects of the DBs themselves. The cards for moving the Fluffies are colour coded and contain basic movements of 1,2 3 or 4, so that the fluffball moved equates to the colour of the card and its movement is down to the number on the MOVE card. Play a Move, move a fluffball.

Fluffballs can land on the same Carpet (room square) space as each other, but the game cannot end if any space is occupied by more than one of them. 

The Dust Bunnies/Fluffballs are wooden tokens in different colours. The publishers have provided a sheet of 'eye' stickers so that the player's can give their DBs a semblance of a face. The eyes each have a fun expression. There are three extra pairs of eyes so you can save them to use later if necessary, or you can stick them on the other side of the figures so that they literally have 'eyes in the back of their heads'. I haven't done this, instead I tried to match the eye types to what I though best resembled the aura of the colours.

 

Each of the Carpet spaces has an effect:
Play - player plays another card from their hand.
Give - Player gives a card from their hasnd to another player, chosen by owner.
Take - Player takes a random card from another player.
Dump - Player discards a card - it isn't activated.
Flip - Top deck card is turned over and played.
Move - Player moves another fluffball one space forwards.

Cards in the MOVE deck may also be a CAT, a DOG or a TALISMAN. These cards affect the play in different ways, which cause minor but fun  effects. There are also STATIC Tokens that are the 'monetary' unit that are spent to allow players to use 'CHARM' cards they have collected during play. In a paraphrase of the words of the game's author, "Charms allow you to Cheat". Charm cards are clearly explained on page 10 of the rules booklet.

Each player has a Fate card (which they keep secret unless forced to reveal it by a Talisman). The Fate card's flip side show which Fluffball the player is defending. Players also begin with a Wire card, a number of Static tokens and 4 Move cards, as well as a character card - in fact players are dealt two character cards and have to select one to use. In later Rounds - the game is played over three rounds - they may switch characters, but only with the one they discarded in the first place.

The game begins with the rooms being placed next to the Start card, inbetween it and the Vacuum card. Room cards are double-sided with each having 2 or 3 Carpet spaces on them. Players decide prior to play which rooms will be used. More than two rooms are used depending on the number of players but Rounds still last about 10-15 minutes (unless someone is being deliberately ponderous), making full games of three Rounds between 30-45 minutes.

 
Game Start Pic A

The game is about having the Bravest Dust Bunnie, the one that ends the Round closest to the Vacuum Cleaner without being sucked into it. Fluffballs that make it to the Bag are doomed but those that get to the edge of the Tube can still be rescued. Charms and Character card effects are the main way of saving them.

The DB closest to the vacuum without being in either the Tube or the Bag wins and gains a Gold Button (err sorry, Gold Medal - it looks like a button!) the next closest gets the Silver and lastly the Bronze. Most Gold medals wins, so one Gold beats even 3 Silver, but one Gold and 2 Silver, for example, will beat One Gold and 1 Silver etc.

Mid-Play Pic B

There are three things that must be in place before the Round can end. Saving your Bunnie can often depend on how you manipulate the other Bunnies by your use of Charms and Effects. You need Static to use most Charms and there is only a certain amount of Static in the game - 3 per player - so it is often necessary to use cards that give you Static when there is no Static in the pool as you then have to 'steal' it from another player or players. 

There has to be:
At least one Bunnie in either the Bag or the Tube
There may not be any Bunnies still on the START line
There may not be any Carpet spaces occupied by more than ONE Bunnie.

Check for these conditions after every players Turn.

 
End of the Game Pic C

DARING DUSTBUNNIES is an amusing and crazy race and chase game. It has some tactics, much random, and many stab-opponents-in-the-back moments. It has a recommended retail price of £29.99 and can be bought for £24.99 with free postage from BOOGHE online  subscribing to them gets you another 10% off from your first order.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015