“Down the Rabbit Hole” is a new magnetic travel game I invented/designed in 2018 for SmartGames. Except for the product name this single player puzzle has nothing to do with “Alice in Wonderland”.
Already for many years I wanted to do something with holes and tunnels. It always fascinated me to know that there is another world underground, that you normally don’t see. A few years ago I went with my sons to a part of Belgium (de Voerstreek) where there are still badgers. We made a few walks with a guide, including one at night. Because it was raining, they didn’t hear us, so we came in close proximity to these animals. This was a very special experience. I don’t know if this inspired me or not. It could also have been the book “Watership Down”, that I read for my sons a few years ago...
AN UNDERGROUND ADVENTURE
The object of the game is to fit the 3 “ground” puzzle pieces on the game board, so that each species has it’s own home, separated from the other species. On top of that, each hole needs to have its own entrance/exit. The challenge shows you the position of the animals. There is 1 fox, 1 badger and 4 different rabbits. Some challenges show only rabbits, some show different animals. You can put the animals you don’t need for a challenge aside.
At first the concepts sound similar to Smart Farmer, but the game play is completely different. In Smart Farmer the main problem is to keep the animals separated. The fences in Smart Farmer don’t occupy any squares on the grid. In Down the Rabbit Hole, the 3 “ground” puzzle pieces divide the game board in different sections, but they also cover part of the game board. So the hardest part of this puzzle is not to separate the animals, but to find a place for each puzzle piece. Because in each challenge these 3 puzzle pieces must be placed, contrary to Smart Farmer (where you only have to place the fences you need). Another difference to Smart Farmer is that you are allowed to create empty spaces on the game board (without any animals inside).
AN UNDERWATER ADVENTURE
The artwork is again made by my colleague Hans. I like it a lot, it’s very cute. He also illustrated another new magnetic travel game this year, named “Coral Reef”. The artwork is based on AquaBelle, but the challenges are similar to the ones of “Dora speelt verstoppertje”, an easy version of Hide & Seek Pirates we did many years ago. Coral Reef will replace the magnetic travel game WaterWorld, which was harder but used similar shaped puzzle pieces.
example of a challenge/solution with 3 species
GAME RULES DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
1) Place the animals as shown in the challenge. Put the animals not included in the challenge aside.
2) Place the 3 "ground" puzzle pieces on the game board, so that each kind of animal has its own burrow:
- All 3 ground puzzle pieces must be used. They cannot overlap each other, the animal pieces or the border of the game board.
- The fox and badger need to be separated in their own burrows. When multiple rabbits are included in a challenge they should live together in the same burrow.
- Each burrow should have a separate exit at the top of the game board.
3) There is only one solution, which can be found in the back of the included challenge booklet.
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