SNAP Review – Barnyard Bunch
Moo… Baa… Wait a minute.
Moo, Baa, La la la… Wait, that’s not it. This is a SNAP review for Barnyard Bunch. Listen as The Family Gamers crew tell you all about this charming game, or read on below.
Barnyard Bunch is a cooperative game by Justin Lee, published by HABA Games. Up to four players ages 4 and up will try to keep the animals from wandering too far from the barn by rolling a die and matching colors. It will take you about 15 minutes to play.
Barnyard Bunch has sturdy cardboard pieces and wooden animals, as we’d expect from a HABA game. There’s a central farm board with eight paths leading away from it. Each path will get one animal. It’s a great visual way to show that all these animals are getting farther and farther from the barn.
(Elliot’s favorite animal is the cat. Meow!)
But it also has great illustrations on the cards, done by Anna-Lena Kuehler. You’ll see the reason each animal is wandering (most of them are chasing bugs), the friendly farmer who is beckoning them back to the barn, and the lures he uses.
And don’t forget the hard-working farm dog!
This is a very simple cooperative game that relies a lot on luck but leaves a little room for strategy.
On your turn, first roll the die – if it shows a color, move each animal currently standing on the matching color one step forward on its path. If it’s the farmer, you get to move one animal, of your choice, one step back toward the barn. And if it’s the dog, you can pick any animal to move all the way back to the barn.
Once the die roll is resolved, draw a card. This may show a specific animal to move down its path, the dog or farmer (which work the same as on the die), or a “lure” specific to one animal to bring them one step back towards the barn.
That’s it! If one of the animals must be moved past the end of its path, the group loses. Otherwise, the game ends when the last card has been used. If all the animals are still on the farm paths, you win!
Barnyard Bunch is cute and accessible for young children, just as we expected. We can’t stop ourselves from making animal noises (“moo”) or speaking the animal’s thoughts out loud (“mmm, carrots!”) every time we move them.
There’s a good combination of skills here – die rolling, color matching, and drawing cards. All of these are appropriate for the suggested age range of 4+, and there’s enough to keep somewhat older children interested.
We even played with just our older children (9 & 12), but they added extra rules to make it more interesting for themselves.
We have two minor struggles with the game. The game is a bit long for younger players. We don’t think it could be shorter and still keep the appropriate tension but our six-year-old has sometimes struggled to stay engaged in the middle third of the game.
The other problem is that rolling the die (and resolving), then drawing a card (and resolving) is surprisingly hard to remember! Probably because there’s so much overlap between what die rolls do and what the cards do.
Neither of these are deal breakers, but it’s something you should be aware of. You won’t want to play this with kids who struggle to stay engaged on other players’ turns. It’s also not appropriate for kids who aren’t ready to handle cards.
Charming and simple with a dash of strategy, Barnyard Bunch steps up from “My Very First” games towards games for older children and adults. We rate it 4 out of 5 wandering animals.
Find Barnyard Bunch for about $15 on Amazon or ask for it at your local game store.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Barnyard Bunch from HABA Games USA for this review.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
Number of Players: 1-4
Age Range: 4-99
Playtime: 5-15 minutes