TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Bears Vs Babies

written by David Steffen

Bears Vs Babies is a tabletop/card game from the makers of Exploding Kittens and The Oatmeal, wherein you build fearsome Frankensteinian monstrosities to defeat and eat armies of vicious babies.

Each turn you have several moves (how many depends on how many players) to stitch together your monstrous armies, attaching heads and limbs to bodies to build your fighting force to overpower the vicious elemental baby armies. Each additional body part adds fighting power, and certain attachments give extra moves as well–like tools that will give you an extra move per turn (at the expense of a point of fighting power) or a hat which multiplies that monsters fighting power. Then anyone can use their turn to provoke an army of babies and see who wins, at which point all the monsters who fight in that war are discarded whether they win or lose and you build up your armies again.

The game takes a bit to figure out exactly what the objective is and how to go about it, but once you get the hang of it it moves pretty quickly. If you have a game fresh out of the box I recommend following the instruction manual which starts you playing with a smaller simpler deck to get some of the basics down before adding additional types of cards to the deck.

It’s a fun game for a variety of ages, which depends some on skill and some on luck so can be a good choice kids in early grade school, who will have a chance to win. It’s fun and silly and as with Exploding Kittens much of the appeal is looking at the cool and silly illustrations.

Audience
Broad appeal, most kids should be able to play this at preschool if you want (and as long as you’re not worried about them being upset at the premise of fighting vicious babies).

Challenge
There is some skill trying to figure out how best to build up an army, and especially if you’re playing with people who try different strategies there is a decent challenge in trying to figure out how best to counter what you think they will do.

Session Time
Once you get the hang of it, you can probably play a full round in 15 minutes or so.

Replayability
A lot of the initial appeal is just seeing the silly and fun illustrations for the monster parts, so that wears off after you’ve seen them all, but it is a quick game to play and the strategies and style can shift quite a bit depending on what cards you get so there’s quite a bit of replay value.

Originality
I like these game-makers in large part because they come up with silly ideas, cool illustrations, and do a great job finding a new feel and strategy so it feels like its own unique thing.

Overall
Fun game for a wide range of ages, if you like Exploding Kittens you’ll probably like this. Definitely worth a play!

Published by

David Steffen

David Steffen is an editor, publisher, and writer. He is probably best known for being co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, a donation-supported tool to help writers track their submissions and find publishers for their work . David also writes articles here and edits the fiction. He is also the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List series. David also (sometimes) writes fiction, and you can follow on Twitter for updates on cross-stitch projects and occasionally other things.

One thought on “TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Bears Vs Babies”

  1. This sounds like a wonderful game and would make an interesting android game, too. It obviously offers a moral: Don’t trust cute critters that crawl, drool, and need changing.

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