When it comes to game concepts, the one supplied by Blast 'Em Bunnies couldn't be much simpler.
You play a bunny, manning (bunnying?) a rotating gun turret. Other rabbits of various types – grenadiers, paratroopers, burrowers, walkers, etc. - are trying to get to you so that they can knock you out and take your stuff. You have to shoot them to stop that from happening. Well, at least as long as you can before you inevitably succumb to the ever-growing number of cottontails that are headed your way.
Shoot a bunny, and it'll drop coins. Shoot the coins, and they'll be added to your haul for the round. When you finally lose, you can take the money and head to the armoury or utility store to unlock more powerful weapons or extra health. Then you head back in and do it all again, over and over until you've raised enough cash to buy everything and have collected all of the 73 (yes, seventy-three) achievements.
If you buy the seemingly bargain-priced base game for £3.99, the only variation that you can really apply to things is to play on a higher difficulty setting where the rules are the same but there are more enemies, or have a quick blast of "Slaughter" mode, which is also all but identical to normal apart from the fact that you have to blow away as many rabbits as you can within a set timeframe, as opposed to just playing until you die. In Slaughter, you can apply maximum upgrades and invincibility from the outset without the need for unlocks. But, unless you've bought the full £15.99 "Super Mega Bundle" (five arenas, five enemy sets, three multiplier boosts included) that's your lot. You have to buy the arenas separately for £2.39 each, or different enemy types costing £1.59 per set, as neither of these are unlockable through play. There's even a couple of time-savers available, where you can pay real money to unlock coin multipliers or all the upgrades for a single weapon type.
It's a very mobile-like approach to console gaming that Blast 'Em Bunnies takes, and it won't sit well with everyone. Sure, being able to pick up the base game relatively cheaply and then adding bits and pieces as you want them is one way of doing it, but when the game is as sparse as it is in terms of gameplay, we'd much rather the developer had bundled in at least a couple more arenas for the starting price rather than trying to nickel and dime their way to profit. It's especially galling when you consider that generally once a week at least one full game – at the time of writing, it's Tembo the Badass Elephant – is available for a similar fee as the "bargain" price that Blast 'Em Bunnies starts at.
The approach would have been more likely to work had Blast 'Em Bunnies been a better and more compelling game which had more to do other than the exact same thing over and over again until you get bored. Sadly, that isn't the case. With the exception of the type of weapon that you have available to you, the last time you play Blast 'Em Bunnies will be exactly the same as the first time you played it – whether you've bought any extra arenas (which should be described as backdrops given that's all they are) or not. Point, shoot, point, shoot, repeat until dead. Sure, shooting a specific type of bunny will activate a "Frenzy" mode where you're invincible and have to fire at a much larger pack of enemies for a limited time, collecting oodles of coins as you do so, but that's about the entirety of the variation at hand, outside of the occasional boss battle. There's not even an online leaderboard so that you can challenge your friends' best survival times. There's an outside chance that you'll enjoy it and get a bit of that "just one more go" feeling going on, but the limited amount of content means that if that does happen, you won't be feeling it for long.
Blast 'Em Bunnies is a strange one. Don't get us wrong, there are the makings of a good game here. Undoubtedly, it's a solidly-made product and the development team clearly have a good deal of talent. Sadly, there are also hints to suggest that they've misjudged this and were banking on it becoming a runaway success like Fruit Ninja or even Angry Birds. It won't. Whatever the original concept was has been distilled down to "player shoots bunnies lots and then does it again" and as such, it just isn't fun enough for the repeated plays that led to the levels of addiction that propelled those games into the stratosphere.
This game sealed ititit's fate for me when I saw tons of dlc available before release....it's an unknown new IP from a unknown indie dev. Whoever thought that was a good idea should be tared and feathered and walk a plank.
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