Dec 23, 2010

Rocket Bunnies

Rocket Bunnies is a unique take on the physics puzzler that uses planets and their gravitational pull rather than the more traditional 'everything sinks to the bottom of the screen' approach. Actually, the misnomer of using a planet's pull is probably better explained by treating the planets as gears that can rotate back and forth, if that makes any sense. No? Ok, let's try this is more clear terms. You're a bunny with a jet pack strapped on your back. A jet pack so insanely powerful that it can easily break free of the pull of any planet. You start in orbit around a planet and have to zip on around several other planets in the system collecting the Mario equivalent of gold coins. To change planets you just click and off you head. When you arrive you orbit in a preset direction, but later in the game you find that you can tap on the planet again to change directions. What's the benefit? Well, this is a game all about time... completing the levels as fast as possible. You'll be graded on that with a rating from one to three stars (or failure). Sounds easy enough, right? But wait, there's more... some planets have obstacles like mines orbiting them. At first you can skip by these, but later you'll have to sync up with them to grab food off of those planets, too.

Rocket Bunnies sports solid graphics and good audio accompaniment. Once again, controls are 100% touch screen based and are very simple... just touch the planets and you're set. The game plays very smoothly. I find it interesting to see that this game arrives on Android before it does on the iPhone, but the developer, presumably in an attempt to be hilarious, says "By testing Rocket Bunnies with the common hordes of Android users, we’ll be able to smooth out every rough edge to ensure no imperfection mars your delicate sensibilities." So we're the common hordes? The guinea pigs of the development world existing solely to make for a solid iExperience. I know I'm hypersensitive, but why say that? Ah, humor.

Rocket Bunnies is very well done... clearly a professional title. The game itself is good... but not great. I can't complain as this is a free, ad supported game. Anyone can pull it on down and choose to take it or leave it without risk of any finances. My take on the game is more that of trying to figure out what this is. It's got a twitch element as, for example, leaving a planet at just the right time offers a critical speed boost both in terms of avoiding obstacles and meeting your timed goal for completing a level. At the same time, there is a puzzle element of trying to figure out the best path between the planets both for avoiding peril and, once again, your goal of a best time. When these two desirable elements meet, however, the end result just isn't as superb as I might expect it to be.

I'll also note that I found the game's interface for getting started to be a little confusing. The first screen is clear enough with a great, big 'Start' button, but then the next screen has a back button and, well didn't feel like I had started much of anything. There's another planet with no text on it and in taking a second look I think that's where the confusion is as there's another planet that's almost hidden because it's so transparent that is the other option. As is there's just one option and this screen could be eliminated until that's available. Click on the planet and you'll be at the Carrot Galaxy screen and ready to click on a sector which contains several levels. You can also easily go back and replay and level that you earned fewer than three stars on in an effort to improve your score. And as you get better you'll unlock other sectors.

In conclusion, I'm just left with a feeling that things just don't fit together as well as they should. A year ago this would have been a game that was 6/5 stars based on quality alone. Now that we've got a selection of games despite being the "common hordes" I can be picky and Rocket Bunnies isn't going to make my 'frequently played' list. It also consumes almost 10 meg of my phone's precious internal storage despite supporting App2SD (and I though Flick Kick Football was bad with it's 5 meg requirement). 4/5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. Somehow, it reminds me of Tony Hawk games except a little bit easier given the fact that it is 2d rather than 3d...