Rocket Bunnies HD for iOS review
Rocket Bunnies HD is an exceptionally quirky puzzle-platformer set in the far-reaches of space, populated with creepy, manic rabbits, sinister arachnids, explosions, and puns. The object of the game is to feed Rocket Bunny's voluminous kin and kith, traveling across two galaxies, leapfrogging from planet to planet, using the planets' gravity as a slingshot. Complicating this is an impressive array of ingenious hazards, from the simple mind, to a spacetime-wrecking black hole.
The action ensues by way of a simple, yet cleverly-implemented touchscreen mechanic. Tap on the planet to which you want to go, and Rocket Bunny will enter its orbit. Once you've finished, click on another planet, and your rocket sled will enter its orbit. Timing your exit gives you a boost from the gravitational slingshot; tapping the planet will reverse your direction. Both of these techniques, particularly in conjunction, become invaluable in escaping hordes of evil space spiders and navigate the lethal traps. Players are awarded either one, two, or three stars, depending upon how quickly they complete a level.
Rocket Bunnies HD was developed by Defiant Development and published by EA-subsidiary Chillingo Ltd.
Rocket Bunnies is fun thanks to the successful harmony of its puzzle and action elements, made possible by its well-executed touchscreen integration. The orbit-jumping mechanic is easy to learn, but takes some thought, reflexes, and a lot of timing to execute correctly. I liked the star requirement to unlock levels which made me think about how to optimize my jumps and take risks.
Despite the large array of enemies, traps, and setups, Rocket Bunnies invariably feels somewhat tedious, especially when replaying levels to gain to necessary stars to advance. At times, this approach feels more fun than demanding. While making parts of the game unavailable without a high enough score has its benefits for longer-term enjoyment, in the short-term the immediate impulse is to put down the iPad and do something else for a well.
With 60 levels in total, and an expansion planned, one of the chief strengths of Rocket Bunnies is its shelf-life.
Given its challenging gameplay, emphasis on techniques, and required replayability, Rocket Bunnies has the potential to offer hours of fun while turning away the casual audience.