Platforms Nintendo 3DS/Playstation 4/Playstation Vita/Xbox One
Genre Arcade Shooter Platform Played Xbox One
Thinking of bunny hordes and vegetable weaponry, or looking at screenshots of Blast ‘Em Bunnies may lead you to believe the game is strictly for children. While there is certainly a family-friendly feel to the art style, and the main game mechanics are simple enough that a child could easily pick up the title and play, the game is certainly not limited to children, and even adults will find themselves smiling uncontrollably as they gleefully blast evil bunnies with explosive pumpkins and heat-seeking parsnips.
The basic premise of the title is that you must fend off endless waves of evil bunnies by shooting vegetables, seeds, or lasers at them. There is no deeper plot, unless you include saving baby bunnies from a knife-wielding pirate bunny on occasion or completing any number of secondary “missions” which are what the game calls challenges such as kill X number of specific enemies. By killing evil bunnies, you collect coins which can be spent to improve your gun, purchase new types of ammunition, unlock a new gun, or increase your maximum health. You then head back into endless battle with new and improved weaponry and attempt to best your previous score or complete more missions, which in turn nets you more coins. It is all very cyclical, following the traditional formula for this type of arcade game, but the formula has lasted so long for a good reason; it works. Unlocking more modifications generally allows you to perform better next time, adding further incentive to playing again. Children will almost undoubtedly have a difficult time pulling themselves away from the title and adults will also lose track of time as they defeat wave after wave of spiteful bunnies.
Depending on difficulty, you may end up playing a single game for more than 20 minutes or less than two, making it incredibly easy to customize your experience for challenge and the amount of time you wish to devote. Even after unlocking improvements or additional health, you can toggle these on or off, adding another degree of customization beyond difficulty levels. If you are truly short on time but need a dose of vegetable firearms, there is a Survival mode which tasks you with the singular objective of surviving two minutes. On lower difficulties, this is not a daunting challenge, but on the highest difficulty, all upgrades are turned off and you are immediately swarmed by evil bunnies from all angles. This ability to play for short bursts of time or dedicate hours in one sitting creates a much broader appeal for gamers and allows the title to fit into almost anyone’s life.
To help break the monotony of the waves, occasionally there will be a boss battle in which you must take down a truly imposing bunny who stands about 5 times the size of every other opponent. This boss bunny additionally summons minions to complicate and crowd the field. While the stature of this creature may seem imposing, the fact that it is a solitary enemy until others are summoned makes the battle far easier than it initially seems. There are two other types of bunnies which can appear during a playthrough to help vary the action. The previously mentioned pirate bunny appears while holding a knife to the throat of a baby bunny, and if you choose to defeat it, you’re rewarded with a coin magnet power-up, saving you from shooting spilled coins to collect them for the next 30 seconds or so. The second special bunny is golden, and he will run across the screen at a rather leisurely pace, but defeating him before he jumps into a burrow again results in “Frenzy Mode” being activated. At this point, you become invincible and enemies spawn much more frequently, allowing you to rack up many more kills and coins with absolutely zero risk to your life. These three special bunnies may not seem like much at face value, but the variety is eagerly welcomed during play and without it, the experience would suffer significantly.
The biggest shortcoming of Blast ‘Em Bunnies is the lack of game modes. Toting two, three if you include the tutorial, there is very limited variety in objectives other than shooting bunnies and/or projectiles thrown by the approaching bunnies. There’s a great mixture of general bunny enemies, all moving in various manners and at differing speeds, but after playing Survival mode for the fiftieth time, it does eventually become tiresome. The missions provided by the game can also offer some slight distraction, letting bunnies lob explosives in your direction in order to shoot them from the air is a prime example, but they quickly become repetitive as there are only so many variations of “Kill x number of enemies,” or “Save X number of baby bunnies” which can be made. Fortunately, it does take quite some time for this monotony to truly set in.
There is an overwhelming amount to adore in Blast ‘Em Bunnies regardless of age. The cute art style will definitely attract younger audiences at the outset, but once older gamers give the title a chance, they will find themselves hooked just as much as their younger counterparts. Admittedly, there is also a great deal of guilty pleasure to be derived from fending off evil bunnies with a variety of vegetables which is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. Blast ‘Em Bunnies is a fantastically charming title which embraces the frequent reward formula to keep gamers invested far longer than they anticipated. There inevitably comes a point when the repetition of bunny hordes becomes tiring, but due to the phenomenal work by Nnooo, it takes a great deal of time to reach that point. Anyone looking for a game which a child could play, or something out of the ordinary to break the mould of titles which take themselves seriously should look to Blast ‘Em Bunnies.
- Frequent rewards keep you returning to the battlefield with new upgrades
- Can play for minutes or hours at a time without issue
- Wide variety of modifiers allow for more customized gameplay
- Once all upgrades are purchased, the monotony of horde mode becomes apparent
- Only two game modes
The Score: 8.5
Eric is an Xbox editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.