[Review] Funny Bunny Adventures – Nintendo Switch

Written by Stephen Hunter
  • Developer: Drageus Games
  • Publisher: Drageus Games
  • Release Date: 24/12/2019
  • Price: £4.49/$3.99
  • Review code provided by Drageus Games

Story Time

For a children’s game titled ‘funny bunny adventures’ I expected a very light and happy story to accompany the light and vibrant looking gameplay. However, it’s actually quite bleak.

It begins like a lot of children’s stories, our funny little protagonist is happy with his family, living in a fairy tale land harvesting food ready for the long cold winter, generally having a jolly old time. But very quickly the tone changes as a huge thunderstorm sweeps in, destroying almost all their carrots and crops, now leaving them without the provisions they need to survive the winter. So, brave funny bunny takes it upon himself to leave his home in search of food for his family, and thus the adventure begins.

A Hopping Harvest

Now that we know our objective is to go out into the wilderness and collect food for our family, how exactly do we do this? Well, the gameplay revolves around planting carrot seeds by hopping in every fertile/empty patch of the lands you visit, then once you have done this, all the carrots will instantly
grow and you’ll need to retrace your steps to collect your harvest in the quickest time possible. Depending on the time you do this in, corresponds to the rating you get at the end of the level, up to a maximum of 3 stars. Simple and engaging enough. Then as you progress through the levels, they get bigger and it slowly introduces more mechanics, like different enemy types, teleporting, items, etc. It’s here the game starts to decline.

The levels are presented in this top-down, asymmetric point of view which does make sense for a simple game about planning your best route. The problem is, as you progress and the levels get bigger, you can’t see the entire map, so planning your route becomes impossible. What’s worse is as enemies start to appear in levels, they’re quite big, sometimes covering empty patches behind them, leading to you having to backtrack just to hop on one square. But this isn’t the only problem with enemies. Aside from annoyingly covering empty patches from time to time, they’re basically redundant. There are absolutely no consequences what so ever for running into an enemy, you simply jump over them, and the game does this automatically for the player. The only consequence is that you miss the chance to plant or harvest the patch of land that they were stood on, leading to a simple backstep to get that patch and then carry on as you were. It’s not like you can plan your route around them either, as their movements are completely random. They only add frustration, rather than add any challenge.

Now we move onto items, of which there are a grand total of 2. The first is golden carrots, that do nothing aside from increase your overall carrot tally, and alarm clocks. Now given that this is a time-based game, I fully expected these to freeze the timer during a level, or take time off, something to that effect. But no, they actually put the enemies to sleep, meaning they stand in one space until a certain amount of time has passed. This is usually more detrimental than helpful as it brings back the same annoyance as before. If an enemy is stood on a patch you have not yet planted or harvested, you can’t do so. The game is against you, in all the wrong ways.

Mobile Game Compilation?

Aside from the problematic main game, we do have a couple of mini-games included. The first is actually an in-game mini-game, on certain levels, there will be fairies (which I mistook for enemies for quite some time) and if you approach them, a kind of candy crush style mini-game will begin, but with fruit and no interesting powers or depth. Simply click on a space where there is 3 or more matching fruit, and that’s it. There are some boards at the side of the screen which show you what fruit you need to find, and there will be 5 boards in total, revealing themselves after clicking the corresponding fruit of the previous board. Completing this will grant you one of the 2 items the game has to offer. An issue I have though, is that the reward you get is predetermined. Much like candy crush, the game keeps track of your number of moves, but it means absolutely nothing, as to how you perform doesn’t affect your reward at all.

Then you have the bonus levels. Bonus levels are granted whenever you get 3 stars on a level, but it took me some time to figure out how to access them, due to no explanation, and somewhat poor presentation. When completing a level, you will a get a little board pop up saying well done, and the number of stars you get, then there’s 2 buttons below that for either replay or next level. This is all presented in the same colour and style as the rest of the board. However, when you unlock a bonus level, it pops up to the side of this board in a bright red window looking completely different, almost like a sticker just informing you, you’ve unlocked a bonus level. I looked through all the menus, and couldn’t find them anywhere. Then by accident, I realised you had to actually click on this big red sign, which in no way looks interactive. Then we have the bonus level (mini-game) itself. Funny bunny will be at the bottom of an underground tunnel, inside a cannon. You then blast out of this cannon and on your way up to the surface, you can move left and right to collect carrots and golden carrots. Alongside these are a bunch of power-ups, that can speed you up, slow you down, or cancel out your current power-up. The game never explains these power-ups, and you’re moving so quickly that it’s hard to see what you’ve flown into until it’s too late. But ultimately, this game is here purely to increase the grand total of carrots you have.

Now when you add the main game to these 2 mini-games, you essentially have 3 free to play mobile games mashed together, and then have the minimal depth diluted even further. It’s not a great combination to have.

Pros and Problems

Despite its lacklustre gameplay, there are some glimpses of good aspects. First of which are the storybook-like cutscenes. They’re only still images, but they are bright and colourful, and all dialogue is read out clearly and excitedly, kind of like a CBeebies story time show. It’s a shame that they
aren’t longer as there are only 4 of these cutscenes in the game, and they only last about 3 or 4 pages each, but they were a definite highlight, I could see many children enjoying this part. Then the overall presentation is appealing for young children, it’s all very colourful which will draw them in, and the accompanying music is happy and uplifting that matches the tone of a children’s adventure.

The problems lie just about everywhere else, unfortunately. Whilst the game from a technical standpoint works perfectly, everything works as intended, the gameplay standpoint is seriously lacking. When it comes to children’s games, I do expect some handholding, alongside clear and well laid out tutorials to introduce them to all the different gameplay aspects and mechanics. There is none of that here. In fact, the tutorials are just downright lazy. It never explains that you’re on a timer for a start, and all the in-game mechanics are explained in thought bubbles with 2 images. The first of which was showing funny bunny jumping on a patch of grass, and the second a moving image showing a carrot in the ground, then growing ready for harvest. It never explained that you need to jump on all the patches of grass first to make the carrots grow, or that you need to collect them all after they had grown. The only reason I as a player knew this, was from watching the trailer for the game beforehand. Everything else is presented with these lazy thought bubbles too. Enemies are literally introduced by an image of themselves, and then an image of the switches 4 face buttons, with the A button highlighted. No explanation what so ever. I still don’t know why the A button Is highlighted. I’ve tried pressing A around all the enemies multiple times, nothing happens. One of the worst cases was of a leprechaun enemy. It showed an image of the enemy, and then an image of a black pot, that’s it. It actually took me a while to work out that when these enemies are included, there will be a black pot on the edge of the map somewhere, and when you hop onto it, the pot will open showing its full of gold, then the leprechaun will walk itself over to that pot and stay there, removing itself from the map essentially. How a child is supposed to figure that out from 2 images presented in that way is dumbfounding.

Then we have the overall issue. With the game making all of its mechanics pretty much pointless, it doesn’t take long to realise you can just run around the map as fast as you like and be done with the level. Even with the time-consuming frustrations like enemies hiding patches of grass, and the alarm
clock item keeping them routed in place, I still never got less than a 3-star rating, making the game an absolute breeze, but also a bore-fest. It lacks just about everything to make itself engaging.

Final Thoughts

What’s probably the most frustrating part about this game, is that for everything it tries to do, and gets horribly wrong, it could be fixed with just a bit more care and attention. Changing the asymmetric view to a top-down view, allowing the player to see the whole map and actually plan routes, would help massively. Giving enemies programmed routes that we can plan around would give them some much-needed point at least, and a consequence for running into them that isn’t too punishing is necessary. More than anything though, it just needs one clearly laid out and scripted
tutorial level to explain everything it wants the player to do.

As it stands, it feels like a soulless cash grab when you can get other games very similar, or even better for completely free. The Cbeebies playground app my almost 3-year-old son plays has short but very rewarding and educational games that keep him engaged for hours. They offer clear and concise instructions, and constant reassurance whenever he makes a mistake, offering encouragement to carry on, all for free. This game throws you in, gives you a poor excuse for instructions, and leaves you to figure everything else out for yourself in silence, for a small fee. It’s a poor and lazy attempt at a children’s game.

PROS

  • Lovely storybook style cutscenes
  • Colourful presentation

CONS

  • Awful tutorials
  • Redundant unrewarding gameplay
  • Unengaging throughout

Verdict

A really poor attempt at a children’s game, parents stay well away.

1/5

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