Have you ever felt like a game you are playing would be better if it had this or that game mechanic? That is how I feel with Holobunnies except it is so much more. The problem here is that the mechanics you want are separated into different game modes.
Platform Reviewed: PC Platforms Available: PC Publisher: Nkidu Games Inc. Developer: q-bit Games Release Date: March 22, 2017 MSRP: USD $4.99 This review is based on a review build provided by the developers/publisher.
Holobunnies is technically an arcade game with 3 game modes: Brawl, Adventure, and Boss Rush. Brawl is a 2 player versus game, adventure is an endless platform runner, and Boss rush is well, boss fights. Individually they are okay but it just feels like all 3 modes should have been extras of a much bigger game.
The game mode I loved the most was Brawl. You and opponent choose from a selection of 4 bunnies, all similar except for the way they look and their special skill. Both players fight in a single screen arena with monsters spawning left and right. You need to be focused on your opponent while dodging and fighting the minions and avoiding the obstacles.
This mode could have stood its ground against the plethora of PVP brawlers out there if not for the fact that this is 1v1 game where other indie titles have a 4-player free for all. Holobunies’ local only multiplayer also suffers from the same problem almost all PVP brawlers on PC have: No Online Multiplayer. Luckily Holobunies have other modes to keep people occupied.
While the game mode’s title of “Adventure” brings to mind an actual adventure, this mode is more a kin to an endless runner with a touch of platforming for good measure. Your bunny runs from stage to stage and the only thing you can control is when they jump. There is an interesting twist in where there are actual puzzles, not just obstacles in this runner. You run into icons that either speed you up, slow you down, allow you to do a double jump or change your direction.
You need to utilize all of these things to navigate through the levels. Now the levels are not all that linear as well. Sometimes you need to skip a few of those powerups to get to an area with more orbs. It is not explicitly explained but I believe that orbs are used to lessen your time, in turn improving your score. Timing is also important. A mile-second too late and you will have to restart the level or start from the latest checkpoint.
Boss Rush, is just as it sounds. You fight boss after boss after boss, 10 in total. This mode uses the same control scheme as the Brawl mode. The bosses are not unfair but difficult enough to keep things interesting. The tempo change from boss to boss also helps from keeping things from becoming too stale.
Now for a PC game, it really infuriates me that it does not allow us to change key-bindings. In the beginning I basically had no idea what keys I had to press. I eventually decided to plug in my controllers to play the game without issue. Now I don’t have Xbox controllers and I am using the DS4s. I was pleased to see that the DS4 was noticed by the game when I played Brawl. Now it did notice that the controllers were DS4s. it didn’t however function properly. I had to use an external application to have the game detect my controllers as Xbox controllers. While it is not at all uncommon for PC games to not recognize the DS4 controller, it was quite confusing for the game to know what it was but not function with it.
The game in the end provides a fun distraction but after the 3 or 4 hours it took me to see everything the game has to offer, you kinda wonder if it was meant to be something more? Considering how different Adventure Mode controlled from the two modes, I am inclined to say that there was a platformer here before it was turned into a runner. The mechanics for an action platformer is already in the game. It is there in the Brawl and Boss rush modes. If Adventure Mode is working as how the developers originally intended, I have to say that it is a missed opportunity for an interesting mode that would tie together the whole package.
IT’S A KIND OF GAME THAT MAKES YOU PONDER ON WHAT-COULD-HAVE-BEEN.
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