Why is it that rabbits get the rough end of the stick in nearly every computer game? In Rayman Raving Rabbids they are shown as insane and are constantly battling one another. In my latest review, Radical Rabbit Stew, the poor beasts are the main ingredient for our chef’s menu.
Developed by Pugstorm and published by Sold Out, this retro puzzle game will tweak nostalgia-filled heartstrings with its simple gameplay and 16-bit aesthetic.
Puzzling has never been so easy.
You control a chef whose only aim in life is to capture every rabbit he finds and cook it in a pot. “How does he do this?” He has a massive spoon and the world around him to hit them on a course of no return. Once every pot is full, the level is over, and you must do it all again on the next stage.
It’s puzzling, but on an easy scale. Failure isn’t a concern, and if you knock a bunny into the nether, you start again and learn from your mistakes. Think of it as a giant “Whack-a-Rabbit”, they keep popping up and you smack them over the head.
Fun, but repetitive.
The initial stages are fun, and until you familiarise yourself with the mechanics, they offer some challenge. New upgraded tools are chucked into the mix to add extra dimensions, and the levels get bigger and more complicated. However, it’s repetitive and becomes dull quickly. Even with introducing boss fights, it never gets off the ground. All the new ideas revolved around the chef’s spoon and didn’t develop any further.
To overcome this, Pugstorm added a level editor and a local multiplayer mode. These acted like a plaster over a decapitated limb. These were nice additions, but they failed to overcome the obvious shortcomings in the main concept.
The level editor was fun to use, but wasn’t user friendly. No tutorial is offered, and it has a learn as you fail model. Once you get to grips with it, you can design some tough and gruelling levels that will test you to your limits. The multiplayer is on par with the single-player mode, but is reliant on up to 3 additional people wanting to cook up rabbits in a competitive manner Unfortunately, this rarely happens, and neither adds much to this simple game.
16-bit retro inspiration.
If you’re a fan of the old-school pixel art style, then you will love how this is presented. A colourful, vivid and blurry world awaits you in this simplistic title. The stages all lack finesse, and I was reminded of early SNES and Mega Drive endeavours. Bold colours dominate the landscape, and though each area has its own look, they all had a familiar air to them. The graphics won’t blow you away, but they work with this style and in this context.
The audio goes hand in hand with the visuals and uses a simple synthesised sound. The music is retro, screechy, and annoying. The sound effects were, however, great. The noises will make you chuckle as you smack your bunnies around the head, or you get chased by them, and they bite you.
Swing and a miss.
Swing, swing, swing! You will swipe and flail away at the rabbits, constantly missing. It was frustrating, a bit of a mess, but something that must be accepted if you wish to play this. Other than timing issues, it’s easy to learn and handle, and players from all age groups and skill levels can play it without issue.
Because of its repetitive nature, and the lack of development in the multiplayer mode, I wasn’t keen on playing this for too long. Initially, it did enough to keep me focussed, yet it quickly lost its shine. This affects the replay value and will prevent gamers from wanting to return.
A sad result for the bunnies!
You get cooked in a pot, and no one wants to play with you. It is truly a sad day for rabbits everywhere. The difficulty of the puzzles was lacking, and new elements failed to build on a weak concept. Unfortunately, not much of this piqued my interest past the initial world. Do I recommend this? Not really. If you do like retro puzzle games, you may wish to buy it here! Become the chef and cook every rabbit in sight. It’s not a tough task, as every puzzle is a piece of cake to solve.