Boogie Bunnies Review
Never has a cute match-em-up game presented me with such a challenge. Boogie Bunnies is deceptively hard—don’t let those cute little bunny faces fool you. Still, it’s fun once you stop being frustrated.
Graphics: How Shiny Is It?
You’re not going to expect top quality knock-your-socks-off graphics from a matching game. The backgrounds and colors are fairly crisp and the bunnies are relatively bright-eyed. I would say they are bushy tailed, but I don’t think these bunnies even have tails. In fact, I’m not even sure they have fur—all of the bunnies appear to be metallic and shiny instead, and they’re all different colors (kind of like Easter Eggs…perhaps they’re candy bunnies?) In any case, the bunnies are cute, but their dancing is absolutely dizzying. I’m not sure if this is a fault of the graphics or not, but it is very difficult to aim while the rabbits are dancing—you have to look very closely to see which one has stopped dancing and is merely wiggling. There’s just too much movement to allow for accurate shots during dancing. Still, they don’t blur together or lag or anything like that, so it’s probably the excessive movement that makes it hard to see and not any fault in the graphics themselves.
Music: Does It Make You Wanna Boogie?
The music in Boogie Bunnies is, frankly, forgettable. It doesn’t grate on your nerves and it doesn’t make you sing along. It’s just there. Even the bunnies’ various dancing tunes aren’t that exciting, and I was too busy frantically trying to aim to pay much attention to them. The beach areas are the only ones with a nice beat to them, but it’s still just decent music. It’s not particularly catchy. The sound effects, however, are kind-of fun. Mostly the bunnies just make babbling noises as you hover your aiming rabbit over them, but sometimes they’ll say actual words like, “Hi,” “Pick Me!” or “Carrot.” When you’re close to losing you’ll hear distinct “Uh-oh”s and “Um”s from the nervous bunnies and when you lose they let out a collective, “Aww.” Still, cute sound effects can only make up for so much and with such lackluster tunes, Boogie Bunnies’ music won’t get stuck in your head anytime soon.
Story: Not That Kind of Game
There are some bunnies and they’re traveling the world to participate in dance competitions. That’s the story. This is a matching game, what did you expect?
*Note that this abysmal score doesn’t mean the game is bad. It just means the story is. But a game like this doesn’t really need a story, so this doesn’t affect the overall score that much.
Gameplay: How Do You Boogie, Bunnies?
The gameplay of Boogie Bunnies is its most unique feature. Like most matching games, Boogie Bunnies requires three similarly colored bunnies to be touching vertically or horizontally before they’ll disappear. (Note that you can also do clusters in Boogie Bunnies—as long as three are touching, no matter whether they’re in a row or not, it counts.) As you play, bunnies will methodically march from the top of the screen towards the chasm at the bottom (like an inverse version of Tetris). When too many fall off the edge, it’s game over. Where this gets difficult is that sometimes even just one bunny falling over the edge is enough to croak you. There are multiple tricks for avoiding this: not only can you shoot a new bunny up into the stacks, you can also shoot from the side, or stuff them along the edges (creating what I like to call “sleepers” lying in wait for a match to march up to it). Boogie Bunnies does not tell you what color bunny you’ll be given next, and often persistently gives you several of a color you don’t need, enforcing the challenging nature of this game. Add on top of that the relentless pace with which the bunnies march in Arcade and Endless mode and the side-shooting becomes less impressive (it’s no help if you’re constantly dying, now is it?) The Classic option is a bit better because the bunnies wait until you’ve fired off three bunnies before they move once. Still, though, if you’re struggling and all three rabbits you’re given are the wrong color, it spells the end.
Arcade and Classic take place over various stages like a snowy area, a jungle, a beach, and the star sidewalk at Hollywood. In some of these stages, the bunnies even wear goofy costumes. (Not, unfortunately, in the snow area. Apparently their plastic-looking fur is insulation enough.) Endless mode sticks you in costume-less snow land forever, struggling to match bunnies and keep them from the edge as long as you can. I’m pretty proud to say I’ve gotten over 200,000 points in Endless mode and beaten the Hollywood levels on Classic mode—no mean feat. The Hollywood zone has at least eight levels and when you lose one level you have to start at the beginning of them all (ouch).
Boogie Bunnies doesn’t pull its punches. It will have you yelling at your TV in frustration when you hear that telltale “Aww!” signaling another failure. Yet when you get in your bunny groove, this can be both fun and addicting, and that final success feels all the more rewarding. Boogie Bunnies is cute, fun, and frustrating. It’s worth the occasional play, but it’s not winning any awards anytime soon.