Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bunny Reaper - 0.99 (Assyria Studios+Molly Proffitt/Daily App Dream)

I don’t know what it is, but seeing cute little animals get butchered in video games is something I find extremely entertaining. There’s aren’t too many games on the AppStore that feed this little guilty pleasure of mine, but when they do come around, I enjoy them as much as I can, which is probably a little too much. When I saw the trailer for Bunny Reaper, developed by Assyria Studios (The Glowing Void, Future Racer, and more) with help from artist Molly Proffitt, and published by Daily App Dream, I couldn’t stop laughing. A platformer that had you play death, and go around and kill cute little bunnies. The gaming gods have heard my prayers yet again.

In Bunny Reaper, you’ll control a little Grim Reaper, who has the job of taking little bunnies when their time has come, and then making it to his underworld portal safely so he can move on, doing his job again and again. You’re given platform controls, left and right buttons on the left, and jump and attack buttons on the right. There’s also a zoom out button in the top right, which lets you see the entire level. You can also move your character when you’re zoomed out, which comes in handy quite a bit. To make things a little more interesting, you are able to turn back time. But, you can only do this after you fall off of a platform. A clock icon will show up at the top of the screen, and holding it down will send you back in time, so that you can reverse yourself back up to the platform that you fell from. This does add quite a bit of interesting gameplay to Bunny Reaper, but also takes away a lot of the challenge. Knowing that you can just tap a button to place yourself back up at the top of a level, instead of having to climb all the way up again takes away the pressure of needing to nail your jumps.
We’ve said time and time again that within platformers, physics and controls can make or break a game. Bunny Reaper has some physics that will take a little getting use to, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You might feel as though the game is a bit “floaty” at first, with the reaper able to jump a little higher and fall a little slower than you might think, but when you take into consideration the layout of the levels and get into the levels where you’ll need to cross from one side of the screen to the other, by going into the edge of the world, and coming out the other side, landing on a platform that doesn’t exactly match up with the platform you’re on, the floaty physics really come in handy.
As for the controls, the jump button is a little delayed, though we have suggested to the developer that this can be a problem, and they have said that they are working on fixing it. Actually, the developers have been very supportive and responsive to any issues or suggestions we might have had. Coming across developers like this is always appreciated, as too many times, gamers are ignored with their issues and thoughts about games.
The graphics in Bunny Reaper are done in a silhouette styling. The backgrounds change color as you move on through level groups of 10, and always have clouds floating around. There are some levels with snow, which looks pretty nice, and adds to the atmosphere of the world, as does the extra environmental growths on the second world’s platforms. Each world has enough of a different look to give the game just enough variety so it won’t get boring. However, there are only 2 enemies that you’ll face, and one of them, the bunnies, can not hurt you. The other, heart monsters, are kind of like snapping plants. Seeing more enemies in a future update would be great. The animations are very well done though, and are a big part of the entertainment in the game. When you kill a rabbit, it will essentially explode, sending blood EVERYWHERE, even raining down on your character, and have the soul of the rabbit fly upward. The heart monsters shoot out green goo when you slice them in half, which looks pretty neat. It would be perfect if the bottom part of the reaper’s outfit moved more while you were jumping, but that’s just me being picky.
Bunny Reaper is $0.99, which gives you the first 20 levels. The last 20 levels can be unlocked with an in app purchase of $0.99, so the full game is about $2. It is supported with GameCenter, and has 57 achievements, but no leader board, and a lot of the achievements are “finish level 1” “finish level 2” and so on, so there’s not a whole lot of replay value to be gained from the GameCenter integration. And though the game is fairly violent, it’s also very simple. The first 20 levels will give you about an hours worth of gameplay. There is a puzzle element, with trying to figure out how to reach each level’s exit, but zooming out once or twice will give you the answer pretty much right away. For it’s price, I’m personally very entertained, and also very impressed with the developers interaction with gamers on the Touch Arcade forums, which counts for quite a bit in my book. If you're looking for a fairly gory, just plain fun to play game, Bunny Reaper is probably just up your ally. But if you’re looking for a game with substance, and don’t have much of a sense of humor, or hate seeing video game violence towards virtual animals, chances are, you won’t like this game at all. It seems more like a game my daughter would take to school and show off to her friends, while hoping to make her other classmates think she’s weirder than she really is. But then again, I had those days back in high school too.

Bunny Reaper gets a score of 3 out of 5.


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