Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stunt Bunnies Circus [Jujubee] - $0.99

Score-chasing arcade games are a god-send for iOS gaming. They’re a perfect fit for the platform, with endless play, quick gaming sessions, and tons of drive that always keeps you coming back for more. In my opinion, the AppStore will never have too many score driven arcade titles. The most recent addition to my Score-Chasing folder on my iPad is Chillibite Entertainment’s Stunt Bunnies Circus. 

This tap based arcade game has you controlling an extremely quick and agile rabbit who’s trying to save all of the falling rabbits from smashing into the floor. It sounds pretty basic, and the main idea is, but once you add in the fireball tossing rabbit, fireballs around the falling rabbits, cannons shooting rabbits every which way, the different types of rabbits, the snarling lions, combos needed to gain coins, things can get pretty hectic pretty fast. 

There are two modes of gameplay, Story, and Arcade (which is unlocked after completing Chapter 2 of Story Mode); Story Mode has you going through 8 level chapters, adding different mechanics as you go along, and slowly progressing in difficulty. Here, you need to try and save as many bunnies as you can from hitting the ground. Only being able to catch 5 rabbits in a row, you’ll need to keep making sure you drop them off before the next wave starts or else you could wind up missing quite a few of them. You’re able to earn coins if you catch more than one rabbit per tap, but you’re also able to align yourself mid-air. This does require more taps, and quickly, but once you get the hang of it, pulling it off is incredibly fun. As you catch bunnies, you’ll fill up a bar on the right side of the screen. Once this is full, you’ve completed the level. Arcade Mode is basically an endless mode. You’re able to miss 5 bunnies, and then it’s game over, but here, you’re able to earn quite a few coins which you can spend on power-ups which can help you get through Story Mode. 

With the coins that you collect in both gameplay modes, you’re able to purchase one time use power-ups. There’s Rocket Fuel, which doubles your jet pack speed for one round, Crash Mats, which gives you 3 mats which will each save one bunny from hitting the ground, and a Fire Jacket, which protects you from up to 10 fireballs in one round. Prices for these are fairly high, with Rocket Fuel priced at 100 coins, Crash Mats at 200, and the Fire Jacket at 500, they’re pretty much only there for Story levels that you’re having a very hard time beating, or when you’re ready to try and get a high-score in Arcade Mode. But you can pretty much count on either playing through the vast majority of the levels with no power-ups, or purchasing coins through IAP (1,000 coins for $0.99, 2,500 coins for $1.99 and 10,000 coins for $2.99). Now, I have nothing against IAPs in games, but having consumable items (and ONLY consumable items) in your game, with consumable IAP, and games that push you towards IAP with INSANE difficulty, or having to wait for 10+ hours before getting a couple gold pieces, kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Luckily, here, they aren’t required to play through the whole game, as you only need 1 star to move on from level to level, so you’re really pushed towards getting better at the game than purchasing coins, which I view as a positive addition to games. 

With Stunt Bunnies Circus priced at $0.99, being Universal, having pretty much endless replay value and GameCenter with a leaderboard and 26 achievements, it’s a nice score-chasing tap based arcade title. It’d be great to see even more bunnies added, some playable characters which could be unlocked, or more power-ups, but as it is now, it offers up some nice variety, a great challenge, especially if you’re going to go for 3 stars on every level, nice graphics and animations, and all-around entertaining gameplay. It’s very clear they know what it takes to make a fully rounded iOS title, and I’m hoping to see more from Jujubee Games in the future. 


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