Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, PS Vita
Release Date: March 8, 2016
ESRB: E 10+
This review is based on the PS4 version of the game
It's a warm, sunny day. You're peacefully taking a nap out on the lawn when, suddenly, a band of evil bunnies encroaches on your territory (like they're inclined to). What do you do? Whatever any reasonable bunny would do: blast them into oblivion with various fruits and vegetables at them!
Blast 'em Bunnies is an arcade-style shooting gallery game where you play as Bang Bang, a bunny looking out to defend his burrow from other evil bunnies. And while there really isn't a story to the game beyond that, the achievements reveal that all 32 of his babies were stolen by them as well (what a bunch of jerks!). However, you'll have the opportunity to get them back one by one through different playthroughs.
The setup for the gameplay as simple -- as Bang Bang, you'll fend off waves of evil bunnies, collect the money they drop, and try to survive as long as you can by blasting them with your vegetable/fruit-based turret as they march toward your fixed location. However, the environment spans 360 degrees all around you, so the evil bunnies can come from any angle. Fortunately, the game alerts you as to the direction they're approaching in, and they usually only come from one direction at a time in the earlier difficulties.
While the core game is pretty much just one mode where you're blasting waves of bunnies until you're eventually overwhelmed, there is a system of progression in place that's similar to Jet Pack Joyride's, where you're given a set of four random missions (out of many) to meet in various playthroughs. Complete them and you'll get even more money and then other missions will rotate in. In turn, you'll spend that money on new vegetable-based weapons and upgrades.
There's a wide array of upgrades as well, ranging from four different weapon types that have completely different feels to them (i.e. rifles that shoot carrots and the like; mortars that launch heavier produce; machine guns that fire seeds; and lasers that shoot, uh... vegetable-based lasers?) to ammunition that have different added effects (pumpkins do heavier damage but are slow, watermelon seeds fire fast but do light damage and such) to additional hearts and more.
Additionally, there are plenty of medals to unlock that have various tasks assigned to them outside of the four random main missions, such as destroying x amount of certain bunnie types, surviving x amount of time, gathering certain amounts of money, and more; definitely enough to keep you entertained and busy for a while.
The variation of evil bunny types add a bit of strategy to the gameplay, ranging from various levels of big, slow, bruisers to quick and nimble bunnies that run in a staggered formation (making them harder to hit) to flying bunnies and even mortar bunnies that will launch turnips at you from the background, and more.
Visually, the game looks great with its colorful 3D venue and cast of eclectic evil bunnies, and the music is an appropriately Western-themed tempo, and it's rather catchy. If there's one thing I didn't care for, it's that the base game only provides one arena: The Farm. There are more areas and costume packs as well, but you'll have to pay for them. However, that's the tradeoff for having the game's price as only $5.
So is the base game worth it then? Even with just one arena to play in, you'll get quite a bit out of the gameplay, especially if you try to complete the game's missions and trophies/achievements. It definitely doesn't reinvent the wheel as far as shooting gallery games go, but nevertheless Blast 'Em Bunnies is pretty fun and can be pretty addictive as long as you're not expecting a huge campaign to dive into.
+ Fun, addictive shooting gallery gameplay in short bursts
+ System of progression is well done, lots of weapon upgrades
+ Nice, cartoony visuals
- Core game only contains one level, additional areas need to be purchased
- Might only hold your attention in short bursts
Overall Score: 7.5 (out of 10)
Blast 'Em Bunnies is a fun and addictive shooting-gallery game that's best played in shorter bursts.
Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable code provided by the publisher