Revenge of the Road Kill: a review of Space Bunnies Must Die!
Man, those guys at Ripcord must be psychic. They knew what all of us were thinking: “What this industry needs is another shooter! Like, preferably a Tomb Raider clone, except maybe crossed with, oh, I don’t know—Redneck Rampage?”
Did they read your mind, or what? Check it out, in full living color—Space Bunnies Must Die!, the latest release from Ripcord. To figure out if you’re going to like this game, you’re going to have to ask yourself a question. Did you like Tomb Raider? And if so, what did you like about it? If it was the running, the climbing, and the fussy little jumps that would result in immediate death if you missed a fingernail grip, then maybe this is the game for you.
What’s Up, Doc?
If you liked the “blasting dadburn aliens” theme of Redneck Rampage, but thought the depiction of psychotic Good Ol’ Boys was a little too unfriendly to the “drawling hick” demographic, then maybe a Good Ol’ Girl will do it for you. Enter Allison Hunter, the heroine of Space Bunnies, a truck-stop waitress whose accent is thick as Texas toast. The premise of this game is pretty simple: in a scenario which has become all-too-familiar in the dangerous ‘90’s, Allison’s sister Jocelyn has been kidnapped by aliens. Of course, she wasn’t kidnapped by the nice, clean, peace-loving Grays—she was picked up by Space Bunnies, and is being made to serve their evil ends at the top of a mountain called Bunny Butte. At the beginning of the game, Our Heroine straps on a dead Space Bunny’s gun belt and drives up to the dark mountain that “Daddy tol’ me never to climb”; the goal is to rescue her sister Jocelyn from the evil clutches of Lotar, the Bunny King, before he does to her what bunnies do best.
What does this mean in gameplay terms? It means you jump, swing, climb and blast your way through nine levels of giant, hairless, heavily armed rabbits and their evil minions. On every level you collect the usual power-ups and goodies: the standard health bonuses, keys and various kinds of ammunition, plus some extras that go with the general “white trash” and “bunny” themes of the game.
The humor here is pretty basic and fluffy compared to the hard edge of the jokes in Redneck Rampage. For example, on every level there are ten carrots hidden, which fuel a giant combination juicer/teleporter that lets you move on to the next level. There’s also a scepter, which you need to unlock Lotar’s secret lair and find Jocelyn, and a CD with a song by Jocelyn recorded on it, which you can slam into a jukebox to subdue the level Boss, which is always a giant mutant of some kind. Once music has tamed the savage beast, Allison can ride it.
Personally, I don’t have a lot of patience for cloned products in general, especially clones which aren’t as high-quality as the original. Space Bunnies Must Die! has “cartridge” written all over it, and makes no improvement on the Tomb Raider model, unless you really thought that Laura Croft was too chubby and needed to be blonde. Of course, if you find the right power-up, you can exchange Allison’s halter top and jeans for some other outfit—but since most action gamers aren’t big on playing Barbies, I don’t think this will make much difference. I don’t recommend it unless you absolutely love this kind of run-and-jump skewed 3D shoot-‘em-up, and can’t find anything to do with your money. Whether the Space Bunnies Must Die or not, this game will probably die pretty quick.
• Keep in mind that some ammunition just doesn’t work very well on machines. For this reason, you may want to keep a rack of rockets in reserve, for use against mechanical foes.
• Having to re-trace your steps and find the carrot you missed, when you’re at the end of a level, can be quite an ordeal. Be very, VERY careful when searching mazes and tunnels.
• Don’t miss the little birthday presents! Changing your armor is sometimes useful, and always amusing.
Space Bunnies Must Die!
Developed by Ripcord Games
Released by Jinx
–originally written for CNet Gamecenter
© 1998 Arinn Dembo All Rights Reserved