Developer: On The Level Game Studios
Release Date: September 4th, 2014
Available On: PC
A video game musical is a rarity outside of the rhythm genre of games, and most of those are just playing or humming along to the music. Boo Bunny Plague wants to do something a little different, and is an action game based around a singing robotic bunny. Yet is the game actually any good, or is this musical off-tune?
After a disgruntled drunk employee of a toy company accidentally uploads a computer virus to the current toy line, Bunny is born. After trashing the factory and meeting up with a war-bot named Gunny the two of them go on a bunch of adventures that result in Bunny being damaged and in need of auto-repair. To help pay for this the two, along with taxi driving elephant (and possible god) Ganny and bored waitress (and possible demon) Faye, take on a job to capture Thor for a mysterious client. What this results in is a war against the Norse gods as they don’t take kindly to Bunny’s actions. It’s silly and over the top, which I can appreciate. I can’t appreciate Bunny though, a character so annoying that he makes Jar Jar Binks seem particularly calm. He never stops talking, making noises, making quips, making jokes, and does it all in this annoying screaming voice. He’s basically the walking equivalent of the “penguin of doom” copy-pasta. A lot of the cutscenes also just suffer from attempting to be funny by being random, yet the writing isn’t nearly good enough for this.
The gameplay doesn’t really fare much better. Bunny has a guitar that he can swing in front of him, but it’s awkward and clunky at best. It actually reminds me, both in animations and impact, of a Ps1-era brawler. He can also put up a shield that blocks attacks at the cost of some of his energy, yet Bunny can’t move while this shield is up. He also has one button that seems to do nothing but cycle between walking and running that I’m not really sure the point of. Sometimes Bunny’s war-bot buddy Gunny will follow Bunny into battle. He’ll attack automatically and can charge up a super move activated by hitting him, but he’s unreliable and disappears at random.
For the most part Boo Bunny Plague is a stream of boss fights with the occasional rare break to do something else. It’s common for the game to feature several bosses in a row, with the majority of the bosses just kind of being brawls. Thor, Garmr, Hel, and Heimdall, along with the War and Pestilence half of the four horsemen, are basically just “smack until they die” which doesn’t really work with the extremely sloppy game mechanics. A couple of bosses break the chain in ways that aren’t exactly unique (I couldn’t hurt Tyr until I stunned him by making him charge into nearby cars, and Death required me to knock projectiles back at him) but are at least nice enough breaks from “mash X until dead.” Only a single boss truly felt like it had a good idea going. I couldn’t hurt Famine unless I ate poisoned health pickups right before she used her “drain health” ability, which felt like a creative enough mechanic that fit the boss’ theme pretty well. Speaking of boss themes, the one really good thing Boo Bunny Plague has going for it comes from the game’s soundtrack. A lot of the boss themes are fantastic and are even ending up on my personal play list. Hel’s theme in particular is a favorite of mine.
The rare moments between boss fights are filled with extremely lazy and boring levels. There’s only really two enemy types in the game: vikings with axes and vikings with crossbows. With one (horrible) exception, levels are just straight hallways with no exploration, minimal challenge, and occasional boring platforming or puzzles. They mostly feel like filler for the game, yet it still took me only a little less than two hours to finish it. The one horrible exception comes in the form of an early city level. It’s big and open, yet empty and never told me where to go. After wandering around and finding where I needed to be I was told to go back into the city, kill 25 enemies for whatever reason, then find the same character in a new and completely different spot. It’s a terrible introduction to the game and it should have set my expectations about where they should have been.
And that’s about all there is to Boo Bunny Plague. A chain of dull boss fights linked together by some dull levels while featuring what may possibly be the most annoying protagonist in a video game. This is a game I can’t recommend to anyone who actually likes video games.