I want to believe that Pocket Monkey Games has nowhere to go but up. They started strong with games like Sparta, Champion Archer and Finger Sling (my personal favorite of the lot), and even Swingaling wasn’t bad. When you look at the selections beyond Corporate Crackdown, though, most everything devolves into move left / right and kill to survive formula, and not a single one comes close to the quality of Sparta. Battle Bunny falls in the middle of the group. It’s not any more exciting than the other offerings, but at least it looks decent and the music is okay. Still, I’m not likely to return to it once this review is over.
Basically the game is you against the weasels, though there is no intro or any sort of explanation as to why this feud is going on. You can run left and right, jump, and use a knife or gun to defend yourself against the enemy. Every action has an onscreen button, and they are all quite responsive. I do wish the gun and jump buttons were flipped, but that’s a minor quibble. There are coins to collect that seem to serve no purpose other than collecting them, and a meager 6 Game Center achievements that you can earn. There are leaderboards as well, but I haven’t really been compelled to check them to see how I’m doing.
The enemies come at you from both sides, but other than two different types of weapons (which don’t seem to serve a functional difference), there is no variety amongst the weasels. As the weasels attack you the screen will start to flash with bloody red borders. The more frequent the flash, the more damaged you are. Visually it’s pretty neat, but as a true life meter it’s worthless, because it doesn’t tell you how many hits until you die. There are land mines which play nice as long as you don’t land directly on them, and that’s basically it for opposition. My main cause of death is usually misjudging my jump and landing on a mine instead of going over it. In the end, there’s just not a whole lot to do in this game.
The graphics aren’t bad, especially when it comes to the detailed background, but again there isn’t much variety. All the weasels look the same except for the weapons, so your character is the main thing that stands out. Again it’s not bad, but not great. The one neat effect besides the blood border is the fact that the weasels do drop their weapon when you hit them. The sound effects are pretty bland, and when you swipe a weasel with your knife it sounds more like you’re tearing paper than anything. The music is okay, but it gets repetitive really quickly.
While a conclusion is probably overkill at this point, here goes anyway. The move left or right and attack everything in sight paradigm has been done 100 different ways on the iPhone, and a majority of them are better than this. I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that Pocket Monkey Games will rise above their current offerings one of these days, but alas Battle Bunny isn’t their salvation. I wish there was at least something that would make me say “you might consider this if…”, but that’s not even the case. If you don’t own any Pocket Monkey Games, get Sparta instead. Otherwise, you should probably look elsewhere.