Zuma Jewel Boogie Quest Bunnies
There are a million puzzle games out there. From genre staple Bejeweled to the interim Jewel Quest, Chuzzle, and Zuma, all of these games share pretty much the same premise. There are units of different colors, and somehow or another you have to match them up and eliminate them before time runs out or something else disastrous happens. It is in this niche that the new Xbox Live Arcade title Boogie Bunnies falls. And as much fun as Boogie Bunnies might have been maybe five years ago, its premise feels tired, and the game is only fun for a little while because it suffers from being too much like these other puzzle games.
If you’ve never played a puzzle game before, however, Boogie Bunnies might be right up your alley. The gameplay is excruciatingly simple. You start of with a few rows of bunnies of different colors. You’ll then see that there is a bunny at the front of the little bunny blockade that you can shoot at the other bunnies. The idea is to make little clusters of three or more out of these little bunnies until there are none left or you get a score high enough to go on to the next bunny-riffic stage.
It is also worth noting that you can shoot these little bunnies from the left and right sides of the bunny blockade in addition to the front. If you make some pretty good shots, you will trigger a happy bunny dance that will give you extra bonus points when you make bunny shots during this special bunny time. Every few seconds, however, the bunny blockade will increase and advance toward a dangerous looking strip of ice cold water. And once a bunny falls in, it’s lights out! Your game won’t end automatically, but you’ll lose a significant amount of points from an XP bar, and if more than three fall in, then you’ll be done. And the bunnies will weep.
As you can see, there’s not much to this title, unless of course you are a cute bunny aficionado. But there are a few different ways to play. There are three main modes to play in if you are playing by yourself, a co-op mode, and online functionality. The three single player modes are Classic, Endless, and Arcade. Endless lasts forever; Arcade is timed; and Classic lets you play “at your own pace.” Supposedly these are all different, but while you’re playing they all seem to be the same. The “timed” function of arcade mode doesn’t really work out too well because you’ll lose life by knocking the bunnies into the water before you run out of time. The timer isn’t actually visible when you’re playing, and for all my playthroughs I’ve actually never seen it, so I can’t even verify its existence. And as long as you don’t knock too many bunnies into the water and keep leveling up, you won’t die, and you’ll keep going to different levels. Classic and Endless also allow you to play for however long you want, so those are essentially the same as well.
The co-op mode is pretty interesting and has you and a friend take control of different sides of the bunny blockade and work together to achieve boogie bunny bliss. The online modes are a little more competitive and involve you and an opponent taking turns shooting bunnies and making combos. Each player tries to get a bigger score than the other, and the game ends when either too many bunnies fall in the water or when all the bunnies are gone.
Both the audio and visual departments can be described with one word: cute. I know I’ve said it too many times already in this review, but I honestly think that the cuteness factor is really this game’s selling point. The visuals are pretty good and feature a host of bright colored bunnies with some vibrant backgrounds. The sound scheme features some pretty happy-sounding-but-generic tunes. Surprisingly, however, these tunes are mostly inoffensive. The sound effects consist of ultra-cute bunny noises. They even sound like they say “oh no!” when they get close to the freezing water. It’s so cute that it will either make you smile or hurl depending on you constitution.
Boogie Bunnies is a pretty good Live Arcade title for fans of games like Bejeweled and Hexic who aren’t necessarily looking for anything new. The problem with this game really comes in when veterans of these puzzlers realize that this game is almost a clone of these previous titles. It does, however get points for being visually appealing by looking really cute. I am admittedly one who is easily impressed by huge displays of utter cuteness, however, so if you’re not like me, then you probably won’t want to invest any time in Boogie Bunnies. But if you have 800 points to burn, really enjoy the occasional puzzler, and really adore all things cute, then you may enjoy this title for a short time. So you have been warned. Boogie at your own risk!
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.0 Graphics
Pretty good, everything looks sharp and crisp, and bunnies come through as earth-shatteringly cute. 4.0 Control
Very simplistic controls have you aim with the joystick and shoot with the A button. So simple a caveman bunny could do it. 3.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music is generic, but unoffensive. Bunny sound effects are mind-numbingly cute. 2.0 Play Value
Here’s where the trouble is. 20 minutes to play by yourself and about 30 to play online and then you’re bored. Shows that cuteness can only take you so far. 3.0 Overall Rating – Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.