In the world of Mobile Gaming, it seems that developers are leaning towards whimsical themes. For example: Rabbit Wars from AIM Productions.
In a world where fuzzy bunnies are not so cute and cuddly, tanks and machine guns are the tools of the trade. Various factions battle each other for superiority over the best carrot patches.
This game doesn’t leave me all warm and fuzzy; so stick around to see what’s wrong with the “lean mean rabbit machines” of Hare Hill.
While this game seems like a direct competitor to My Little Tank from Astraware, these two games actually fall into two different camps. Whereas My Little Tank is an action game filled with constant motion and action; Rabbit Wars is a turn based game, giving you the chance to strategize and plot the best way to destroy your enemy. Each player gets the opportunity to move a unit (Tank, Machine Gun Bunny, Bazooka Bunny, etc.) on their turn. It’s worth noting that you don’t get to choose which unit to use on your turn, they are cycled through in sequential order just as the players are.
One kudo to AIM is that they designed this game to be usable with only your thumb. The idea is that you can control your characters and such using the D-pad on your device and there are minimal controls that are actually on the screen.
Another bonus is the Duel mode. In this mode, you can actually play against another human opponent across Bluetooth, an LAN or even over the Internet. I didn’t actually find anyone to test this against, which tells me that unless you have someone that you would play against, this feature may be worthless. However, since this game is turn based, it is possible to have a multiplayer game on a single device, which is a very cool feature.
The way this game plays makes it a good choice for the casual gamer, because the turn based style automatically gives you a pause between turns, so if you get distracted momentarily you won’t automatically lose the game.
On a down note, I did experience at least one or two crashes per game. Rabbit Wars did recover gracefully when the game restarted as your game is saved after each turn, but the fact that it crashed so frequently gives me pause.
Graphically, Rabbit Wars is adequate. There isn’t anything spectacular or earth shattering in the graphics. Your two basic views during gameplay are a view of the area in the immediate vicinity of the current unit and an overall map view that allows you to quickly locate enemy units.
On the subject of Sound, I wasn’t impressed. For one thing the explosions were much louder than the other effects. When I attempted to turn the volume to the lowest setting while not being completely off, all of the other sounds were at an acceptable level, but the explosions continued to cause other people in the room to give me dirty looks. The other complaint I had was the comments that the characters make. Some of the comments were cute and made me chuckle (“I love the smell of carrots in the morning”), while others irritated me with their use of foul language. I understand that different people have a different vocabulary, but if I’m sitting in a Doctor’s office or in a lobby waiting for a meeting, the last thing I want is for my Windows Mobile device to start spewing words that might offend someone. At a minimum, I wish that there was some kind of setting that would filter out these sounds and only give you the family friendly versions.
While Rabbit Wars was fun and even somewhat addictive, I just couldn’t get past the issues that I had with the sound effects. The only times that I play games on my Windows Mobile device is when I’m trying to quietly kill a few minutes while waiting for something else to happen. With Rabbit Wars, the only way that I could do this is with all sounds muted, which loses much of the experience. It’s not that it’s not fun, just that at $9.99 (in the WMExperts Software Store) it loses any competitive edge over other games that are available.