Happy Easter! With all the painted eggs and chocolate rabbits. So, instead of writing an article about Retro Easter Eggs (too much work and I’m lazy as hell), I’ve decided to just review a game with rabbits in it. And unfortunately, the 1st game with anthropomorphic rabbits that came to my mind was Ninja Rabbits.
Ninja Rabbits is an action game made by Microvalue and originally released in 1991 for Amiga, Atari ST and Commodore 64. It was re-released the following year for DOS.
And yes, this game was made to capitalize off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ fame back then. And no, it also has nothing to do with Usagi Yojimbo, an anthropomorphic rabbit SAMURAI!
But let’s look at the cover, shall we?
As one can see, the cover shows our titular “ninja” rabbit doing a weird Karate Kid pose and scaring a couple of punks, in the middle of a highway or bridge. Kind of uninspired, but it conveys well what the game is about.
Time to hop to this genin, shall we? I recommend muting the sound, though:
For those brave enough to hear the entirety of the title theme, I apologise for the damage suffered to your ears. Don’t ask me what that aural atrocity was, but this is perhaps the first time I’m happy for a game NOT having any more music. The title screen might be the only good screen in the entire game, graphically speaking.
According to the game manual (a booklet actually), there was a toxic leak from a chemical plant that turns humans and other anthropomorphic beings into aggressive beasts, which prompts our protagonist to face them and travel to the plant to shut down the leakage. For that, he needs to travel from his home forest to the city and finally to the plant itself, facing all kinds of humans, other anthropomorphic animals, birds, etc.
The game is only 3 levels long: the countryside (with good animations in the background), the city (full of punks, sewers and god-awful birds that will kill you in an instance if you’re not careful) and the chemical plant (with robots and some platforming).
You start with 3 lives and a carrot that serves as a life bar, which if fully depleted, you’ll lose a life. But don’t worry, there are some carrots distributed throughout the levels, which will grant extra lives.
You control the protagonist with the directional keys (if you’re not using a joystick) and the space-bar for hitting your enemies with your stick. To perform other attacks, you need to combine the space-bar with any other directional key. The stick attack is the most powerful attack but also the slowest one.
And talking about speed, our protagonist might be a rabbit but he sure moves like a turtle! He’s incomprehensibly slow compared with the rest of the enemies. You need to properly time your attacks or you’ll die fast! I don’t know if the controls are unresponsive, if the attacks have too many sprites or if the rabbit was programmed to be slower than the rest. Anyway, it makes the game almost unplayable.
The game has very few sound effects, but they serve their purpose, I suppose.
But the worst part for me is that the game not only lacks boss fights at the end of each level, but after finishing the last level, the game puts you right back at the start of the 1st level without any rhyme or reason. Not even a congratulations text or whatever!
With just 3 levels, you’ll finish the game in no time, even with the hard difficulty setting. In fact, this feels more like a demo than a proper game. It’s painfully obvious that this game was made with as little effort as possible.
In other words, not only I don’t recommend this game (not even to furries!) but I strongly tell you to avoid it. It’s without a doubt, one of the worst games I ever played. AND SOMEHOW IT GOT A SEQUEL! HOW?! WHY?!
The Amiga version is slightly better, with a proper title theme and a difficulty select screen, which is absent in the DOS version. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here, experience this atrocity in your own browser.
So I apologize for this being my Easter present to you. To make up for it, next time, we’ll take a look at a much better game! Another true cult classic, I promise. Until then, leave your comments below and have a happy Easter and keep on playing (just not this game).