Martial arts seem to be very popular among members of the animal kingdom. Back in the eighties, turtles were known to dabble in ninjutsu and 2008 showed us that husky pandas are no slouches when it comes to practicing Kung Fu. Next up for a trip to the dojo are the bunnies, courtesy of Kung Fu Rabbit. This adorable platformer has been doing the rounds on the mobile phone circuit for a number of years and is now available to purchase on the PS Vita. Sounds good to me. I much prefer buttons and a D-Pad, to touch screen controls, in games that demand precise jumping. The Vita version is also a buy once and your done deal, free of annoying micro transactions. No, I don’t want to spend a month’s wage on more energy or a tacky sombrero for my character. Let me game in peace!
Peckish aliens have landed on Earth and kidnapped all the baby hares, which they intend to devour once they figure out how to operate a microwave (and how to open doors if the movie Signs is to be believed.) Thankfully, for the sequestered cottontails, Kung Fu Rabbit has hopped into action – determined to save the long eared toddlers from becoming an extra terrestrial appetizer. To rescue his kin Kung Fu Rabbit will have to clear a multitude of levels that are protected by space invaders, traps and pits bubbling with toxic goo. Circumventing the aforementioned dangers will require the scaling of walls in addition to meticulous leaping (good thing then that the titular hero is a rabbit and not an elephant.)
Despite his name, Kung Fu Rabbit isn’t proficient at unarmed combat. Impacting with an enemy normally results in instantaneous death, unless you are fortunate enough to strike the foe’s weak spot (normally situated on their back.) With this in mind it is advisable to nab all the carrots found strewn across each stage. Not only are the orange vegetables a good source of vitamin A, but they can also be used to purchase a plethora of power-ups. The beneficial items on offer endow Mr Rabbit with enhanced speed, the ability to glide or go on the offensive with the “death from above” manoeuvre. Said skill allows our hero to vanquish hostiles by jumping on their noggins. Hmmm. Perhaps the protagonist should be renamed from Kung Fu Rabbit to Moustached Plumber Rabbit?
Kung Fu Rabbit is the type of game that justifies my monthly expenditure on a PS Plus subscription. Were it not for that service, offering the game in their October bundle of free downloads, I would have never discovered this gem (as I seldom buy platformers.) Why can’t all subscription services be this good? YouTube has just announced a Red membership that allows you to download clips and hide adverts for ten dollars. Um… I think I will pass. I can already do those things for free. The offer is ill thought out, just like branding the service YouTube Red. The name immediately conjures images of Redtube – a site I would not advise browsing at work.
Moving back on topic, Kung Fu Rabbit is a download I can highly recommend. The gameplay is fun, the controls are responsive and the level designs are creative. I also dug the cutesy graphics and square shaped design of the main character – a nod perhaps to Super Meat Boy, which the game somewhat resembles. Much like Super Meat Boy, Kung Fu Rabbit can be challenging at times but the difficulty never caused me to pull my “hare” out in frustration. The levels are rather short so restarting a stage isn’t a big deal. In terms of length the game contains eighty levels with replay value coming in the form of a hidden hard mode. Completionists will also strive to collect all the carrots on offer, which is what I am currently doing. I need 100 more root vegetables to buy (yes you guessed it) the tacky Mexican sombrero.
FINAL RATING: FOUR STARS