STAFF REVIEW of Kick It, Bunny! (Xbox One)

Wednesday, March 17, 2021.
by Peggy Doyle

Kick It, Bunny! Box art Kick It, Bunny! caught my eye as a possibility for a cute time killer game. On its surface, a cute bunny solving puzzles seemed like the perfect palate cleanser between the large story driven games I’ve been engaged in, or something to fill a few hours when I needed a distraction. Unfortunately, I found the game to be less calming than I had hoped, and more frustrating than some boss battles I had encountered in larger games.

In Kick it, Bunny! You are dropped on the tropical archipelago, and essentially told “go for it” without any other words of wisdom. There is no tutorial to tell you how to control the game at all, no pop ups telling you what the buttons do or hints when you approach the first puzzles. This was my first hint at the frustrations to come in the game.

When I first looked at the description of the game in the store is said something about statues being destroyed and you rebuilding the puzzles was you putting everything back together. Sadly, there is nothing to elaborate on that story and no story to follow in the game at all.

The game was simple in nature; the Bunny kicks the available blocks to solve puzzles. The outline of the puzzle is shown to you, and your job is to take the Tetris style blocks and complete the shapes. These are offered in four blocks, zigzag types, straight lines, one block, and several other sizes of T-shapes. Seemed simple. You only need 2 buttons, one to kick, and one to rotate the blocks. One of the issues I encountered was that you are only shown 4 blocks at first and once you move one of them off the pad, another will display on the spawning platform. This meant I needed to spawn all blocks at each location before starting each puzzle.

There are 50 puzzles in total, although you only need to complete 10 for the Xbox achievement. As you go through them, all success feels more like a chore than a sense of accomplishment. You either come across the correct layout in a happy accident, or eventually find your way though it. One puzzle took me close to 2 hours to complete with many restarts.

There are animal characters that you can interact with (kick) and a few items scattered around the world to look at. These include two soccer games, one on land and one in the water, and rings you can ‘activate’ around the islands as well. The rings present another section to ‘complete’ the game, although you are not actually scored on anything you do. There is no progression, no leaderboard, no dynamic difficulty or anything to encourage you to keep moving forward. Some of the animals created a hostile environment. Pigs and Crocodiles would break into the middle of the puzzle, moving blocks and hit the Bunny for no reason. During the interactions you might end up trapped in trees or blocks. This caused me to have to reset the game and often spawn far away from the puzzle I was working on.

There is a multiplayer component where you can work with a friend to complete the puzzle instead of working alone. I can’t help but think if it were a head-to-head competition between friends it would have been more entertaining. I spent most of the time that I played with a partner laughing and emoting at one another. There is no difference between the puzzles you have in solo play versus multiplayer.

The bunny was cute, the cartoon nature was childlike and his actions and emotes did bring a smile to my face. However, once I investigated other games by DillyFrame, it was quickly apparent that Kick It, Bunny! was a reskin of their other games. In some styles of games, a ‘when it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ mentality can work, and perhaps this is one of those instances. The simplistic nature of the game, both in mechanics and style, show that DillyFrame has decided on what works for them as a sort of trademark look and feel.

The music in game was one thing I found disappointing. Because it was primarily a repetitive game, the music was also repetitive. Think one song on repeat. This would be fine if it were catchy or calming, but I found myself thinking of parents stuck listing to their kids’ favourite songs on repeat. Eventually I had to turn the audio off and just play the game on mute. Besides the music, other sound effects consisted of grunts as the animals kicked one another.

The game was enjoyable as a short-term time killer, as the puzzles did make me think while working on them. Some were quite difficult though. The camera angle didn’t always make it easy to see what you needed to do, and because the pieces only spawned on 4 platforms for each puzzle, you really needed to move the pieces around at the beginning to make sure you had them all before working on them.

If you like Tetris style puzzle games, you may enjoy Kick It, Bunny!. For me, since there was no real dynamic game balancing or progression evident, and I found myself bored quite quickly. My recommendation would be to hop, skip and jump to find better games elsewhere.

*Kick It, Bunny! was reviewed on an Xbox Series X*

Overall: 5.3 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 6.0 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10


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