STAFF REVIEW of Bunny Factory (Xbox One)

Wednesday, June 9, 2021.
by Peggy Doyle

Bunny Factory Box art I was first introduced to DillyFrame Games when reviewing Kick It, Bunny! back in March. And if I’m being honest, I wasn’t exactly blown away by it. When I saw Bunny Factory pop up for review I was hesitant but thought I should give them another chance. I am pleased to report I am so happy I did, as I enjoyed Bunny Factory more than I thought I would and it should really be on your radar if looking for a good puzzle game.

Bunny Factory puts you into the shoes of a mech suit wearing bunny inside a factory where you immediately face your first puzzle. At this time, you are also presented with the first problem of the game: What do I do? There are no instructions or tutorial for what you are expected to do. Fortunately, with a very brief trial and error it becomes apparent. You must find a way to use the limited number of small blocks to ‘activate’ all the squares in the puzzle on the floor. By ‘activate’, I mean light them up.

Each small block has a specific way in which it provides power to the larger grid. It sends lines of light out through a combination of between one and four directions. This is where most of the thinking comes into play. The goal is to illuminate the entire grid with the limited number of small blocks you have. Once you illuminate the whole puzzle you are rewarded with a gold block that opens subsequent levels of the game.

Given that the blocks have specific functions and there are a limited number of them, it takes some cunning to determine the best way to use each of them. As with any puzzle game with stages, the benchmark is to find a balance between providing enough of a challenge without causing excessive frustration. I think Bunny Factory nailed it here. A few of the puzzles caused me to pause and think, and a few even had me reset them once I found myself confused. None of them required more than 2 attempts though. On rare occasions the difficulty seemed a little inconsistent; A random difficult puzzle followed by an overly simple one. This may have been done intentionally to make you over think the simple one or to give you a brief palate cleanser. Perhaps that was just the way my brain thinks and as with most puzzle games, players struggle on different things.

As you work your way through the 100 levels you are faced with different mechanics to solve the grids. Sometimes the smaller blocks only light up one colour, or maybe they only light a certain number of blocks in each of the light directions. Certain levels allowed you to change the colour of the block, even if you couldn’t change the pattern it gave off. My favourite levels were the ones that presented you with the blocks that were blank, and you had to look at what each did and determine which of the 4 colours (red, yellow, blue, or green) you needed to make use of it. I loved the new mechanics that unlocked, it kept the game feeling new and drove my sense of completion and accomplishment as I finished each level.

With all the things I loved about the game, it did have some issues. Your character moves slow, really slow. This makes the task of walking back and forth picking up each of the small cubes very time consuming. Even worse was when you finished the puzzle you had to take the ‘reward’ block to the location to open the next level. This meant a lot of walking around slowly and lots of moments to get lost. I understand that this process is to give you the feeling that you are restarting the factory to a functioning state, but I found it took me out of the moment when all I wanted was to move on to the next puzzle.

Bunny Factory can be played solo or with up to 3 of your friends. You are all working together on the same puzzle and there is no competition. You can interact with your friends by kicking or stealing their blocks though. I am not exactly sure why you would want to do this as there are no points assigned as individuals. I can only assume it was done to create a way to have a laugh amongst your team of friends. I played co-op with just one other player and it definitely made it clear that communication is the key to working as a team. I have no doubt that this would likely become more evident if you had a team of 3 or 4 people. Knowing what block you or your teammate had and what it did was essential to completing the puzzle. I found it easier playing solo as I could keep track of all the pieces myself.

The music in game suffered the same fate as their previous game. It was one song on repeat, again. Although the puzzles are quick, you hear the same music and completion sound ever time - rinse and repeat. After about 20 puzzles, I turned the audio off and played my own music while playing. I’m not sure what I expected, but perhaps some more variety would have been nice. Other than the single song there wasn’t much other audio of note other than general machinery noises from the factory equipment.

Bunny Factory was a pleasant surprise and a real step up in quality from DillyFrame’s previous game. I found the puzzles were fun, logical and variations on the core mechanics in the game kept me engaged enough to work my way though more levels than I intended to in each session. The game could have used a tutorial to ease players in and explain what to do but after a few minutes with each new mechanic, pieces started to click and fall into place. Other than the absence of the tutorial and rather annoying walking back and forth in the factory, there weren’t many other faults to the game. If you’re in the market for a straightforward puzzler, this will likely fit the bill.

**Bunny Factory was provided by the publishers and reviewed on an Xbox Series X**

Overall: 6.6 / 10
Gameplay: 7.5 / 10
Visuals: 6.5 / 10
Sound: 6.0 / 10


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