STAFF REVIEW of Bunhouse (Xbox One)

Friday, May 10, 2024.
by Peggy Doyle

Bunhouse Box art When I first heard of Bunhouse, from Reky Studios, I was really excited. You could play as a bunny and do cute things with your friends. Unfortunately, once I got my hands on the game my excitement was short-lived. What I played, I enjoyed, but there just isn’t enough content to keep me interested. Now, I’m not saying that Bunhouse is a bad game, it just isn’t a game for me. Let’s dig in a bit further.

Bunhouse is a simple management style game where you play as a bunny planting, growing, and maintaining plants in a greenhouse. Then you sell them for carrots (your in-game currency) to buy more plant types and other items. It’s pretty basic and chill. You don’t have a story to follow or really any checklists to check off. You can go at your own pace and do what you like. You can customize your bunny at the beginning and unlock clothing items as you play too. My top hat and moustache made me quite happy.

One thing that is noticeable when you first start is a large cemetery beside your greenhouse. Of course, I was curious, so I went to take a look. Apparently, these are the names of the Kickstarter backers for the game. It’s an unusual choice, but definitely a creative one.

Back to the gameplay. In your greenhouse you will buy different size pots, fertilizer, and seedlings. Matching the type of plant with the appropriate size pot is important, but it can be repotted if you need to with no penalty. You can then fertilize and water your plants and allow them to grow. Be careful to pay attention to the water needed so as to not overwater though. If you ignore your plants, they will die, and you will need to remove them and put them in the trash bin. I was pleased to see that from a gardening standpoint, this was relatively accurate.

The plants look like they should, and the amount of water and sun required, and pot size needed for each type was also on point, so kudos to whoever looked into those details. You can sell plants at any time, although full-grown plants are worth more. Investing your newly earned wealth into upgrades like sprinklers and awnings to provide shade, will make your horticulture adventures easier.

While I don’t require handholding for games, especially sim style games, I would have liked some sort of story component or purpose as to why I’m doing what I’m doing. This is where I lost some interest. While I do enjoy chill farming and management sims, there needs to be more things to do in game. Bunhouse just didn’t give me enough. I would have also liked to have been able to play with friends, and since it only has local co-op, it wasn’t an option for me. Now, because it has local co-op, it’s a decent game to play with kids, or for kids to play together. There are no real time constraints, no violence, and no death of the characters. In fact, I got one of my friend's daughters to play it, and she loved it. The game is also under $20 USD, so it’s very budget friendly.

Generally Bunhouse looks fine, but it’s suffering from some bugs for sure. Multiple times I had plants all duplicate on me. I would pick up a pit to sell and another pot would be there. You would think this would leave me excited because, well, free money, but the second plant left behind was always dead. This just made more work for me. Control quirks were also common. You had to be lined up in a very specific way to plant things in pots for example. Sometimes it wouldn’t let me plant until I circled around a pot trying to find the perfect spot.

There is no dialogue, but the music is calm and adds to the relaxed gameplay experience. You will also have a lake and boat on your property. You can actually go fishing. At first, I wasn’t really sure why, but eventually you get an aquarium and can fill it with unique fish you catch. While this does seem a bit random, I will never turn down a fishing mini game. There are some adorable things in Bunhouse. You can row a boat out into the lake while a friend can fish off the side. Also, when ordering items from the catalogue, it’s delivered by a pair of adorable birds.

Bunhouse is cute. The customizable bunny characters are adorable. It’s an easy game to pick up and play for short bursts, it just has too many bugs and not enough content to keep me interested in for a long time. With its great price point, and local co-op gameplay, it is an excellent choice for families or kids to play together.

**Bunhouse was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series X**

Overall: 6.5 / 10
Gameplay: 6.0 / 10
Visuals: 6.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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