September 17, 2012 8:00 PM | Staff
[Guest reviewer Colin Brown profiles each game in the Back to School Bundle currently running on IndieGames' co-created site Indie Royale.]
Hey, do you ever think about how pedestrian all your Metroidvanias are these days? Stalking around with a whip to find that double jump? Boring. Tracking down those bombs to grab the bonus missile tank? Yawn. You need a Metroidvania that's absolutely insane, and you need it now. Luckily, Platine Dispositif has you covered with help from the Indie Royale mainstays and Japanese import specialists at Rockin' Android. If space bounty hunters just don't cut it any more, you should really enter the crazy world of Bunny Must Die: Chelsea and the 7 Devils.
While previously available in Japanese only, this Indie Royale debuts the English language version of this cult title. You are Bunny, in a world where female rabbits look like girls with rabbit ears. Cats have destroyed the world with the adorably devastating pun known as themomewcular power. Bunny has cat ears as well as rabbit ears now, but she would prefer to get rid of the redundant aural organs. A mentor appears, and promptly dies. There are seven devils. Giant eyeballs. A very angry and large kitty. Upgrades that range from health increases to the ability to walk right. A mere paragraph can't contain how delightfully bonkers this game is, but it offers up one of the most outlandish indie game worlds out there.
But a game cannot thrive on oddity alone, so fortunately there's some very competent platformer gameplay here. Bunny Must Die is your traditional Metroidvania style of game, but slightly more linear and focused on optional challenges and frequent boss fights. Old gameplay tricks make an appearance, like the secret weapons in torches system from Castlevania, but everything is much faster and zippier. Your one defence against the furious pacing is Bunny's limited ability to control time, allowing for some freezing and rewinding shenanigans. The game does a good job of catering to this unusual mechanic, which makes for some fun timing puzzles and helps a lot with the bullet hell based bosses.
The controls do carry some of the clunkiness found in the earliest examples of the genre, but overall the effect is usually less frustrating and more nostalgic. If you're a fan of the wide world of Metroidvanias, Bunny Must Die is an excellent and, for lack of a better word, creative entry into the genre. Also a giant kitten shoots fireballs at you, and that has to count for something.
[Bunny Must Die, Swords & Soldiers (with its Super Saucy Sausage Fest DLC) and five other games are available now in Indie Royale's Back to School Bundle.]