Creative Drops Studios’ iPad game Cannibal Bunnies ($1.99) is as ridiculous as it sounds. In this Hannibal-Lecter-meets-Easter mashup, players must rescue bunnies from their hungry counterparts. The time management puzzler requires both a strategic mind and fast fingers. Despite a minor control issue, the challenging game’s high replay value makes for a fun app that you won’t be able to put down.
The object of the game is to save as much of the rabbit population as you can from the cannibal bunnies (their dietary preferences are noted by color). The cute, cartoonish animals roam around hilly landscapes, but are in danger of being eaten or walking over the edge of a cliff. Dragging the nonviolent pink and white rabbits into hanging cages keeps them out of reach of the evil red and purple bunnies looking to take a bite out of their kin. Unfortunately, there are other rules at play, making it more difficult than it looks to come to the rescue of the carrot-munching breed.
The red cannibals are the most vicious; they can roll boulders and charge at other rabbits, making any animals in their way a high priority for evacuation to the cages. There are also carnivorous purple rabbits on the prowl; while less aggressive, they move around a lot, so if you take your eye of them for a second, they’re likely to swallow a few pink bunnies. Another pitfall is attempting to keep the pink rabbits away from carrots. There are carrots that make pink bunnies stronger (so strong in fact, that you can’t lift them until the carrot wears off) and ones that make them sick. If a sick, contagious rabbit gets placed into a cage, the shelter becomes quarantined and is closed off for the rest of the level.
In addition to avoiding cannibals and carrots, there are other challenges to completing the 46 levels. Each cage is only able to hold a certain number of rabbits. While there might be a group of fifteen bunnies within reach of one cage, the safe haven may only allow for ten rabbits; overstocking the cages causes them to crash and all animals inside are lost. So in addition to avoiding the bunnies eating each other, strategically filling the cages is perhaps the biggest challenge you’ll confront in the game.
On my first generation iPad, the game runs flawlessly, and is fantastic to play, save for one problem; fairly often, I attempted to quickly drag a bunny, and instead maneuvered the point of view. In a game that demands quick, dexterous fingertips, it can be frustrating to attempt to drag a bunny only to pan across the screen over. This didn’t destroy my playing experience, however, and I’m hopeful that the next update could bring some remedy to the problem (the developers note on their App Store description that they’ve already made several improvements based on player feedback of their controls).
I am a huge Cannibal Bunnies fan. The brief, two minute or less levels made it easy to pick up the game for a short while, and the prospect of being able to save just one more rabbit made me revisit levels again and again, trying out different strategies. It’s refreshing to play a game that’s equally as addictive as the more popular iPad titles, but is entirely original in both gameplay and ridiculous premise.
[Stephanie Kent is an editorial intern for Macworld.]