November 21, 2012

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Rabbids of Lore

Lasting First Impressions of Rabbids Land

Developed by Ubisoft

Rabbids Land Boxart» The Rabbids once again return to the spotlight to help show off the capabilities of a platform’s new way of gaming. Last year at exactly this time, they took it upon themselves to showcase some unique ways to use the Microsoft Kinect in Rabbids Alive & Kicking [see our review here].  Now, with the release of the Nintendo Wii U console, they are back again, ready for more hijinks and mayhem in Rabbids Land.

This time, instead of just a series of mini-games to select and play, Rabbids Land is a party game in the same vein as the much loved Mario Party series.  Up to 4 players can join and each player chooses a colour for the Rabbid that will represent them on the board.  Then, after deciding the length of the game by choosing whether to collect 10 or 20 trophies to trigger a potential win, the party will commence and mayhem will surely ensue.

As with any party game, each player in turn rolls a die and moves around the board triggering different square types. Types include such things as Jackpot, Bad (lose a trophy), Event (random), Play Again (self explanatory, Present (bonus item to use), or Quiz in which the player must answer a multiple choice question and the opponents bet on whether the answer is correct or not.  The most prominent action to trigger is, of course, the Mini-Game, and some of these games, while only lasting a minute or two, are ever so much fun.  Ubisoft has taken the new functionality of the second screen to great use in these mini games.  Many of them will utilize the GamePad for one person and the main screen with Wii Remote and Nunchuk for the (random) opposing player.

Rabbids Land screen 2

I played an entire game with my daughter and we both had an absolutely wonderful time.  In one game, she was using the GamePad to target my boat and, by blowing into the microphone, attempted to destroy the snowballs that I was launching to protect my boat from the exploding Rabbid penguins.  Another game saw me using the GamePad and stylus to guide my Rabbids through a room to steal treasure while my daughter used the TV to watch CCTV cameras in an attempt to shoot my Rabbids with lasers as they entered the camera’s field of vision [see screenshot above].  Yet another was a music rhythm game that saw me using the GamePad as a steering wheel guiding my Rabbid behind a ship that spewed out flameballs as my daughter correctly played the rhythms with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk [screenshot below].  Every game was fun and unique and made very good use of the new hardware on the Wii U console.

Rabbids Land screen 3

All the games we played used a combination of the GamePad and Wii Remote, but Rabbids Land also allows players to take the game off the TV and onto the GamePad only, thus freeing up the TV for other uses.  In this case, the mini games would be tailored to suit the GamePad only.  Once one player collected the set number of trophies by winning mini games (or stealing them from other players), they must make their way back to the center of the three-ringed circular board to win the game.  Even though I was the first to collect 10 trophies, my daughter was still able to make it to the center with her 10+ trophies before I could and so she won the game.

Once a mini game has been played during the Board Game, it is unlocked and available to play in single or two player mode outside of the Party Game.  Some of these games are definitely fun enough to want to play over and over again.

Rabbids Land was amazingly fun to play with my daughter and I can imagine it would be even more fun in an actual party setting with a full four players.  The nice thing about this game is that you only need a single GamePad and Wii Remote + Nunchuk, no matter how many players there are. In the absence of a certain plumber and his pals, the Rabbids are ready to take the spotlight in your family’s party time this year. You should let them in.

Ubisoft, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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