Ever since their first appearance in the 2006 video game, Rayman Raving Rabbids, the crazy large rabbits, best known for causing mischief and for yelling “BWAAAAH,” quickly grew in popularity. In 2009, the Rayman name was dropped from the title of the video games as the Rabbids received their own franchise. The latest outing, Rabbids: Alive & Kicking, published and developed by Ubisoft, is an Xbox 360 exclusive that fully utilizes Kinect.
Similarly to the previous titles, Rabbids: Alive & Kicking consists of approximately 40 mini-games. Each of the mini-games supports 1 player, 2 players, 3-4 players or a combination of the three. Some of the mini-games are particularly inventive, such as Guitar Zero, in which players move their hands up and down a guitar and strum along to the notes.
Another well thought out mini-game is Silhou-Wet, in which players create shapes in a “Hole in the Wall” style, something that is great fun in multiplayer. However, many of the mini-games are simply a case of moving your arms up and down or moving your body left and right, something that comes as a bit of a disappointment.
Furthermore, a big flaw with the mini-games is the lack of an introduction or tutorial to each one. While there are many that are fairly simple, a good few of the mini-games leave the players clueless and often require a couple of plays to discover what it requires them to do.
Regrettably, Rabbids: Alive & Kicking doesn’t really work as a single player game. The single player mini-games prove quite tedious as there’s no real sense of competition and the only reward is in-game money. However, as with the previous Rabbids titles, the game’s strong point is the multiplayer. Supporting up to 16 players in total, “Party Play” contains three main game modes: “Forfeits,” “The Kitty” and “Carrot Juice.”
Arguably the most enjoyable is “Forfeits” - a pretty self-explanatory game mode where players take it in turns to play random head-to-head games. The loser of each game has to perform a quite absurd forfeit, judged by the remaining players on whether they successfully performed it or not.
“The Kitty” sees gamers taking it in turns to accumulate points on the individual mini-games. After each game, players can choose whether to bank their winnings or to gamble it until the next round. Once the specified number of rounds has been played out, the winners are the ones with the highest total.
Finally, “Carrot Juice” is the most basic of the three Party Play game modes. The carrot juice acts as lives which are consumed whenever one is lost. To determine which mini-game is played, gamers spin a wheel. The winner is the one with carrot juice shots left at the end of the games.
A nice touch to Rabbids: Alive & Kicking is “My Raving Rabbid” – a game mode that sees players interacting with their own rabbid. Gamers can purchase in-game props and accessories using money earned in the mini-games, which the rabbid interacts with. There’s also the ability to take and upload photos with the rabbid. While it’s something that players are only likely to play once and never again, however, it is a welcome addition.
Graphically, Rabbids: Alive & Kicking manages to incorporate the familiar designs and cartoon style that previous titles have displayed, though takes it to another level. The detail is nothing short of amazing and it’s a very good looking game overall. As for the audio, apart from the occasional looping soundtrack, it is to a good standard. It’s hard not to love the sounds the rabbids make.
Overall, Rabbids: Alive & Kicking is a good compilation of mini-games, though it’s hard to recommend a purchase, especially at full price. The title could have done with more single player based content; however, it’s a great game for a family who are looking for some light-hearted entertainment.
David Wriglesworth is a Northern lad with a passion for gaming, who graduated from the University of Lincoln with a BA (Hons) Journalism degree. If you can drag him away from the consoles, you can probably find him Tweeting or watching Coronation Street.