Sometimes, mobile games make it huge. The fact that you can get Angry Birds beanies is proof of that if nothing else is. Apparently, Kung Fu Rabbit was so successful on the mobile platform, they decided to make it suitable for HD TVs and bring it to your Wii U.
The story, if you can really call it such, starts with the alien abduction of your bunny friends. As the adorable Kung Fu Rabbit, it is your job to manoeuvre the increasingly difficult levels to save them, and collect all the carrots on the way.
Game play is reminiscent of classic platformers, complete with wall jumps, disintegrating blocks and perilous falls. Starting simple, the difficulty soon ramps up and I managed to achieve the dubious achievement of dying 20 times on the same level. One mistimed jump, or movement that is a couple pixels out, can lead to your demise. I eventually had to relinquish my OCD tendencies to collect all the carrots at the risk of never completing certain levels.
After playing for a few minutes, you will notice that you are getting a splitting headache. I would recommend that you mute the game while playing – the music is attempting to create an Asian atmosphere, but unfortunately is composed entirely of 5 second loops that grate on your nerves and might cause those who share your home to commit suicide.. or murder.
The game can be played on the TV, or using only the Wii U Gamepad. Convenient if you want to play while someone does something else on the TV, but also shows how completely useless the TV is in the experience. In fact, there is nothing about the game play that utilizes the fantastic capabilities of the Wii U.
Levels are quick to play, generally about a minute or two to complete. However, mastering those levels and getting all the carrots without plunging to your death, or being killed by the ghosts with strange blue weak spots on their backs or heads, can take much, much longer. There’s no health bar or checkpoints – you only need one pixel to make contact with something deadly and it’s back to square one. That said, there are upgrades and items you can purchase with your carrots to make the game easier.
While there are a range of new obstacles that appear through the various levels, game play gets repetitive (like the music) and eventually boring. It is a small game with limited replay value. I actually wish that I had played this on a mobile platform instead – most of my issues with the game would have been less noticeable if I’d played in 5 minute spurts while waiting for my sushi takeaways.
Oh, and I would have liked some actual Kung Fu!