Title: Rabbids Land
System(s): Wii U
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher (Developer): Ubisoft (Ubisoft Paris)
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ for cartoon violence, crude humor and mild lyrics
I’m not a fan of these Rabbids things. If I wanted tiny creatures with crazy eyes and big mouths spouting gibberish, I’d spend the morning at my kids’ day care. But I like party games. And the more bizarre they become, the happier I am. In that regard, I’m pleased that UbiSoft presented us with a review copy of Rabbids Land, as it certainly delivers. It’s frantic, it’s unpredictable, and it rarely makes any sense, but that’s all part of the charm.
Welcome to Rabbids Land, Enjoy Your Stay
The premise to Rabbis Land, if you have to have one, is that the creatures have taken over an amusement park. You’d think this would make for a slew of good thrill ride and skill-based mini games, but not really; they’re are as random as in any other party game you’ve played.
They all sprout out off a circular playing board like in Trivial Pursuit. After rolling the dice, you work your way around two rings, passing between them at various spokes which sometimes allow you to choose between two possible landing points. This isn’t nearly as inventive or fun as the various boards and game modes in the recent Mario Party titles, but it has the odd effect of making you feel like you’re actually playing a tabletop board game.
There are seven square types on which you can land, which can launch mini-games, present you with a trivia question, allow you to roll again, etc. Mini-games is where the fun is, of course, but the trivia square was interesting; answer correctly, and you get two trophies. If the other players correctly bet whether you’ll get the answer right or wrong, they also get a trophy.
The trophies, I should explain, are like your Mario Party stars or your Trivial Pursuit pie pieces. You need to collect 10 or 20, depending upon the length of the game you chose, then land back in the center of the game board. Trophies can be taken away by landing on the Bad squares, but their otherwise fairly easy to obtain and hold on to. As such, Rabbids Land is a very quick game.
You Must Be Shorter Than This 48″ Stick to Get Electrocuted
We need to talk about the mini-games, as Ubisoft made the curious decision to have them all be for only two players at a time; one on the GamePad, one on a Wii Remote.
Although it does a good job of making sure all opponents (up to four) get their fair share of action, it kind of kills the “party” aspect of the game. Imagine a Mario Party game of nothing but mini-battles, and you kind of have the feel of Rabbids Land.
But there are also two benefits. First, you only need the GamePad and one Wii Remote to play; no extra hardware purchases necessary for the four player party experience. Second, the mini-games end up being a bit more fleshed out, for the most part. One sees the player with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck playing a Rock Band style rhythm game that sends fireballs behind a roller coaster that the GamePad player must avoid.
Another has the gamer attempting to trace patterns in a dirt field while the other player rolls through them to hide the pattern. Another has one player using security cameras to locate and zap rabbid thieves. There wasn’t a single mini-game I hated playing, which is good, because there are only 19, so you’ll be playing them all quite often.
Provided you have friends/siblings available. Although there is a single player version, it’s not that fun. You have to sit through each computer-controlled player’s turn, and losing the group dynamic means no one with whom to share the laughs, which hampers the overall experience.
Line Jumping is Cause for Being Catapulted From Park
Rabbids Land is a decent game, and it manages to differentiate itself quite a bit from NintendoLand in both gameplay and presentation; there’s no reason to think you don’t need one just because you have the other. It doesn’t have much depth, however, and although it demands to be a party game, no more than two people will be playing at once.
Rabbids Land is never our first choice of games when the family plays the Wii U, but when we do select it, we always have fun. This early in the launch of the Wii U, that’s enough to make Rabbids Land a good buy.
Buy Rabbids Land