Way back at the dawn of smartphone gaming, Canabalt made the jump from PC to iPhone and suddenly made sense. It stripped platform gaming back to a timing test, having you prod your screen to bound between rooftops and avoid horrible death. One-thumb gaming had arrived in style. Yeah Bunny 2 continues that fine tradition of doing a lot with a little – albeit in a manner closer to a conventional platformer than Canabalt’s leapy antics.
Here, your little bunny zooms along, kicking up dust in his wake. Tap the screen and he leaps. Tap it while he’s airborne and he double jumps. If he’s sliding down a wall, he’ll jump like a bunny ninja. Should he hit a wall, he’ll rebound and head the other way. If he’s running towards a spike, he’ll get impaled if he can’t jump out of the way, because someone appears to have forgotten to include directional controls.
Run, rabbit, run
Yeah, yeah: “Not a proper platform game”. Whatever. There are platforms. There are baddies to unsportingly crush by leaping on their heads. There are suspiciously floating gold coins everywhere. There’s a goal to get to as well. That all feels pretty much like a platform game to me. Moreover, Yeah Bunny 2 for the most part is a really good little platform game – at least if you’re not expecting the next Mario.
After a brief introductory scene with a frantic mother bird hoping you’ll help free her caged chicks, you blaze through straightforward linear levels to learn the basics. But Yeah Bunny 2 soon expands.
Stages introduce massive springs and locked doors, at times leaning towards sort-of Metroid-style adventuring as you zip in and out of teleporters, searching for the stars needed to unlock levels, and switches to open the doors blocking your way. One early section shakes up the pace when you’re chased by a giant pig king, knowing one wrong move will bounce you into the regal rotter’s surprisingly sharp-toothed maw.
The controls might be simple, but the game itself isn’t. You’ll often fume when the hero bounces off of a wall at precisely the wrong moment, forcing you to laboriously work your way back to a tricky bit. And then you’ll die and have to watch a video ad, or eat into your stash of magic carrots, in order to activate a restart point. Starting from scratch or going through the ad/restart dance sometimes robs the game of momentum, which is a pity.
Still, the carrots are at least also part of the game’s weirdest element: a kind of oddball clicker accessed from the game’s home screen. Rescued chicks bounce about, and you use collected coins to construct dwellings in which they apparently farm carrots for you. Nice to know even in this innocent realm of kid-friendly cartoon videogames, our long-eared hero is keener on setting ex-captives to work than returning them to their mum.
Anyway, Yeah Bunny 2: get it, because it’s good. And if you’re too la-di-da gamer to think anything other than a full-on Mario is worth your time in terms of platforms, leapy frolics and bling, hop it and let the rest of us get on with having some fab one-thumb fun.