148Apps Network Post
Developer: Catelgame
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

An overly-curious bunny sets some nasty critters loose, only to have to chase them through a series of storybook worlds. Alice in Wonderland is a delightfully backwards (if not a little obvious) first choice. It’s a cute and clever concept, but Rabbit Journey’s controls are something of a killjoy.

Calling Rabbit Journey a runner would be right on the money. Because that’s what the rabbit does. He dashes and jumps through a series of fiendish levels, clobbers indigenous enemies, and hopefully makes it to the next page in one piece. A number of weapons can be temporarily acquired to stun, suspend, or otherwise wipe out anything unfriendly while extra points can be earned by selecting a specific bonus goal at the start of a stage.

I’ve already mentioned it but it bears repeating; Rabbit Journey features a pretty cool idea, what with the storybook-hopping and all. It has lots of potential for visual variety and future updates. There are also a fair amount of special items and character clothing options to unlock assuming players sink enough time into it. On the gameplay side of things, the decent selection of power-ups is as colorful as it is varied. Wearing a giant bell in lieu of a shield is only the beginning.

But even all those clever ideas and interesting weapons can’t save Rabbit Journey from a set of unresponsive controls. At the most basic level there isn’t enough of a variation in jumping height in conjunction with the length of a tap. In other words, I can do a small jump and a big jump, but nothing in-between. Then there’s the split-second delay between landing and being able to jump again that often sabotages my attempts at success. But the biggest and most irritating problem is that the hit detection for the jump button is either off, or the hitbox for it is too small. Either way it meant several (and I mean several) runs foiled by the rabbit refusing to jump when I wanted him to.

I still have hope for Rabbit Journey, though. It’s playable if obnoxiously flawed in a couple of key places, but there’s always the hope of future updates to address the control issues. And really, once those are gone I’d be more than happy to call it a fun runner.

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