Video Games

Bunnies’ Empire Review

Bunnies Empire Splash Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but when it comes to mobile game clones, you need to make sure you’re bringing something new to the table to really stand out from the crowd. It could be as simple as the setting, characters, or power-ups. More successful clones add mechanics or attack types, to freshen up proven concepts. Then again, there’s always the difficulty of the game. But if you’re going to make a well established genre harder, make sure it also seems fair.

Bunnies’ Empire is a blatant Plants Vs. Zombies clone with none of the charm of the original and a serious case of unrealistic difficulty curve. Not to say that casual games should be simple and mindless, but two levels out of the tutorial should be beatable in less than 5 tries. It took me twelve.

Bunnies Empire World Map Like many mobile games, Bunnies’ Empire is divided into 30 levels in 4 distinct zones. Each zone is meant to have a unique art style, but I wouldn’t know because in over 3 hours of play I never got past stage 5. I also love to be able to tell you if the game deviated at all from the simple grid structure of basic tower defense, but I just couldn’t commit to grinding enough to see.

Bunnies Empire Gameplay Where Bunnies’ Empire tries to distinguish itself from other more popular mobile tower defense games like Plants Vs. Zombies is by focusing on unit management and strategy. However, units are expensive and the carrots used to buy more units are slow to regenerate. Which seems like a fair trade off: focus on either deploying units, or generating energy. However, with no way to move units already deployed and the possibility of having up to 6 enemy units in a single lane, you really just have to defend everything and hope for the best.

You are able to upgrade units you’ve already unlocked using coins, which can also be bought from the in game store. Which is fair considering the game is free to play. There is also a coins doubler available for $2.75. But the fact even leveling my base units to level 5 wasn’t enough to get me past stage 5 makes the game feel strongly like the focus is on pay to win.

If I wanted to grind I’d play Earthbound.

Bunnies Empire Store While the art style is cute and accessible and the focus on strategy sounds like a good idea, Bunnies’ Empire feels like it was constructed so that you have to pay to make it playable. Which I would have been happy to do, if the game had been honest about that from the start.

Bunnies’ Empire is available for free on Android and iOS.

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    margotmeanie
    November 18, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Ugh, I hate that. I’ve had a plague of bad games that are rip offs and totally too hard to play but made easier if you pay for the upgrades… just be honest that I’m going to have to pay to play!

    Blerg.

    I’ve been hunting and hunting for new stuff to play and not had much luck.

    <3

    • Reply
      Mariko
      November 18, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Have you played Monument Valley? I reviewed it a while ago (spoiler: I loved it) and they just released a new chapter pack. It is paid, but it is absolutely gorgeous and very worth it.

  • Reply
    Dominic Hamelin-Blais
    November 18, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Hi, Bunnies’ Empire creator here! 🙂 Thanks for taking your time trying my game. First, I’ve to say that the game wasn’t constructed so that you have to pay to make it playable (it doesn’t have any energy system, no skippable timers, etc..) While beta testing the game I had lots of comments about the difficulty. Some thought it was way too easy and some other thought that it was too hard. It’s really hard to balance a game for a large audience. That being said, maybe the tutorial should put more focus about strategy (and not just game mechanic.) Lots of people underestimate the power of the “Explosive” skill. This skill plays a critical part in the game’ strategy. You can look at this gameplay video to see how you pass the first few levels https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcc8jpcyt9w
    – Dominic

    • Reply
      Mariko
      November 18, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Thank you for getting in touch, Dominic. I think maybe focusing on strategy in the tutorial maybe a good idea since the mechanics are pretty familiar to anyone who has played a tower defense game before and the strategy is really what is meant to set Bunnies Empire apart.

  • Reply
    Nagareboshi
    November 18, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Hmm… I rarely play on my phone… Could be fun though! ^^

    • Reply
      Mariko
      November 27, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      It’s very tough, just be prepared to die. A lot.

  • Reply
    Fiona
    November 20, 2014 at 3:41 am

    Looks like cute art but seems like a game I might struggle with too much and then be defeated

    • Reply
      Mariko
      November 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      Yeah, the art really disguises just what a difficult game this is.

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