From a thematic perspective, smartphone games are rarely adventurous. Right now, zombies and anthropomorphic cuddly animals are all the rage, so it's fair to say that Zombie Bunnies is very much of its time.
A tale of mad scientists and evil genetic experiments gone right, it's by no means a revolutionary title. But big steps forward are rare nowadays, and innovation isn't always necessary if the gameplay's solid and enjoyable.
Unfortunately, Zombie Bunnies is a little too prosaic to fit into that bracket, content as it is to sit in the unlabelled 'pretty but vacant' section of the App Store.Out to pasture
The game is a side-scrolling shooter that puts you in control of the nefarious Dr Hare. Due to scientific chicanery, the good doctor is intent on wiping humanity from the planet using his special creations, the titular zombie bunnies.
You pilot Hare's ship through a two-dimensional, randomly generated city, shooting everything that moves - and a lot of things that don't - with one of four unlockable types of undead rabbit. You have a limited amount of ammo, but dead and destroyed things drop more for you to collect.
You also need to keep an eye on the energy gauge of your jet-powered vehicle, which doubles up as fuel and armour. Cannisters littered around the city will refill your tanks, but they're often in hard-to-reach places.Road kill
For the first few levels you'll float by unmolested, controlling your movement by sliding your finger anywhere on the screen and blasting out cuddly destruction by tapping the 'fire' button. You're given objectives to complete, usually involving destroying a set number of different pieces of scenery.
Complete one set of objectives and you're given another, featuring a challenge to unlock a new type of rabbit to fire at the unsuspecting humans below. There are four of these in total, each doing more damage than the last, and you can swap between them at will.
After the fifth level, you'll start to meet some resistance from the humans below. Rednecks with what look like laser cannons will start to attack you, changing what was a sedate and frankly dull trash-'em-up into a mini-bullet-hell twitch dodger.Flopsy, mopsy, and the one that eats arms
After rednecks, you graduate to police officers, and from there to heavily armoured SWAT teams until the screen is a blur of orange blobs of fire and ravenous, reanimated rabbit corpses. If you die, you can restart from any level divisible by five, and there are 99 to play through.
Zombie Bunnies's main problem isn't a lack of content - it's a lack of balancing. Too often you find yourself floating through the city with no bunny bullets to fire, ramming into buildings in the hope that they'll spew out some ammo.
The first five levels are also spectacularly dull, offering no challenge whatsoever. When the actual game kicks in, and you're weaving between weapons fire, desperate for another health cannister, there's a glimmer of hope, but there's just not enough fun here to keep you entertained for long.