The term "Metroidvania" keeps appearing in the gaming world as of late, and nobody would know better than us here at Press Pause Radio. Thankfully, I myself understand, love, and appreciate this oft-cited pseudo-genre. So getting my hands on a quality indie Metoridvania offering with a juicy action-platforming core, a splash of time manipulation, and a pinch shmup bullet patterns? Pure win.
Such is the case with Rockin' Android's latest upcoming release, Bunny Must Die: Chelsea and the 7 Devils, which made its North American debut at PAX East 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Originally released by Japanese indie developer Platine Dispositif in 2006, it was pretty appealing to me, and I just had to know more about this delightfully retro indie game from the same mind behind the Gundemonium Collection (also available from Rockin' Android for both PC on Steam and PS3 on the PlayStation Network).
And wouldn't you know it, the fine folks at Rockin' Android have granted Press Pause Radio world-exclusive access to the complete North American build of Bunny Must Die!
The game opens up with a quick story sequence introducing Bunny, a rabbit girl cursed with cat ears when a feline power generator explodes nearby. With revenge on her mind, she then makes her way to the Devil's Labyrinth to break her curse.
But an absurd plot line isn't the main draw here, is it? The real question is how does the gameplay feel? Well, here's the good news: Bunny Must Die is lots of fun to play -- so much so that I needed to stop myself from playing before this preview turned into an all-out review. There's a great sense of exploration and adventure throughout the portion of that game I stopped at, and the level design seems quite well thought out. The game also progresses in such a way that you'll never cross over into an area you're not supposed to be in.
The gameplay itself is fluid, and the control is impressively tight. Bunny has all kinds of techniques that are gradually learned throughout your adventure (including the mere ability to walk right... make sure to get those gears at the beginning of the game). Some of these are offensive, others let you cover larger distances, and some allow you to freeze or even reverse time. There are also a few tricky puzzles within the first parts of the game requiring a bit of thought in addition to perfect timing. Further in, I've discovered a number of really deviously well designed stage pieces and some really mind-bending collectables that tax your skills to get them.
Add to all of this a number of cool weapons to wage all-out war against your opposition, such as a ball-and-chain, boomerangs, swords, knives, and more -- not to mention boss battles with shmup-like bullet patterns. It's going to be pretty hard for any action gamer to not find something they like in this package.
One other aspect to this game which will likely win over the retro crowd is Bunny Must Die's retro aesthetic. The pixel art at play here is truly great, with fluidly animated sprites and great pixel art throughout. However great it looks now, though, Rockin' Android tells us there's still remixed art which will make its way into the final version of the game -- hard to imagine since the character designs look pretty great already. There's even a screenshot system right in the demo to take screens of your adventure, and you'll be able to choose between original and remixed visuals as well.
Finally, the soundtrack is pretty amazing, with lots of super-catchy tunage and the option between the original and remixed soundtracks.
Basically, if you're into action, indie games, or even looking for a good PC game to play while taking a break from your typical fare, you'll want to check out this game. Bunny Must Die: Chelsea and the 7 Demons is set to release this summer for PC. You can check out the demo on the official Bunny Must Die site right now (and I highly recommend you do) to see for yourself how this great little title plays.
Be sure to follow Rockin' Android on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute updates on all of their upcoming games, including Bunny Must Die. Look forward to our full review when Bunny Must Die launches this summer!