Since their inception in 2006 the Raving Rabbids have been delighting children with their antics and annoying adults for the exact same reason. This holiday season marks the return of the Rabbids, for a seventh console appearance; this time on the Wii U. For the uninitiated, a Rabbid is the product of giving an oversized rabbit a hyperactivity disorder. Rabbids Land is a party game that pits the Rabbids against one another in a combination of board game and mini-game collections. Will the party go off with a bang, or will it fizzle out like a cheap sparkler?
The basic premise of Rabbids Land is to make your way around a board, collecting power-ups, avoiding certain squares and collecting trophies. The first player back to the middle of the board with the required amount of trophies wins the game. Trophies can be won in several ways. They can be awarded for answering correctly on trivia squares, stolen from others using power-ups and won in mini-games.
The presentation of the game is surprisingly good. The Rabbids look crisp and are well animated. The board, menus and backdrops are all very attractive to look at too. Rabbids Land won’t win any awards for aesthetics but it is very colourful and appealing to the eye. Kids will especially love the look.
Rabbids Land features a couple of dozen mini-games to play. The Wii U gamepad is used in many different and innovative ways. Sometimes you will be using the touchscreen to draw a path for a Rabbid to follow. Other times you will be tilting the gamepad to move the Rabbids around the screen. The gyroscope is also used in some mini-games to look around the game world in three hundred and sixty degrees. For a (very) short time the control gimmicks will keep you entertained; but a game lacking content and fun will soon reveal itself
Despite Rabbids Land being marketed as a party game, the lack of simultaneous four-player is bewildering. This game is strictly one versus one in mini-games. This means that two players will always be waiting around for their chance to play. It is ironic that most of your time spent playing Rabbids Land will be not actually playing.
Rabbids Land offers a meagre amount of content for its asking price, besides the fact there are only a few dozen (short) mini-games and only one board to play on. You will tire quickly of seeing the same thing and playing the same games over and over. A few other game modes compliment the main game.
Single player mini games unlocked in the party mode can then be played in single player mode. Players are able to collect coins when playing alone. Coins can be traded to unlock short video clips featuring the Rabbids, or music tracks from the game. You might as well not bother though. After having unlocked them all, a quick YouTube search revealed that they had all been online for over two years. The music is generic and fairly forgettable too, it is not worth unlocking.
Rabbids Land is a very average game. Most of the mini-games are not fun to play; they use the gamepad in interesting ways but are flawed as concepts. The board game aspect is boring and tiresome. You can’t even have four players playing at once!
I may be being too harsh though. After all, this is a game undoubtedly aimed at children. It is a given that more experienced and older gamers will not enjoy this as much as kids who are familiar with the series. However, that does not excuse the games fundamental flaws. Kids will still want to all play together. They will still notice the lack of content. Fans of the series might be able to look past the games shortcomings. There are still better Wii U launch games out there and Rabbids Land should definitely be near the bottom of your list but it is not a bad effort for a launch game.