Holobunnies: Pause Cafe is, as it states in their description, “the Holobunnies appetizer you didn’t know you wanted”, but if a Cafe served me this as an appetizer I’d think they were having a laugh. Holobunnies: Pause Cafe more closely resembles the breath mint that restaurants give you at the end of the meal to make the price seem more reasonable.
Even though the game is only $5.99, you are basically paying for the kind of game you can play on Google Chrome when you have no internet. It’s a hollow shell of multiple gimmick games in one, as 2/3 of the games are almost unplayable. Even though it seems I’ve already destroyed this game and any hopes of a positive review, I do have to give the artists credit as it is visually a nice game to look at. However a game that is only good to look at is basically a picture, and I don’t pay 6 dollars for screen savers.
When you start off you’ll enter the Cafe to see all of your friends, cute bunnies each with their own aesthetic and personality, but when you chat with them you’ll only get a line or two of dialogue that doesn’t do a great job of selling these adorable creatures. I feel like I get to know them better from watching the trailer for Holobunnies: The Bittersweet Adventure than I do from talking to them.
So as you quickly tire yourself out from the lack of interesting things in the cafe, you’ll eventually end up going onto the computer and playing one of the three mini “games” on offer. The mini games are Brawler, Kitcat Adventure and Legacy Boss Rush. When you get into a game you can either choose to play ranked, set difficulty, or select the stage depending on the minigame, so it does offer some variation. Selecting which stage you want to play on Kitcat Adventure (the only game I really played) was helpful, as it allows you to skip easy levels and replay specific levels without grinding through earlier stages.
Starting off with the Brawler mode, which is in my opinion the most frustrating minigame as it’s the only one with co-op despite selling the game as if the whole thing is co-op. You’re going to need to have a friend plug a controller into your computer to even play this as there is no option to play with bots. If you’re like me and struggle to find friends to play with, I would advise you to save your time, because after my friend and I played 2 rounds of Brawler he had to sit there and watch me play the rest of the single player games. Brawler is where you get to find out which power each bunny has, so you would expect a bit of a display. Well if you expect that like me and most normal people, you will be disappointed, like me and most normal people. The game consists of a battle arena that spawns you side by side with a few platforms, and I know I said there were different levels, but if you’re going to look through the levels to see the difference, just don’t, I already explained every level. Aside from the placement of a few spike or poison hazards, they’re all the same.
Surely with such tight battle arenas the brawls are bound to be chaotic fun, right? No. No they are not, and stop asking stupid questions. Each player can just shit out a thousand bullets without needing to reload, so both players end up being wall-fucked by each other. I tried so hard to make this brawl exciting for my friend, who was slowly getting more and more sick of this dumb game I invited him over to play, but it was impossible. Jumping around just means you can’t hit each other, as you can only shoot in a line, and even when you’re in line to shoot them you just get fucking shot back. So now we’re back to wall fucking each other, which is great. Apart from that there’s small monsters that interfere, but those 1 health fuckers just shatter when they get between all the sexual tension going on between players. So that’s Brawler done. Put aside, never to go back to.
Next on the chopping block is the good ole boss battle mode known as Legacy Boss Rush. When you think boss battles you think the creme de la creme, the challenge of all challenges. And yeah, it is challenging, but the challenge comes from trying to stay interested long enough to beat the bosses. They aren’t bosses that you have to strategically outmanoeuvre so you can hit their weak spots, feeling like an absolute boss when you kill it. Oh no, these are just huge health sponges that take ages to kill. One boss’ weakness is “dancing” (lol good one), so every now and then he stops to bust a move, but other than that he just sprints back and forward while you jump over him. DAMN, these mechanics are just plain awful. There is no excuse, being a side scroller is not a huge limitation like it used to be, something like Super Mario Bros had better mechanics than this yonks ago. It seems like instead of innovating we’ve decided “fuck it, games are good enough” and settled for something simple. I yearn for the bosses like the ones in the trailer for Holobunnies: The Bittersweet Adventure as they look like they actually have character, personality and better yet, you can play against them with a reluctant friend…. (WHY ARE THERE NO 2 PLAYER BOSS BATTLES IN THIS GAME?). The saddest thing is that Legacy Boss Rush is the best place to get information about the characters as you load into battle, so the only reason I wanted to play this game mode was to get to know the characters in the cafe.
Kitcat Adventure isn’t that great either, but it is better than the others. It’s a simple running game where you have to jump at the right time to avoid obstacles and to get speed ups. It’s the type of game you could get for free on your phone, so I don’t know why you would get it here instead. Mainly this game overall is just a failed demo, and it pains me because as much as I sound like I hate this game, I don’t hate Holobunnies. I see it has all the potential to be the next Undertale, it has that humour, it has a story, it even has loveable characters, I just don’t know why they did such a bad job at displaying all of this in a taster of a game. They should have focused on the story, given us a little bit more of the adventure, and not just another brawler/boss battle/sidescroller game. So I am eagerly looking forward to Holobunnies: The Bittersweet Adventure, and looking away from this tragic mistake. I just hope the real game focuses more on the story and characters, because we have enough shoot em up games, what we need is a Holobunnies game.
Check out Holobunnies: The Bittersweet Adventure here on Steam.