By Michael Fontanini / August 24th, 2020
|Title||Radical Rabbit Stew|
|Release Date||July 16th, 2020|
|Genre||Action, Adventure, Indie, Puzzle|
|Platform||PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4|
|Age Rating||E for Everyone|
Somewhere off in a far away galaxy, the space diner found itself under siege in Radical Rabbit Stew! Its legendary chefs were known for the delicious food they created. However, on this day they were kidnapped by the jealous rabbit queen, who’d grown bored with her tasteless vegetables! So her minions descended upon the unwary space diner and kidnapped the legendary chefs! The cleaning boy had managed to hide, and now it is up to him to save the legendary chefs and restore the great space diner to its former glory. Do you have what it takes to reach the rabbit queen and best her in battle?
Radical Rabbit Stew is a quirky, retro styled action adventure game with a puzzle angle. Its 2D, top-down levels require a bit of puzzle solving to best. You’ll encounter the minions of the rabbit queen around every corner, as she’d rather keep the legendary chefs for herself! You’ll need to utilize your super spoon to whack them away. Landing a hit sends the rabbit flying in the direction of the impact. The idea is to knock one rabbit into each pot on the stage. This causes the pot to disappear, which can sometimes gives you access to another area of the level, because pots block you just like walls.
As you can see in the image above, the levels include various mechanics to help and hinder you, such as those red bouncers. You can hit rabbits into them to bounce them around the level. Some levels also have rounded, metal corners. Hitting a rabbit into one of these will cause it to round the corner and keep going, as opposed to smashing into the wall and stopping like they normally do. Water slows you down, which becomes more important later when you face more dangerous enemies. So you’ll need to be careful in those cases. You’ll face annoying flying enemies (a cross between bats and rabbits), but you can whack them out of the sky with your trusty super spoon. There are a number of other varieties, including zombie rabbits, as well.
Radical Rabbit Stew features a number of new mechanics that you’ll encounter as you progress. The level pictured above is another early level, showing both breakable blocks and a collectible blue coin. The cracked blocks can be broken by sending a rabbit flying through them. The uncracked block requires two hits to break through. You’ll also gain super spoons as your adventure unfolds. They give you new powers, like a charge attack or the ability to drop bombs, which can blow up those blocks or temporarily hold down pressure switches, if there aren’t enough enemies around to utilize. The charge attack can also be used on bouncers to send yourself flying like you normally do to your pesky rabbit foes! This is another way to break blocks or reach otherwise inaccessible parts of the level. Most levels have one or more of those blue coins hidden around to collect. Many of them (like the one pictured above) require a bit of puzzle solving to get. If you can collect them all, you’ll get a nice unlockable after the ending credits.
Your quest to save the space diner’s legendary chefs will take you through a number of varied environments, including a beach, pirate ships, a land trapped under the cold grip of ice, and more. You’ll venture through a number of colorful maps full of stages to overcome. These retro-themed overworld maps are a nostalgic nod to certain adventure games of old, like Super Mario and Donkey Kong Country. Along the way, you’ll occasionally find a blue heart, which permanently increases your maximum health. Each one allows you to take one additional hit before your health runs out and you have to restart the level.
You’ll also encounter boss battles every so often, as the rabbit queen’s minions try their best to stop the humble cleaning boy! The early game boss shown below will jump around the room. You’ll need to whack normal-sized rabbits into him to do damage! None of the bosses are nearly as formidable as the queen herself, though. The gameplay is on the simple side, which makes it very easy to pick up for most players. The difficulty is fairly easy, though you’ll probably get stuck a few times.
Radical Rabbit Stew is a retro themed game at heart. It features gorgeous, hand-drawn sprite graphics, hearkening back to a bygone era. The music is a fast-paced, retro styled soundtrack that fits the game very well. It is well-done, just like the graphics. The sound effects are also done pretty well here.
Radical Rabbit Stew is a fun little romp through a zany, retro-themed world. Whacking rabbits around with your super spoon is a fun main mechanic, complimented by a number of others along the way. You may find yourself scratching your head a few times at some of the puzzles, but it’s definitely a good game. Perhaps its biggest flaw is that it is on the short side, but it makes up for this with a built-in level editor, allowing players to create and share their own levels! For the Steam version being reviewed here, this is done via Steam Workshop. The editor lets you select items from various wheels, similar to what Nintendo did in Mario Maker 2. Steam says I’ve spent between 6 and 7 hours in the main adventure, and that includes collecting all of the blue coins, which nets you an extra secret after the credits roll. Radical Rabbit Stew is available on the Steam Store for $15.99. You can also find it on several other platforms. Can you whack your way through all the rabbit queen’s minions and defeat her to rescue the legendary space chefs?
Review copy provided by publisher.
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