Whenever a new game, franchise or genre becomes mega-successful, countless similar titles and rip-offs are bound to emerge. Rovio's now-iconic Angry Birds series is one of the most successful mobile franchises of all time, and for good reason — the simple, physics-based gameplay is quick and addictive, the birds and pigs have colourful and silly personalities and each new entry has a great deal of polish and shows that the developers are continuing to experiment and toy with the core gameplay to find new ideas. Cypronia's Angry Bunnies, which crosses the threshold of "clone" and goes right into "rip-off" territory, shows none of Angry Birds' ingenuity and is sure to disappoint anyone who downloads it, especially at the unacceptably high price of $8.99 USD.
Angry Bunnies follows the exact gameplay as Angry Birds. For the few gamers who have not played the huge franchise, the premise is rather simple: players fling angry birds into wooden, stone and ice structures that house trapped pigs in order to destroy the structure and kill the pigs. In Angry Bunnies, players fling angry bunnies into wooden, stone and ice structures that house trapped foxes in order to destroy the structure and kill the foxes. Like Angry Birds, there are different types of bunnies that have special abilities. In addition to the regular blue bunny, there is a brown bunny that speeds up when the stylus taps the touch screen; a white bunny that triggers several little explosions upon impact; a large green bunny that has more weight and can destroy more structures at once; and a "bomber" bunny that drops egg bombs when tapped while in flight. Additionally, each level has three carrots to collect.
There are five "story" modes, each with 30 levels to master, but there is no actual "story" to be found. Whereas Angry Birds usually has some kind of opening cinematic to lend a bit of context (even if it's intentionally absurd), the only distinguishing aspect of each mode is different background art. The shoddy presentation is prominent throughout; the poor, low-res visuals recall the most generic of '90s PC shareware graphics. The sound effects — which amount to one-note dumb bunny "ouch" bites and simple crash-boom-bangs — are grating after a few minutes of repetition.
These shortcomings would be easier to swallow if Angry Bunnies nailed the familiar gameplay, but it unfortunately fails at that, too. The visual instructions for new birds — which also rip off Angry Birds' intuitive tutorial style — are not clear until experimenting with trial and error and restarting the level. Flinging the bunnies on the touch screen while viewing a wider view on the top screen is confusing, and with no instruction at first, the player will likely have to start the first level over several times. The bunnies also take far too long to disappear after a turn; on more than one occasion, a bunny continued to say "ow!" while laying upside down on the ground, delaying the next turn so severely it seemed like it was a game-breaking glitch. And while the 3D effect deepens the screen, it also slows the game's already-poor framerate.
Angry Bunnies is a shameless, shoddily designed rip-off of superior game that can already be purchased and downloaded on multiple platforms for a much more reasonable price. There is very little to recommend here; had the game been super-cheap — like Angry Birds on iOS and Android devices — the amateurish experience might be a tiny bit more acceptable. But for anyone looking to play Angry Birds on their 3DS, there are retail versions that offer a much stronger experience. Steer clear of Angry Bunnies.