I never thought I’d be having a philosophical discussion about Raving Rabbids, but that’s exactly what happened when I stopped by Ubisoft’s booth to play Rabbids Go Home for the Wii. On the surface, the game may appear to be about insane bunnies trying to collect enough junk to build a tower that reaches the moon , but really it’s dealing with the age-old struggle of id versus ego.
The story, as one of the game’s developers explained to me, is about how the humans in the game have forgotten to deal with their bodies and emotions. They’re so locked inside their rational, cerebral ways that they’ve lost touch with vitality and energy – two things the Rabbids have aplenty. And so it is in our own lives, as the responsible, human side of our brain strives to find balance with our wacky Rabbid side.
Whether or not that message comes through when you actually play the game is debatable. You play as Rabbids trying to pick up as much random junk as possible by ramming into objects with your shopping cart. As you collect the items from one area, new parts of the level will open up, allowing you to progress and pick up more stuff, a mechanic that will be familiar to anyone who’s played a Katamari game.
I played through two levels, a supermarket and a hospital, and both played largely the same way. Enter area, collect junk, defeat enemy, move on to next area. One nice touch is that your cart will handle differently the more stuff you have in it; it turns differently and slows down a bit as you collect items. You can offload your cargo to a buddy Rabbid in between areas if you like.
As in previous Rabbid titles, you can customize the look of the bunny you use in-game, but now you can do more than just give them a hat or a costume. By sucking them into the Wii Remote, you can actually change their physical shape; inflate their eyeballs, squish their heads, put on octopus on their noggin, or just shake the Remote to send them flying. It’s all a little twisted, but kids (or those who’ve embraced their inner Rabbid) should get a kick out of it.