Rabbids Go Home Nintendo Wii review

Bwaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! Aaron goes shopping for anything and everything with those wacky rabbids…

Ubisoft’s Raving Rabbids have become firm favourites amongst many Wii owners. Their mad-as-cheese demeanour and total disregard for their own safety has helped to create some truly entertaining party games. With titles enjoyable by children and adults alike, there’s something about these rabbit-like wierdos that just works, even if they’re essentially slapstick one-joke cartoon characters.

Still, despite their appeal, there are only so many party games people can take on the Wii before boredom begins to set in. Luckily, Rabbids Go Home is nothing like previous Rabbids adventures, and, shock-horror, there’s not a mini party game in sight! Hurrah!

We join the Rabbids in their home – a junk yard – where the crazy critters are going about their business, eating, sleeping and being generally odd. Things are as normal as things get for Rabbids, until one of them notices the moon and decides to set the entire brood onto a madcap mission to reach the giant glowing ball, believing it’s their true home.

How do the rabbity folk plan to reach their goal? Do they plan to spend years painstakingly planning a lunar mission, building a cutting-edge rocket, formulating a mission strategy and training astronauts? Erm… no, they’re going to build a big pile of junk and climb there, of course!

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With goal in place, you take on the role of a trio of crazed Rabbids and their trusty shopping trolley and have to make your way through level after level collecting anything and everything you can get your furry mitts on to add to the growing pile of stuff. Nothing is safe from the Rabbid’s kleptomania-fuelled grasp. Traffic cones, toy cars, food, bottles, computers, photocopiers… Even yappy dogs and people’s clothes are fair game, whether said clothes are being worn or not. A quick “Bwaaaahhhh!” in the face of any person unfortunate enough to get in the Rabbid’s way and their clothes fly off and can be collected.

Each level features a mass of small, or XS, items that can be collected, and there’s a large, XL, item at the end of a stage to be collected. These large items include radar dishes, diving boards and cows, to name but a few. Once at the end of a level, you’ll deliver the goods to the waiting Rabbid brass band, and proceed down a toilet (a distinctly yellow one, at that) to the next stage.

Controlling the Rabbids uses both the Wii remote and nunchuck, and the setup is very well implemented, not relying too much on motion controls. The analogue stick of the nunchuck moves the Rabbids around, whilst a flick of either the nunchuck or remote causes the Rabbid in the trolley to shout “Bwaaahhh!”, which is your basic attack. Aiming the remote at the screen and pressing the C button on the nunchuck fires your third Raddid at the screen, to destroy obstacles and attack foes. It’s all easy to get to grips with, and is a solid, well thought out system. As you progress you’ll uncover more moves, such as a power slide and turbo boost, which all add to the mix and let you reach otherwise inaccessible areas.

Actually controlling the Rabbids and their trolley is great fun because of these simple controls, and the design of the game makes great use of this. Each level features all sorts of environments to manoeuvre the trolley through, such as ramps, half pipes, tunnels, narrow passages, tilting walkways and much more. Occasionally you’ll even mount other objects, such as rockets or inner tubes, and there’s simple puzzle content to further add to the challenge, such as driving through gunky green soup and leading a cleaner robot onto a door switch. This is all delivered in a wacky and zany way, and the presentation is superb.

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This may be a Wii title, but it looks great, even if there’s the occasional slowdown. The art style is striking, and environments are detailed and possess a real cartoon quality. Complementing the visuals is a fantastic soundtrack. The wild brass band music that accompanies much of the proceedings is all very loony toons and fits perfectly, and there’s a number of classic 60s and 70s licensed tracks in there too.

The levels themselves are usually quite linear and straightforward, forcing you through in set ways. However, some other missions are a little more open, with alternate routes, and there’s a hub-level of sorts that lets you wander around a city neighbourhood looking for you next group of missions.

Some missions also feature boss battles, albeit basic ones, and there are special sections that require use of specific skills. A good example is in the early hospital level where the XL item is a man in a quarantine bed. Using this poor guy as a makeshift hot air balloon, you have to carefully jump and glide from rooftop to rooftop to reach your goal. All of this makes what could be a samey and repetitive game quite varied, and every level, punctuated by some great little cartoon cut scenes, is a joy to play through.

As well as the main game, Rabbids Goes Home also boasts some truly entertaining user customisation options. As soon as the game begins you find out that there’s a Rabbid sat inside your Wii remote and you can shake and smash the poor little guy around by shaking the remote (something that’s far too enjoyable). Once a little more into the game, you’re then given the chance to customise your trio of Rabbids by sucking them into the remote.

This customisation includes applying paint jobs to the Rabbids using a surprisingly flexible paint tool, complete with spray can, brushes, stamps and more. You can use a range of tools to manipulate the unfortunate mammal, such as using a clamp to squash or stretch his head, or a gas canister to inflate his eyes and ears, and you can equip a number of items of clothing, such as hats made of jelly, octopus wigs, traffic cones and birds nests. Once you’ve crafted the perfect image of Rabbid beauty, you can turn it into a posed figurine. This can be saved and then shared with others online. You can also take photos during the game, and these can be sent to friends.

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Rabbids Go Home, thanks to its tight presentation and quirky sense of humour, is a truly entertaining and unique title that doesn’t rely on ideas from other games to get by. Its originality is refreshing, and the gameplay never feels gimmicky. This all adds up to a great title that should appeal to Wii owners of all ages.

Rabbids Go Home is out now for Wii and Nintendo DS.


4 out of 5