Don’t you think it’s strange that bunnies only seem to surface for an appearance during Easter festivities? Well, that’s because developers DillyFrame Games have put them to task for the rest of their days as car park attendants (Bunny Parking), warehouse workers (SokoBunny), and architects (Kick It, Bunny!). For the latest outing however, Bunny Factory, the fluffy mammals are on a robot factory production line while kitted out with mech suits. Could this be the best rabbit-oriented puzzle game so far, or is it just another defective product?
After a few mediocre titles, DillyFrame Games appear to have assembled all the necessary components to ensure Bunny Factory is a damn good puzzler. While there’s still room for improvement, this one should be on your radar and, if you’ll allow me to do so, I’ll explain why.
Bunny Factory drops you into the shoes of a bunny wearing a mech suit, inside a factory, where you’re immediately presented with a simple set of controls. Upon making your way to the main puzzle area, the first little issue arises because there are no instructions or tutorials for what you’re expected to do. With red coloured blocks scattered around a patterned grid, a trial and error exercise begins as to what on earth it all means. Fortunately, it should become apparent rather swiftly because the core concept of the puzzling going on here is quite logical.
These blocks are actually electrical modules and they’re required to power up the grids for each puzzle. When you pick up a block and place it down, it lights up the squares on the grid in one of four directions – let’s call the directions north, east, south and west. In fact, it could send lines of light in more than one direction, with modules capable of producing it in all four at once. The goal is to illuminate the entire grid pattern, which then rewards you a special block that unlocks further rooms of the factory.
Given that the amount of blocks at your disposal is limited, it’ll take some cunning placements to fully complete the patterns. As with developing any puzzle game, it’s about finding a balance between being tough enough to provide a challenge and too difficult that you’ll tear your hair out. Bunny Factory gets it spot on, ensuring that grey matter is tested to the point where there’s a genuine sense of achievement as you figure out the solution, without ever reaching boiling point. On rare occasions the difficulty is a bit erratic, with certain setups appearing far more complex than others, however there’s nothing too daunting once you grasp the main idea.
As more mechanics are introduced, the variation should keep you chugging through the 100 levels on offer. Eventually yellow, blue and green coloured blocks will enter the mix, while another idea sees the reach of each electrically charged block set at a specific amount e.g. lighting up only two squares in a certain direction. Things get really interesting when blank modules become a part of the puzzle and you must decide which colour to adorn on them. It’s great fun to be fair, but there are a couple of niggling issues and unnecessary irritations that need addressing.
Firstly, every time you start a puzzle, the blocks are often scattered quite far away from the grid, leading to a laborious back and forth to grab them. And that’s made worse by the chore of traveling at the speed of a snail around the rest of the factory, just to place the ‘reward’ block somewhere and then return to the first area where every puzzle occurs. I understand that it’s to give off the idea that you’re turning the place into a functioning factory bit by bit, but it’s a distraction when you only want to move on to the next conundrum.
The only saving grace for the unlocking of rooms through progression is the lure of locating collectibles. There are eight robot parts to find, and that’s enough to entice you to explore the otherwise fairly bland factory. Not everything is bland though, and credit must be given for the eye-popping colour used on the electrical grids. They look bloody good, which is handy when you’re looking at them a lot.
On the whole, Bunny Factory is a pleasant surprise as it is a real step up in quality compared to the developer’s previous offerings. The puzzles are logical and fun to solve, there are a ton of them to get stuck into, and the variations on the core mechanic bring enough freshness to keep proceedings moving along smoothly. It could do with a tutorial to ease gamers in and explain what’s going on, but other than that and the traipsing around, you’ll not find much else to fault it for. If you’re in the market for a puzzler, this will most likely meet your requirements. So, hop to it!
Bunny Factory is available on 2nd June for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One