20 Reviews

Rabbids Go Home

Tired of being off their trolley, the Rabbids get in one instead...

Have you ever stopped to think about what's in your Wii remote? You might sensibly think it's batteries, or circuit boards, or jam, or whatever witchcraft it takes to make Nintendo's motion magic work, but it's not. Put the remote close to your ear and you should hear something unusual: "BWAAAAAAAHHHHH!"

There's a Rabbid in your remote. But don't panic, he's harmless. Well, so long as you think that pushing people down lift shafts, bouncing on the infirm, riding a jet engine round an airport or indulging in insane amounts of kleptomania is harmless. We don't quite know how he got there, but after playing the manic, bizarre, clever and funny Rabbids Go Home, you'll be inclined to let the toothy creature stay.

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This is the fourth Rabbids game in as many years, and we'll totally understand if you're sick of Ubisoft's rabbity mascots by now. Go Home, however, is an entirely different experience from their previous outings. It's not a minigame collection and it has no multiplayer; it's a fully fledged 3D platform game, albeit the strangest one we've ever played.

Like Clangers, cheese, the tide and Scientologists, Rabbids originate from the moon. Or they at least think they do. One day, while Rabbiding about in the Earth junkyard where they currently live, they decide to go home, so they start building a tower in order to reach the moon.

Playing as a trio of critters - one pushing a shopping trolley, one riding inside it, while the third clatters around in the Wii remote's innards - you're tasked with popping into the nearby city to collect objects to dump on top of your teetering mound.

Virtually no item is off-limits. In addition to picking up detritus from the ground (traffic cones, bottles of pop, dogs) you can shake the remote to make peoples' clothes fall off, then shove the clothes inside your trolley and trundle off.

The goal in each area is to collect as many small (or 'XS') objects as possible, and then navigate your way to the end. There, an 'XL' item awaits - like a cow or a car - and a marching band of Rabbids stand by a filthy toilet, waiting to flush everything you've hoarded back to the junkyard.

The most obvious touchstone is Katamari, but Go Home never feels like a rip-off or a cynical attempt to ape its 'wackiness'. (Which is to the game's credit when you consider that a straight clone of Katamari would no doubt be a big seller.) It's a genuinely funny game, the Rabbids in particular having the sort of unrelenting manic energy we'd need a thousand cups of coffee to replicate. Every stage begins with a charming short cartoon, and ends with a joyous parp of big band music; in between you'll battle robots, wreck a supermarket and explore a radioactive government facility, to name just a few of the game's varied activities.

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Stages are structured similarly to any other 3D platformer, but nearly every location offers something new. One minute you'll be floating around under the inflated quarantine bed of an infectious hospital patient, the next you'll be racing through an office after a secretary on a scooter.

After that you could be careering through an airport lounge on the back of a runaway jet engine. Some games rest on their laurels; Rabbids Go Home vigorously stamps on its laurels and then flushes them down the U-bend while laughing like a maniac.

Levels vary in set-up and duration - some are linear and on-rails, while others are bigger and more open. You'll likely grab most of the collectables on the first playthrough, but you can always revisit stages later. There are a good number of levels, too, and although the same locations and activities do start repeating, they will at least offer something new each time.

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