It’s Easter and it’s a bank holiday weekend! The Easter Bunny is symbolic of Easter so what better way to celebrate than to play some retro video games featuring bunny rabbits? Whilst it’s fair to say that games featuring rabbits haven’t been hugely popular over the years, there have been some decent attempts to incorporate our furry bunny friends into a range of titles from shoot-em-ups to fighting games. These are my top 10 retro video games featuring bunny rabbits.
10. Brutal: Paws of Fury
(SNES, Mega Drive, Amiga)
Image source: resetera
After the success of Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, the SNES and Mega Drive were flooded with sub-par fighting games. Two of these 16-bit fighters contain rabbits – Brutal: Paws of Fury and Clayfighter 2: Judgment Clay. In truth, they’re both quite poor but I’ve chosen Brutal: Paws of Fury for this list because a) Clayfighter 2’s pseudo-3D graphics look like shit and b) at least with Bubsy you get to see cute animals fight each other. Brutal’s Kung Fu Bunny can fight animals such as cheetahs, rats, bears and coyotes and you start off with quite basic moves but can learn more as you progress through the stages. Believe it or not, there are better fighting games featuring rabbits out there (see below).
9. Wiz ‘n’ Liz: The Frantic Wabbit Wescue
(Mega Drive, Amiga)
Image source: hardcoregaming101
Wiz ‘n’ Liz is a strange platform game published by Psygnosis in 1993. You play as a little wizard and dash around (it’s really fast!) platforms collecting rabbits to spell words before the time runs out. It’s not a terribly deep game but it’s fun for a few minutes play. It also contains a hell of a lot of wabbits! Wiz ‘n’ Liz was released on the Sega Mega Drive and Amiga but wasn’t hugely popular at the time and has since largely been forgotten about. Psygnosis were responsible for some classic games during this period such as Lemmings and Shadow of the Beast. They were bought out by Sony and went on to develop the classic Wipeout games.
8. Tiny Toons: Acme Allstars
Image source: games4win
This Konami game was released on the Sega Mega Drive in 1994 and features all your favourite Tiny Toon characters including Buster and Babs Bunny. The game offers a range of different sports such as basketball, football (soccer), and bowling and they’re actually pretty decent games, especially in multiplayer. They are simplified ‘arcade’ versions of the sports but that’s to be expected with a game featuring baby bunnies. The graphics are great with some lovely themes and character animation. There are obviously better sports games on the Mega Drive (such as NBA Jam) but not featuring rabbits!
Image source: akihabara
Of all the games to feature rabbits, a space-themed shoot-em-up is one of the least expected genres. Gun-Nac is a weird NES shoot-em-up from 1990. It’s a vertically scrolling spaceship shooter which sees you take on lots of robot rabbits (and other crazy animals) who can fire guided missile carrots. It’s utterly bonkers but the gameplay is fast and challenging and there are some interesting power-ups to collect to upgrade your ship. The graphics are pretty great for a NES game too. Who’d have thought that a shmup featuring rabbits would be any good?!
6. Rabio Lepus (Rabbit Punch)
(Arcade, PC Engine)
Image source: arcade-museum
Rabio Lepus is another really interesting shoot-em-up featuring rabbits, developed by V-System and released in arcades in 1987. At the start of the game, the King of Bunnyland and his granddaughters (in bunny suits!) have been kidnapped by a mechanical army. You play as Rabio and Lepus who are the royal families rabbit robot guards in what is a challenging horizontal shoot-em-up. Your flying rabbits shoot bullets and have a limited supply of missiles. They can also punch enemy ships at close range. Developer V-System later changed their name to Video System and became famous for developing the Aero Fighters / Sonic Wings games. Their later games were known for their unusual characters such as dolphin pilots so it’s great to see this quirkiness in one their earlier games.
5. Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose
Image source: Tiny Toons Wikia
There have been quite a few Looney Tunes platforming games over the years featuring Bugs Bunny and the younger Tiny Toons such as Buster. The games across NES, Master System, SNES and Mega Drive were decent enough platformers but struggled to reach the heights of Capcom’s Disney series or Nintendo’s and Sega’s in-house games. They weren’t terrible though and two 16-bit games stand out in particular: Buster’s Hidden Treasure on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) and Buster Busts Loose on the SNES. Which one you prefer will no doubt depend on whether you were a Sega or Nintendo fanboy at the time. They are different games though and are both worth a look if you enjoy platformers featuring cute bunnies. I personally prefer the graphical style (it looks incredible) and gameplay of Buster Busts Loose.
4. Bloody Roar
Image source: Pinterest
Bloody Roar began its life in 1997 in arcades under the name of Beastorizer. It was later released on PlayStation with a new and infinitely better name and became a huge hit. It’s a fighting game with an incredible twist – the characters can all change into animals during fights by activating a special ‘beast’ mode. One of the characters, Alice, can turn into a giant rabbit. In human form, Alice is quick but a bit weak, however, her rabbit character is strong and her moves are quite straightforward, meaning she’s a great fighter for beginners. Bloody Roar is a great looking fighting game even today. The beast mode is a fantastic gimmick for a game such as this and I’d love to see a remake on modern consoles.
3. Sonic Advance 2
Image source: Let’s Play GBA
The GameBoy Advance may seem quite basic compared to today’s handhelds, but at the time it was an incredible feeling to be able to play console games such as Tony Hawk on a tiny portable screen. Another great series to grace Nintendo’s portable was Sonic Advance, which saw 3 titles released in the early noughties. Sonic Advance used the original Sonic the Hedgehog game engine and was the first Sonic game on a Nintendo console – at the time this was a huge deal. The sequel, Sonic Advance 2 also happened to introduce a cute playable rabbit character called Cream. Cream the Rabbit was an unlockable character in this game and she went on to feature in many future Sonic games. In recent years the Sonic games have been hit and miss, although Sonic Mania represents a glorious retro return to form.
2. Bucky O’Hare
Image source: The Nostalgia Spot
In the early 1990s Konami were responsible for some incredible arcade beat-em-ups: The Simpsons, X-Men and Turtles in Time would rank in most people’s top 10 games in this genre. They also made a lesser known title based on a cartoon called Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars. Whilst Bucky is not held in quite such high esteem as their beat-em-up greats, it’s still an amazing game and as luck would have it, the main character is a green rabbit. Bucky O’Hare, the arcade game (not the inferior NES platformer) is a side-scrolling game that’s sort of in between a beat-em-up and a shooter. It looks like a beat-em-up but the characters, Bucky and his pals Blinky, Jenny and Deadeye Duck all have laser guns and you walk around shooting bad-guys from a distance as you would in say Sunset Riders. The game looks incredible, the characters are unusual and there’s even a storyline told between each level. Sadly, the arcade version of the game was never ported to home consoles, so it remains fairly obscure. If you’re looking for an action-packed game featuring a rabbit this should be high on your list.
1. Star Fox 64 (Lylat Wars)
Image source: Cyber6x via YouTube
The number 1 retro video game featuring a rabbit is the N64 version of Star Fox, featuring Peppy Hare. Whilst not the main character, Peppy appears throughout the game, assisting Fox McLeod with advice in times of need with phrases such as “Do a barrel roll”. The first Star Fox on SNES really pushed the 16-bit console’s 3D capabilities to the limit but it was the N64 version which really stood out with great 3D graphics, a wonderful storyline with branching paths, and great shoot-em-up action. Interestingly, the game was known as Lylat Wars in Europe and Australia due to a copyright issue over the name ‘Star Fox’ in these regions. The N64 game came packed with a ‘Rumble Pak’ included – this plugged into the bottom of the N64 controller to give much-needed rumble which really added to the game’s great atmosphere. Nintendo has since released newer Star Fox games (most recently Star Fox Zero on Wii U) but they’ve failed to capture the magic of the earlier games.
I hope you would agree that these are some fine retro video games featuring rabbits. If you think I’ve missed a great game please let me know via the comments.
Main image source: mobygames