Ready for more hot mini-game action? Rub Rabbits delivers the goods.
When the Nintendo DS came out, Sega supplied the system with a quirky little title called Feel the Magic: XX/XY. It featured fun, addictive mini-games and was one of the only games within the first few months of the system’s launch which made extensive use of the stylus for gameplay. Now, Sega is back for more mini-game lovin’ in the form of The Rub Rabbits.
One thing you’ll notice immediately is that Rub Rabbits is extremely similar to Feel the Magic. The presentation (menus, game scenes, and even most of the sound effects) and the mini-games are very reminiscent of Feel the Magic. All of the modes from Feel the Magic are back, along with some new single and multiplayer modes.
Obviously, the main Story mode is the meat of the game. The game follows along on your adventures against the Rub Rabbits as you (once again) try to win the heart of the woman you love. This time though, there’s another girl who has fallen for you and has her sights set on being your girlfriend, no matter the cost. She serves as most of the “boss" battles in the game.
The mini-games in Rub Rabbits are more or less exactly like they were in Feel the Magic. You’ll get a four panel comic-like scene advancing the story as well as preparing you for the next game, and then you’ll be given a short set of instructions for what you need to do for that mini-game. After completion of the mini-game, you’ll get Heart Points to unlock new outfits for your girlfriend. The only difference here is that Rub Rabbits has an absolute advantage in the number of mini-games present, which only makes sense. The Rub Rabbits also utilizes mini-games where you’ll either need to turn your DS upside-down or sideways to play. Some of the mini-games make good use of this feature, while others could have just as easily been done with the DS in a normal position. There are also a couple of mini-games which feature the DS’s microphone. While many of the mini-games are certainly entertaining, there wasn’t a singular game that seemed to define Rub Rabbits, like what Painting was to Feel the Magic.
The new modes in The Rub Rabbits are: Attack, Baby making, Hullabaloo, and Connect. Attack basically amounts to a time trial mode. It features specific mini-games (each with three different levels of difficulty), and your job is to finish the task as quickly as possible. Or, if the game isn’t timed, then you’re just to rack up as many points as you can.
Connect is one of the three multiplayer modes. It contains Battle and Exchange. Battle is the basic mode to start a game with up to four other people, but you have to unlock these games in Story mode first. The games used in Battle are extremely simple, even for a game of this standard. You’ll find yourself getting tired of them, even with four people. Exchange lets you share your Baby making data in a virtual park, along with being able to swap dress designs.
Hullabaloo is a “party game". The idea is that your DS is going to become a baton. In this game, you start off with the screen giving you a button to push and hold. Once you push that button a timer will start, and there’s only a short amount of time to pass the DS to the next person, while still holding the original button. The next person is going to be shown a different button to push, and the original person can then let go. The idea is to try and string as many combos together as possible.
Baby making is probably the most worthless of the new modes. Two people have to fill out a short questionnaire and cut a wedding cake (together). That’s it. Once you’re done with those two short steps your baby will be born and given characteristics based on what questions you answered and how you cut your cake. There’s not much else you can do with your baby besides showing it off to the world, in which case you’ll never see it again anyway.
The other modes are familiar for fans of Feel the Magic. Memories is where all the games you’ve beaten in Story mode are stored for easy access, and for higher difficulty. Maniac is where you get to dress up your lady friend exactly how you want. There are a number of ways to unlock different clothing items for her to wear, and you can even create a number of your own designs using the stylus.
For being an almost exact copy of Feel the Magic: XX/XY, The Rub Rabbits is still surprisingly simple and yet extremely addictive. The graphics are colorful, and the gameplay is diverse and offers genuine challenge at times. The music can be repetitive, but it’s still catchy enough that you won’t want to gouge your ears out. If you played Feel the Magic for any length of time and enjoyed it at all, The Rub Rabbits is certainly a title worth picking up.