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Review: Super Holobunnies: Pause Café is Wasted Potential

Screenshot: Super Holobunnies

I’ve been sitting here, trying to think of an intro to Super Holobunnies: Pause Café that doesn’t give away my feelings for the game. But it’s hard. See, Super Holobunnies had so much potential, but it’s squandered. I may be getting ahead of myself.

See, Super Holobunnies: Pause Café started its life as a Steam game, like so many recent Switch games have. The Switch is GREAT for indie games, so I’m not complaining: if you have a game, why not throw it into the Nintendo eShop (not that’s it’s easy) and hope some Switch owners will breathe new life into your product. The problem is that there are so many games—great and not so great—making their way to the eShop, it’s almost impossible to make informed decisions. There aren’t any ratings systems, so you have to look for reviews like this one to get an impression. So it lets games like Super Holobunnies get through. Games that look like great, complete games, but are disappointingly short.

Screenshot: Super Holobunnies

Super Holobunnies is not much better than a tech demo. It has gorgeous pixel art graphics and super tight gameplay–but there’s not much you can do with all of it. There’s a versus mode, for head to head holobunny carnage, an endless runner, and a boss rush mode. That’s it. And while these game modes seem like they would be enough content, I was able to blow through Super Holobunnies in a couple of hours. Not only did that leave me wanting more gameplay, but it left important questions, such as: what the hell is a holobunny?

Versus mode is about what you’d expect: fight head to head in a fighting game style. The endless runner mode puts you in control of Kitcat which is a cat (maybe) and runs. Endlessly. I mean, there are power-ups that allow you to run fast, turn around, jump more, etc. But as far as endless runners, it’s pretty pedestrian (har har).Unfortunately, getting past the tutorial in the endless runner mode takes some serious timing, and if you quit out, you have to start from the beginning. It’s horrible. And to wrap it all up in a nice package is the boss rush mode. In it, you fight four bosses, and if you succeed in defeating them all, you get a score at the end, and you get to find out your time.

Screenshot: Super Holobunnies

That’s it. That’s all there is to Super Holobunnies: Pause Café. As a tech demo, it would be pretty impressive. It makes me want to play the full game. It has great music that sounds like something Primus would produce, and as I’ve mentioned, the pixel art is extremely competently done, and attractive. So why is there so little game? I really wracked my brain trying to see if I was missing something—like a minigame to discover or just ANYTHING else to justify the existence of holobunnies, and whatever they might represent. Why don’t we have tangible bunnies? Why are they holo? These answers, sadly, are never really examined in detail.

And I don’t think they will be. See, “super” is added to the Switch version, because Holobunnies has existed for years on Steam. And why is it “pause café”? What does that mean? Does it mean that it’s a series of minigames? That’s true, but there just aren’t enough to justify calling it a café, or really anything other than “tech demo.”  Unfortunately, if there are answers to my questions, they just aren’t in the Switch version.

Super Holobunnies: Pause Café is a disappointment. If I bought this game on the eShop I’d be sad. Not only because of its lack of content, but for the potential that’s there. The tight controls, great pixel art, and music are all wasted on this tiny “product” that you might spend less time on than any full game’s demo.

 

Super Holobunnies is out today on Nintendo Switch, with its previous version (without the “super”) is available on Steam.

 

 

 

 

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