Patchmania Review: Time For Bunny Revenge!
Feeling superior to us meat-munching Neanderthals for being vegan?
If there's one thing Little Details' just-released free-to-play mobile game Patchmania teaches us, it's that the cuddly cartoon bunnies will hate you all the same.
Farmer Lester has destroyed your forest home in order to churn out neat rows of vegetables in his newly-ploughed fields... and now it's time for bunny revenge! Brave bunny ringleader Calvin and his three furry friends take their revenge by rampaging through Pitchfork Farms - devouring Lester's crops and putting him out of business.
By drawing paths with your finger through his carefully-planted vegetable patches, Calvin and company face over 600 original puzzles to chomp through, fully animated and interspersed with keel-over cute cutscenes.
Patchmania promised me a new puzzle addiction.
And as far as I'm concerned, they've delivered on their promise. In fact, the biggest beef I have with this game is that (at least for the moment) it is strictly an iOS title and I've repped Team Android since the HTC Dream.
Having snagged my mother's iPhone 6 Plus (she's so hip) for the purposes of reviewing this game, I found I was loathe to let it go.
My baby sister (...okay, she's in her mid-20s...) and I barricaded ourselves in a comfy corner of my room to pool our mental problem solving reserves - stuffing as many carrots, cabbages(?), and whatever those weird-shaped yellow veggies are into these juggling, farting, snoozing bunnies.
Learning how to play is simple - once your bunny starts snacking on his food of choice, he has to keep following the same vegetable path until he reaches a rabbit hole. No crossovers, no more walking onto bare earth, and you have to collect everything if you want to hit a 3-star score (a la Angry Birds Epic).
Once your draw your path, you can either watch your bunny hop-chomp its way to victory, or quick-'splode through them all at once. If you don't collect enough, that's game over - and you lose one life out of five.
If you run out of all of all of these, you can either sit tight and wait for ~12 minutes to start playing again, or pay $1.25 to fill up your lives right away.
It can be a little difficult to know how many vegetables you can miss without losing a life, but it's pretty simple:
- Miss 1 = 2 stars
- Miss 2 = 1 star
- Miss 3+ = lose a life
Be aware that if you want to reset partway through the puzzle, that'll also cost a life.
To keep things pleasantly challenging at all times, puzzles come in a mix of difficulties, and new items and mechanics are introduced as you progress (e.g. free-for-all mushrooms and teleport holes).
Connect-the-dot sound effects are supremely satisfying as you map out your route for the bunny buffet... and if you happen to find yourself stuck on a particularly tricky stumper, these adorable little critters will happily take advantage of that downtime with a number of silly actions to fill the silence.
I did note that the majority of the time, the primary reason I lost a life was because I accidentally swiped too close to a hole and my particular bunny hopped right in. This, added to the ease in which you can map out your routes before committing to them makes it much easier to hold on your your lives... and infinitely preferable to constantly being stuck with 1-2 star wins or the occasionally rage-inducing luck-of-the-draw that is Candy Crush combo probability.
It's Free to Play!
Which is, of course, not to be confused with the larger segment of "free-to-play."
Nearly a necessary evil these days in the current era of the mobile market (and, if we're being fair, to the video game segment at large), free-to-play titles have almost reached the point of being synonymous with pay-to-win.
While most of these types of games know better than to reach Dungeon Keeper Mobile levels of depravity, there are many, many others that still try to produce the best game possible - without factoring in the most ideal way to sneak in as many mercenary micro-transactions as possible, just for the sake of slowing down player progression.
In this respect, Patchmania handles its in-app purchases and micro-transactions with taste and a noticeable degree of tact - so much so, I would be happy to plunk down my money (and, when I run into the bonus level unlocks, I certainly intend to).
Its pay-to-respawn mechanic slows you down for a short while, but that time is not so ridiculously long as to become aggravating and worth it if you're unwilling to shell out the cash. Everyone's gotta take a break sometime.
To me? Yes. 100%. Almost to the point where I regret not owning an iOS device new enough to keep on playing this every spare moment I've got.
If this hits the Google Play Store, I'm the first in line. But in the meantime, those of you on iOS can find this neat little puzzler on the Apple App Store starting today!