Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rabi Laby

DSiWare is a strange platform, not unlike WiiWare, because it is almost entirely ignored by the major games press. It's not too surprising considering that even regular retail DS games get ignored quite a bit already. I guess reviews of mobile games have always been ghettoized, even with the extensions of large console franchises. The apathy towards cheap mobile games seems to have been greatly exacerbated by the success of the iOs and Android app markets and their tons of games. There is just too much to cover, and not a lot of it is worth the time.

DSiWare seems to get ignored because it is mostly an outlet for ports of smartphone games, which is shame because there are a few gems like Shantae: Risky's Revenge and an excellent port of Cave Story. Personally it is less inviting to write about DSiWare stuff because I don't have the equipment to take my own screenshots, so today you'll have to dealt with these press shots. I also couldn't find a solid version of the “cover” artwork, which I guess is understandable because people can't scan a cover for box that doesn't exist, and Agetec didn't seem to bother sending out much press stuff. So, at the top of this article is a screenshot of the title screen. Close enough.
This is where I deduced that Rabi was male.
I don't know if I'd call Rabi Laby a gem, but it is an interesting little game that doesn't cost much money. Rabi Laby, known as Rabbit X Labyrinth in Japan where already has a sequel, was made by the relatively new development company SilverStar, which seems to specialize in making board games for various mobile platforms. It was brought to the US last month by Agetec, a company that has a history of publishing some cool offbeat titles, and has released a few DSiWare games.

Rabi Laby is a simple puzzle game where you have control over two characters, the little girl, Alice, and the rabbit, Rabi. Alice can't jump very high, but can use keys to open locks, probably because she has hands. Rabi can't open locks, but can jump high, probably because he's a rabbit. He can also explode himself, which destroys certain types of blocks, a limited number of times, probably because shut up. So, you switch between the two on the fly and make them jump on each other in order to pass various environmental barriers until Alice can get to the exit door. There are apparently fifty levels, and the game records your best times in an effort to get you to replay levels.

It's a cute little game that can be challenging, I guess depending on you intellect. It has a simple art style that suits the game and music that isn't too catchy, but also isn't too annoying. At the very least, Rabi Laby is fun to say.

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