Tiny Bunny Review
Combining non-linear gameplay with a visual novel format, the first episode of Mars People Games, Saikono, and RUzura Interactive’s Tiny Bunny sets the stage for something sinister. Should players embrace the darkness, or is this depressive tale a lost cause?
Tiny Bunny Review
Set in a remote region of the Siberian forest, the first episode puts the focus on the sixth grader Anton and his family. Times are tough in this household – his dad lost his accountant job, bullies are a common threat, and his mom relies on drugs to calm Anton and his sister Olya down.
Things get that much more grim when the police come to his door to tell him that the boy Vova has gone missing. Determined not to take things sitting down, Anton ventures out into the wilderness to find out what has happened.
The atmosphere in Tiny Bunny is far from cheerful, but it does achieve what it sets out to do. There are no feel good moments in this title – if anything, this playthrough will make players feel uncomfortable throughout its 30 minute runtime. The black and white stylings and ominous music add to this atmosphere, and though there are some awkward animations and movements, the overall package has more wins than losses.
It’s just a shame that the story itself fails to go anywhere. Though this is the first episode, nothing of note happens. By focusing on the day to day, it can be tough to get engaged in its world – the atmosphere only does so much. If anything, a lot of the tasks done in this episode come across as mundane – while watching Disney tapes with your sister might add to the atmosphere, the execution feels a bit drab. Without spoiling too much, the lack of a climax makes the experience feel more like a draft than a final release.
However, Tiny Bunny does make an effort to stand out with its otherworldly elements. Anton comes across dark visions of wolves, while his sister sees an owl. Though these elements are nebulous as of this episode, they do set the foundation for something substantial. As it stands right now though, these concepts are not fully realized.
There is some freedom with its world though. Players can choose where they want to travel at select moments, and certain objects can be interacted with. It pales in comparison to the point-and-clicks of the industry, but these elements are welcome nonetheless. There are a handful of achievements that are tied to these interactions, so it pays to scope out all areas at any given time. For those who get stuck, there is a handy function that shows which objects can be interacted with at any given time.
The first episode of Tiny Bunny successfully establishes a grim and ominous atmosphere, but be warned that the plot is a little underdeveloped at this point.