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Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Wallace & Gromit fans should at least give it a look, but there’s nothing here that you can’t live without.

I love the Wallace & Gromit flicks. There’s just something charming about Wallace’s simple-minded and good-natured attitude and Gromit’s silent habit of rolling with the punches. You’re not likely to find an animated short as charming as The Wrong Trousers no matter how hard you look. That said; I had high hopes for Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit to be as charming and fun as the licensed characters it is based upon. These hopes were not entirely realized, but they weren’t dashed against the rocks and utterly destroyed either.

First of all, the game has cute and clever to spare. In a brief tutorial mission and some cut scenes we are introduced to Wallace’s new brainchild; the bun-gun. This vacuum-powered device allows the British inventor to launch his own “humane” pest-removal business, capturing pesky (but adorable) rabbits to get them out of his customers’ gardens and prize-winning pumpkins without cruelly ending their little rabbit lives.

Once you’re past the opening tutorial mission (which has some very clever moments featuring humor that is pure Wallace & Gromit) you are set into a free-roaming world with many available missions for bun-gunning those bunnies and whisking them away. Its W&G meets GTA after a fashion, but with no murder and crime and a good deal of added platform-type features. Players may switch between playing as Wallace and Gromit on the fly as well, and some missions and areas require this to be done in order to be completed.

Unfortunately it is in the gameplay department that the game loses points. Sucking up bunnies with the bun-gun and herding them into vacuum tubes gets boring pretty quickly and it’s all that the game has to offer until the point where the hideous titular Were-Rabbit (I’m not spoiling it for anyone by revealing that the Were-Rabbit is really Wallace – it even says it in the instruction manual) starts causing trouble and Gromit must go it alone.

There’s just not enough variety in the bunny-chasing and collecting of items (primarily trading cards which are awarded after successfully completing a mission as well as sometimes found just lying about) to keep even a big W&G fan like me interested for very long.

Still, as movie-based games and games intended for young audiences are concerned, one could do much worse than this game (see my review of Zathura for a prime example of how bad such a game could be). That target audience may, in fact, enjoy the game quite a bit.

Review by Michael Triggs.

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