When it comes to enduring icons of the video game industry, squat googly-eyed creatures with a penchant for screaming don't really seem like they would have the sticking power to make a lasting impression. Yet, four years after the name "Rabbids" first appeared on a box cover, these manic weirdos have established themselves as one of the most consistently funny crews in the business. The rabbids latest outing, Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time, is full of their signature goofiness, including such amusements as silly alternate-history scenarios and a dedicated scream button. The action itself is uneven, so while some game types are satisfying and fun, others are lackluster and awkward. Things get better when other players jump into the fray, and though the shallowness eventually catches up with you, that wacky rabbid charm goes a long way toward extending the game's appeal.
6285352NoneThe skies around Kitty Hawk will never be the same.
Travel in Time finds your rabbid transported via magical washing machine to the halls of a museum. From there, you waddle around a spacious central area to access the various types of games available for play. Some can be played without leaving the hall, and these offer simple, if short-lived, enjoyment. A trivia game tests your knowledge of history, raving, and the game itself. These multiple-choice questions range from mildly interesting ("What was Mona Lisa's real name?") to utterly silly ("What would never fly?"), providing some humorous highlights and a comparatively calm break from the other games. A dancing game challenges you to get up and get down in your living room as you mimic the moves of Just Dance 2-style silhouettes. The period costumes and exuberant maneuvers make dancing a suitably screwy activity, but there are only seven songs to which you can dance. Finally, there's a singing minigame with a notation scheme that is similar to that of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock or Rock Band 3. Notes scroll down in five columns, and you tilt the remote to select the correct column and then press the scream button to "sing." Getting four rabbids to sing in harmony is definitely an amusing sight, but the controls are too imprecise and uncomfortable to make it fun for more than one song.
These three minigames are more like palate cleansers than main courses, and they serve their purpose reasonably well. The bulk of the gameplay lies in five different activities that require you to travel to five other areas within the museum. Each activity has multiple levels, and each level starts off with an animated cutscene that depicts the rabbids arriving at notable moments in history and messing things up royally. Each level has two possible outcomes that are coded orange or purple. An orange choice (or a victory by the orange team) sets history back on track, while a purple one establishes an alternate course of events. Either way you go, you are treated to another cutscene that features rabbids doing what they do best, and these outcomes are usually good for a chuckle. Some, like the fate of the Titanic, are more dramatic than others, like a rabbid-infested Roman coliseum. And alternate histories are almost always more tempting than setting things straight. The silly cutscenes offer enough incentive to make playing each level of each activity worth it, though in doing so, you will find that not all activities are created equal.
Breaking stuff in the center of the earth is just another afternoon's work for the rabbids.