A few weeks ago, the joint venture from Revolutionary Concepts and Tangible Games Banzai Rabbit hopped onto the App Store. Taking the basic core gameplay of the arcade classic Frogger and adding a host of new elements, including exquisite 3D graphics, produced a game that we thoroughly enjoyed in our review apart from one major gripe – it was just too difficult for your average gamer. The developers heard this cry loud and clear and actually anticipated it to a certain extent. An easy mode had been created prior to release for the possibility that gamers found the game to be too hard, thus an update including this new mode and a few other tweaks was able to be submitted relatively quickly after release. The new update has now hit the store, and it addresses practically every concern we had over the initial release, giving no reason not to give Banzai Rabbit a spin.

The new easy mode, titled Cuddly Bunny, starts you off with more lives, extended time to rescue each infected human, slower traffic and hazards, and half the cost of buying continues with mutagen orbs. These changes do wonders making the game more accessible, and at the risk of sounding impossibly hard to please, it's almost too easy. Rarely did I get killed by a hazard, and when I did it was usually because I was trying to rush. Lives and mutagen orbs stockpiled as I played, and never did the timer count down more than about halfway. I don't want to spin this in a negative light, however, as it gives me exactly what I wanted in the first place, which was a way to see the game from beginning to end. Given that the cute storyline and cutscenes are a big part of Banzai Rabbit, I had no trouble enjoying them as I made my way through this easier difficulty.

Another noteworthy aspect to this update is the addition of checkpoints. Losing all of your lives and having to start completely over from the beginning was a point of frustration in the release version, and checkpoints alleviate that problem really well. The easiest difficulty offers many checkpoints should you have to restart the game, with medium difficulty having them as well although fewer and farther between. The hard difficulty remains for the truly hardcore, featuring no checkpoints whatsoever along with less starting lives and much faster traffic. Banzai Rabbit does a wonderful job at catering to a wide audience with this latest update, and if you were on the fence before due to the difficult nature you should have no problem playing the game in it's entirety now.

Also worth mentioning is the impending release of a separate iPad version of Banzai Rabbit. The game is already quite the looker on the iPhone, but with updated graphics taking advantage of the iPad's higher resolution it looks simply stunning. UI tweaks to the game's controls, optimization for the faster processor, and additional cutscene screens are in this version as well with the possibility of some exclusive iPad-only content. The iPad version should be submitted in the next few days, and barring any sort of complications with approval should be available in the next couple of weeks.

Above are some of the early iPad screenshots (click to enlarge), so you can get an idea of whats to come.

  • Xurkey

    I'm so sick of gamers complaining nowadays about games being too hard. Seriously, learn to play or please give up on gaming all together. You make us real gamers Look bad.

    Back in the day, you couldn't save, you hardly had checkpoints, but you didn't complain and whine about it. Instead, you plugged in time each day getting better and better, actually learning the game and the effective ways to complete it.

    Seriously, are there any real gamers like me out there or is everyone hooked on strategy guides and saving their game every 5 seconds in case they mess up because "the games too hard and I'm a cry baby. I don't want to learn the game, I want everything given too me"

    I feel bad to be a developer for this generation of gamers, trying to dumb down their games difficulty just to appeal to these cry babies.

    • Jared Nelson

      Riiiiiight, or you can make a game that has an Easy mode for young children or casual gamers ALONG WITH harder difficulties for the players that want that like they've done here. I don't really see a problem with pleasing everybody.

      Must be nice up on that pedestal of l33t g4merz though, congratulations on your testicular fortitude :rolleyeshard:

      FYI I've been gaming for almost 30 years, and have fond memories of those harder games. But more often than not those games were that hard due to technical limitations or poor design choices. Console gaming grew out of arcade gaming, and arcade games were made purposely hard in order for you to throw more quarters in the slot. Sometimes that would carry over into the design of console games. Why would a developer want to only cater to a hardcore niche market and therefore sell less copies/make less money?

      Maybe you should try not to have such an elitist attitude and concede to the fact that gaming has evolved and the more people that game the better. Go beat this game on the Hard difficulty and be happy, and let the rest enjoy what else is there.

      • Barry

        Well put Jared.

        I would also like to add that not everyone WANTS to be a hardcore gamer- I have so many other things to be getting on with on my iPhone such as reading, watching films, listening to music, IM chatting, etc etc (ironically enough, hardly ever using it to actually call someone!). What I don't want is to have to spend hours trying to master a level only to be stuck on the next level, and get frustrated with each. I haven't got the time. A quick pick up and play, that's what I want. And this game, with it's easier difficulty level, sounds like it will now serve my purpose, as well as others such as my 7yr old daughter (for her iPod touch).

      • Xurkey

        Yes, but then you always have these fake gamers saying "hard mode is too hard, fix it!" Think about how easy gaming has gotten because people have no patience nowadays! I'm not trying to sound elitist Jared I'm just disappointed with the industry. I have nothing wrong with a developer having an easy medium and hardmode or whatnot, but I do have a problem with gamers, as I mentioned before, complaining about "hard mode being too hard."

        Again I'm not trying to be a jerk, I love the website and all (I visit it everyday) but I really wanted to get that point across.

        Where are the real gamers at I ask again?!

      • Jared Nelson

        Hey Xurkey, I understand what you mean, and I apologize for sounding like a jerk in my response too. I think you suffer from the "Wii syndrome". When the Wii first came out I was like "neat", and had some fun with it. Then all of a sudden grandparents and toddlers were fragging each other in Metroid just by waving around a wand. It pissed me off, and it basically spawned "casual gaming" as we know it today. In reality casual gaming has always been around in some form, like how everyone plays solitaire on their computer or tetris on their cell phone.

        But at some point you gotta let it go. Gaming has grown exponentially since back in the day, and it's more a good thing than bad. Just gotta embrace the evolution and sort out the games that suit you from the ones that don't. I just don't take kindly to calling people cry babies and the like, to each their own I say. I even appreciate some of the casual stuff out there, but I'll still bust out the DS for some Contra 4 from time to time. "Real gamers" as you put it are definitely still out there, and they still make games for that crowd as well as the easy stuff.

        And if you're really looking for a hard game, try out Jump Hard for the iPhone. I guarantee it will turn even you into a cry baby ;)

        Take care.

    • Nikita

      Hey Xurkey,

      Our Hard difficulty setting in Banzai Rabbit is just what you need!
      We have separate online leader boards for all difficulty settings, so your prowess will be obvious to everyone.
      And then there is a Challenge mode where you can earn gold/silver/bronze medals by completing levels fast and gathering all stars - which can be very tricky!

      • Xurkey

        Way ahead of you sir! Thank you though. Take care.

  • Xurkey

    I'm so sick of gamers complaining nowadays about games being too hard. Seriously, learn to play or please give up on gaming all together. You make us real gamers Look bad.

    Back in the day, you couldn't save, you hardly had checkpoints, but you didn't complain and whine about it. Instead, you plugged in time each day getting better and better, actually learning the game and the effective ways to complete it.

    Seriously, are there any real gamers like me out there or is everyone hooked on strategy guides and saving their game every 5 seconds in case they mess up because "the games too hard and I'm a cry baby. I don't want to learn the game, I want everything given too me"

    I feel bad to be a developer for this generation of gamers, trying to dumb down their games difficulty just to appeal to these cry babies.

    • Jared Nelson

      Riiiiiight, or you can make a game that has an Easy mode for young children or casual gamers ALONG WITH harder difficulties for the players that want that like they've done here. I don't really see a problem with pleasing everybody.

      Must be nice up on that pedestal of l33t g4merz though, congratulations on your testicular fortitude :rolleyeshard:

      FYI I've been gaming for almost 30 years, and have fond memories of those harder games. But more often than not those games were that hard due to technical limitations or poor design choices. Console gaming grew out of arcade gaming, and arcade games were made purposely hard in order for you to throw more quarters in the slot. Sometimes that would carry over into the design of console games. Why would a developer want to only cater to a hardcore niche market and therefore sell less copies/make less money?

      Maybe you should try not to have such an elitist attitude and concede to the fact that gaming has evolved and the more people that game the better. Go beat this game on the Hard difficulty and be happy, and let the rest enjoy what else is there.

      • Barry

        Well put Jared.

        I would also like to add that not everyone WANTS to be a hardcore gamer- I have so many other things to be getting on with on my iPhone such as reading, watching films, listening to music, IM chatting, etc etc (ironically enough, hardly ever using it to actually call someone!). What I don't want is to have to spend hours trying to master a level only to be stuck on the next level, and get frustrated with each. I haven't got the time. A quick pick up and play, that's what I want. And this game, with it's easier difficulty level, sounds like it will now serve my purpose, as well as others such as my 7yr old daughter (for her iPod touch).

      • Xurkey

        Yes, but then you always have these fake gamers saying "hard mode is too hard, fix it!" Think about how easy gaming has gotten because people have no patience nowadays! I'm not trying to sound elitist Jared I'm just disappointed with the industry. I have nothing wrong with a developer having an easy medium and hardmode or whatnot, but I do have a problem with gamers, as I mentioned before, complaining about "hard mode being too hard."

        Again I'm not trying to be a jerk, I love the website and all (I visit it everyday) but I really wanted to get that point across.

        Where are the real gamers at I ask again?!

      • Jared Nelson

        Hey Xurkey, I understand what you mean, and I apologize for sounding like a jerk in my response too. I think you suffer from the "Wii syndrome". When the Wii first came out I was like "neat", and had some fun with it. Then all of a sudden grandparents and toddlers were fragging each other in Metroid just by waving around a wand. It pissed me off, and it basically spawned "casual gaming" as we know it today. In reality casual gaming has always been around in some form, like how everyone plays solitaire on their computer or tetris on their cell phone.

        But at some point you gotta let it go. Gaming has grown exponentially since back in the day, and it's more a good thing than bad. Just gotta embrace the evolution and sort out the games that suit you from the ones that don't. I just don't take kindly to calling people cry babies and the like, to each their own I say. I even appreciate some of the casual stuff out there, but I'll still bust out the DS for some Contra 4 from time to time. "Real gamers" as you put it are definitely still out there, and they still make games for that crowd as well as the easy stuff.

        And if you're really looking for a hard game, try out Jump Hard for the iPhone. I guarantee it will turn even you into a cry baby ;)

        Take care.

    • Nikita

      Hey Xurkey,

      Our Hard difficulty setting in Banzai Rabbit is just what you need!
      We have separate online leader boards for all difficulty settings, so your prowess will be obvious to everyone.
      And then there is a Challenge mode where you can earn gold/silver/bronze medals by completing levels fast and gathering all stars - which can be very tricky!

      • Xurkey

        Way ahead of you sir! Thank you though. Take care.

  • WilhelmR

    I don't mind too-easy games if I'm in the mood for some relaxing evening..

    But anyway.. one of the phew that will definitely shine on the iPad :)

  • WilhelmR

    I don't mind too-easy games if I'm in the mood for some relaxing evening..

    But anyway.. one of the phew that will definitely shine on the iPad :)

  • Jim G

    iPad screens look sweet, looking forward to it.

    I, for one, appreciate multiple difficulty levels. Cut scenes and end content is there to be seen and enjoyed. There's no point in having it if you can't achieve it.

    If there's a drive to reward the lEEt player, then perhaps different endgame and cutscene content for that specific difficulty?

    I dunno, this self-promotional chest thumping discussion sort of irritates me. When did we become a culture that ceases to communicate "this is what I would like from your game, and would make me buy it and recommend it to others", instead of childish ad hominen attacks for allegedly ruining gamer culture. As if that is something exclusive and to be owned.

    And then we apologize to the guy passing judgment on how other people have fun and for calling people names. "Gosh, I'm sorry I confronted you about your rotten attitude. Please feel free to do it some more." Way to go, Ohio.

    Of course, because I disagree, I MUST have only been playing games for the last 3 months and suck at everything.

  • Jim G

    iPad screens look sweet, looking forward to it.

    I, for one, appreciate multiple difficulty levels. Cut scenes and end content is there to be seen and enjoyed. There's no point in having it if you can't achieve it.

    If there's a drive to reward the lEEt player, then perhaps different endgame and cutscene content for that specific difficulty?

    I dunno, this self-promotional chest thumping discussion sort of irritates me. When did we become a culture that ceases to communicate "this is what I would like from your game, and would make me buy it and recommend it to others", instead of childish ad hominen attacks for allegedly ruining gamer culture. As if that is something exclusive and to be owned.

    And then we apologize to the guy passing judgment on how other people have fun and for calling people names. "Gosh, I'm sorry I confronted you about your rotten attitude. Please feel free to do it some more." Way to go, Ohio.

    Of course, because I disagree, I MUST have only been playing games for the last 3 months and suck at everything.

  • Jim G

    Disregard my previous comment. I suppose I'm just as guilty of posting from emotion as anybody else. My regrets.

  • Jim G

    Disregard my previous comment. I suppose I'm just as guilty of posting from emotion as anybody else. My regrets.

  • Digital_Guy

    Where is the "new" release?  Article as of June 29th says "soon", it is now August 30th (+2 months later), I cannot find an update for this title or any application in the store relating to this "update".  Before Christmas, maybe?