GAME NAME: Chubbins
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo Wii U
RELEASE DATE(S): June 5th, 2014
More and more mobile developers seem to be making their way over to the world of console gaming after successful stints on the Android and Apple marketplaces. Dahku’s game Chubbins was originally on the Apple’s storefront and is now making it’s way to the Wii U. Does Chubbins make the transition without a hitch or does he miss it by a hare?
Chubbins doesn’t really have a story. You play as a pleasantly plump rabbit named Chubbins. The main purpose of the game is to navigate your way through each level by bouncing (because that’s what fat animals do). You don’t have to worry about any buttons except left or right as Chubbins will bounce around all on his own through the entire levels. At the end of each level is a white light that you enter into to finish up. There are 5 total worlds and 8 levels within each of the worlds. The difficulty eases you into each world and had a good manageable spike in challenge. The 8th level in each world is an entertaining and clever boss fight. These are welcome break-ups to the games main level structure. There is also a time trial mode where you can go back and pick any one level to play through again for a speed run.
Each level has similar obstacles you must overcome on your way to the finish. There blocks you bounce of of will have arrows that go in different directions and at different speeds which will determine how high you bounce and also in which direction you will bounce. Later levels add spikes, flying or bouncing enemies that you can not attack back and fallaway and moving blocks. There are also waterfall-esque things that will either carry you up or down depending on the direction that make for interesting puzzles. Chubbins can also grab a shamrock or a carrot to turn green or orange. This ability allows the plump bunny to go through spikes of the same color which makes for some cool platforming areas. There are also 2 different levels of difficulty, soft and hard, the later is some brutal platforming, so play at your own risk!
I do have two little gripes about the game though. The first is the checkpoint system. Whichever checkpoint you hit last is the checkpoint that you appear at after a death. This works well in some levels that are more open world and you need to revisit places, But in some levels where you can fall to an earlier part of a level and accidentally re-trigger an earlier checkpoint this makes for frustrating moments. My other minor gripe is that after a death you automatically go back to your checkpoint without having to hit continue or any other button. This would be fine except if you are still hold left or right (and you do get restarted quickly) you will aimlessly fall off platforms or into spikes causing you to have to restart again. These are minor gripes and don’t ruin the overall experience but I just felt that they should be mentioned.
Graphically you can tell Chubbins was a mobile game at some point, but the graphics have been enhanced from the original release and it also runs beautifully at 1080p and at 60fps on the Wii U. The soundtrack is fun and the death sounds of Chubbins are pretty hilarious even when you fall mercifully to your death 10 times in a row.
If you are up for a good challenge buy Chubbins and play through the 40 levels on Hard. It will frustrate the hell out of you, but yet feel so rewarding in the end! On soft mode the challenge is still there but less skillful gamers will be able to enjoy the game as well. This is a great example of how mobile developers can make their titles work on a home console and I hope that Dahku brings their next title to Nintendo’s home console. At $5 dollars this is a worthy addition next to Cloudberry Kingdom and Giana Sisters on your Wii U Home Menu.