Apollo, Apollo, Apollo… How many times must we kick your teeth in? And how many times must I attempt to think of something creative to write about in the first paragraph to impart formerly unknown information to the reader? Well in Apollo’s case it’s too many times, I can’t really think of anything to say about them. Well, if I can’t say anything at all interesting about the company, then what about the game itself? Today we’re looking at one of Apollo’s final games, Wabbit, and correct me if I’m wrong but this is one of, if not the, first game to feature a female protagonist. And I noticed something rather strange when looking at the game list on Atariage, this game’s model number is AP2010, and Guardian, Apollo’s final game is AP2012… So what happened to AP2011? Or for that matter AP2007, they’re both missing. Could it be that the two found prototypes of Pompeii and Kyphus were slated to be the two missing games in Apollo’s lineup? Or are there two undiscovered game protos moldering in a box somewhere? Food for thought. Well despite my doubts I still found something to fill the first paragraph with, onto the graphics.
This game looks amazing, the amount of detail and color packed into the screen is wonderful to behold. With the exception of the unreleased Pompeii prototype this is without a doubt the prettiest game Apollo ever made. From the house in the top left and the fence stretching across the top of the field to the bright yellow sun beaming in the top right the game is simply marvelous. The carrot field itself is also quite impressive with ten rows containing three carrots each, and guess what, there is no flicker whatsoever. The sprites for the rabbits are well drawn and actually look like rabbits, and the sprite for the farm girl is very well done with a multicolored blouse and a blue skirt, sadly she’s not a redhead like on the box, but I’ll let that slide. Sadly I know the inevitable fates of these amazing looking games, we’ve seen it before, several times in fact, on the blog, and that’s style over substance. With our luck all of the creativity went into the graphics and not into the gameplay.
This is one of the bleepiest bloopiest games I’ve ever heard; it’s all just high pitched beeps, with the occasional whoosh and mild explosion noise. There is nothing I could deem remotely melodic in the whole game, its all beeps. We’re already seeing the effects of style over substance, the game has incredibly detailed graphics, but the sounds feel like they’re from one of the 1977 launch titles, completely lacking in creativity or effort.
This game is, believe it or not, a shooter; you, as Billie Sue the farm girl, throw rotten eggs at rabbits, which emerge from rabbit holes at the sides of the field, to scare them away from your carrot patch. That’s all you do in this game, throw eggs at rabbits, there is no variation to it, and to top it off this game is too damn hard right off the bat. The field is rendered in a sort of forced perspective, the top of the field is smaller than the bottom to impart depth, but the rabbits and carrots don’t scale, to the rabbits don’t have to travel too far to get to get the carrots so the top half of your field will be bare within fifteen seconds of starting the game. The rabbits also move way too fast in the starting game variation, if you actually want to stand a chance with this game you have to play game seven where the rabbits move slowest and emerge one at a time. You get 100 carrots to start off with, and every time a rabbit gets back to its burrow with a carrot the carrot counter goes up by one, if it reaches 100 its game over, the game does have some leniency though, with every 100 points you get, the carrot counter goes down by 25, not quite an extra life, but close.
This game gets extremely monotonous very quickly, there is simply no substance to this game, nothing to bring you back, you get suckered in by the nice visuals and are left disappointed by everything else. I simply cannot recommend that you get this game. If you really want to round off your Apollo collection though loose carts are anywhere from 7-20$, and boxed copies are anywhere from 45-115$, this is definitely one of those ‘scalped’ games. If you find a loose copy of this game for 4$ and you need it for some reason then go for it and if you just need it in box don’t pay more than 20-25$ for it, yup it’s Collector’s Zone for this one.