Ubisoft's attempt at board game/mini-game madness fails spectacularly.
Ever since Nintendo hit it big with Mario Party, third party publishers have been trying their own hand at the board game/mini-game format, though very few have succeeded. We're still trying to get the mind-numbing pain of Sonic Shuffle for the Dreamcast out of our heads. That said, we decided to remain optimistic with Ubisoft's Rabbids Land for the Wii U, mainly because a. there wasn't a Mario Party game made for the system (yet, anyway), and b. the Rabbids have had a ridiculous presence since they made their debut years ago – even if some of their games as of late have downright sucked.
But after a few hours of play and fighting back some stifling yawns, we're sad to say that Rabbids Land doesn't shake loose from the downward trend of party games. Even though the Rabbids themselves have some lunatic moments, they aren't enough to end the sheer monotony that keeps this trip into amusement park-land from going anywhere.
In the game, you choose up to four players and take part in working around a board game, set in a fantasy amusement park. There are various locations available, and certain squares harbor mini-games that you can complete either on your own or against buddies, depending on which ones you land on. These range from tracing objects on your Wii U GamePad touch-screen to rolling a ball around a maze.
But Ubisoft Paris did so many things wrong with the formula, we lost count. Probably the worst offender with Rabbids Land is being able to whisk through turns. You have to wait for EVERY player to get their thing done, even if you're just a solo player competing against AI opponents. As a result, a lot of the momentum – and comedy – drains out completely, making you wish you played something a bit livelier – like, say, the way more accessible New Super Mario Bros. U.