Radical Rabbit Stew review: All the right ingredients

Pugstorm AB
Pugstorm AB /

Simple, yet satisfying: Radical Rabbit Stew is the kind of silly fun you didn’t know you needed.

Title: Radical Rabbit Stew
Developer: Pugstorm
Publisher: Sold Out
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed on) Xbox One, PS4, PC
Release Date: July 16, 2020

One of the funny things about my mother — to which I assure you there are many — is just how much she hates any animal that might fit the classification of “rodent”. This woman, I’d like to add, considers herself someone that is especially spiritual and in tune with nature. Yet, when it comes to certain animals, she dismisses their existence faster than Disney did with Rose Tico from Star Wars.

In that respect, I think my mom would take a certain sadistic pleasure with Radical Rabbit Stew. You’re tasked with eradicating a certain type of rodents: rabbits. But how exactly do you obliterate them without mercy? Well, by slapping them into giant pots of soup, of course! It’s a wacky, bombastic, and exciting (all three words that, basically, mean the same thing, but stick with me) kind of gaming experience that knows exactly what it is.

Radical Rabbit Stew is best described as an action-puzzle game. The premise, meanwhile, is one that is so delightfully silly that I implore you to appreciate the sentence I’m about to write to describe it. You’re tasked with playing as a cute blue cleaning boy — the only survivor of a vicious raid of rabbits — to avenge your fellow chef buddies and thwart a tyrannical rabbit queen from taking over.

So, yes, the premise is silly. But it’s the kind of energy you would expect with the name Radical Rabbit Stew, after all. During a time in which many hyper-realistic and cinematically ambitious titles are being released (e.g. The Last of Us Part II, Ghosts of Tsushima), it’s nice to play a cartoonish game focused on vanquishing those who wronged you.

Honestly, we deserve more cute and cuddly revenge story aesthetics. Remember Naughty Bear? That was the worst game with the best idea, I’d argue, to be released in the last ten years, with an honorable mention going to Neverdead. But thankfully, unlike those tragic titiles, Radical Rabbit Stew is a joy to play.

Radical Rabbit Stew
Pugstorm AB /

The gameplay feels like a puzzle-oriented version of Bomberman, but with the occasional energy and speed of something like Sonic the Hedgehog. Those comparisons aren’t the best in the world, but I hope the former, especially, kind of paints the picture. As the cleaning boy, you’re basically tasked with filling up each of the pot stews in each level with the various rabbits in the area. Once you’ve filled up each one, the level is over.

It’s incredibly simple, but the game does a good job at making each level, and environment, add more gimmicks to change up the formula. Not only do you collect more hearts that increase your life meter, but you’ll come across different power-ups. Some rabbits are especially chunky, so you’ll whack them with a more powerful spoon. Other times, you’ll need to cross lakes or trenches without dying — and that’s where the grappling hand comes in handy. Confession: Given that I’ve been watching One Piece for the first time, I’ve been especially enjoying this ability since it reminds me of my pal Monkey D. Luffy’s elastic arms. If you couldn’t tell, I’m a loser!

But seriously, Radical Rabbit Stew is a lot more fun to see in motion than it is to talk about. To be honest, the game is far more ingrained in action roots than it’s puzzle side, which is where the Bomberman inspiration stems from. A lot of times, it’s about being able to react quickly to situations.

Radical Rabbit Stew
Pugstorm AB /

There is a multitude of ways for you to die aside from the angry rabbits running after you. Sometimes, there are huge rabbits barreling at a high speed, with special explosive rabbits cornering you, with a cannon that fires bombs in your vicinity all at the same time. It’s hectic, but smacking rabbits or bombs into the correct directions, as well as having the correct timing, is what Radical Rabbit Stew is all about. And I’m happy to report that it’s fun.

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The screen is constantly — and especially so in the later levels — throwing obstacles at you with such a frenetic pace that you feel like you, yourself, are being shot out of a cannon. While I do enjoy the uniqueness of that sensation, I must admit that there were times when Radical Rabbit Stew felt a bit too hectic. Instead of feeling like a puzzle game with strategy, there were levels that felt like the best course of action was to simply blast every rabbit or item you saw into oblivion until something worked out.

It’s a mostly minor complaint, but it did feel like the game was an action game masquerading as a puzzle game instead of feeling like a proper synthesis of both. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy running intro springs and getting shot around a map — destroying dozens of bricks and enemies with my tiny blue chef lad — but there were times where I felt there was a serious lack of puzzling to be solved.

Still, though, I can’t get over how simple and entertaining Radical Rabbit Stew was. Bomberman would be proud, and there’s no doubt that I had way too much fun sending evil rabbits to their doom. Perhaps that’s the inner demon inside me, who knows? It might lack certain consistencies of other games of its ilk, or even most unique level design, but it executes on what it does offer quite well.

8. Simple, yet satisfying, <em>Radical Rabbit Stew</em> isn’t a particularly lengthy game, and I would’ve loved to have had more worthwhile collectibles to gather along the way; but, it hits the spot just the way a well-made stew should.. Pugstorm. . Radical Rabbit Stew

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.