Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is by no means a terrible game. It's not going to convince a cynic that movie tie-ins are good for the industry, but it will make an eight-year old kid pretty pleased. Which, considering this has been released so close to the movie's release, is exactly what Konami was hoping for.
This is second Wallace & Gromit game from Frontier Developments, who also developed Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo. Curse of the Were-Rabbit is still an action platformer, but it captures the look of the much loved animation far better than before. The game loosely follows the plot of the movie, where the inventing duo mistakenly create a rabbit that sets out to destroy all the vegetables in every garden he can find. So, you can expect to be hunting down a lot of rabbits.
The gameplay usually revolves around finding and collecting rabbits that are running amuck. To do this a number of inventions can be used, with the most useful being the Bungun. This gun works in a similar way to Luigi's ghost catcher in Luigi's Mansion on the GameCube. You suck bunnies into the gun and then shoot them into a specially made giant rabbit holder. Most missions will require you to collect a set number of rabbits in a set time.
It's pretty simple stuff really, but should entertain the game's target audience. Missions are handed out by villagers that are found in the village that Wallace lives in, and most of the game takes place in this village, with missions usually taking place in gardens overrun by pesky vegetable-eating rabbits. Wallace, Gromit and Hutch (Gromit's new rabbit friend) must work together at various points in the game in order to solve basic puzzles and catch all the rabbits. The player can switch to control each character or get the current character to tell another to do something. It's not rocket science, but something a little different.
There are some neat touches too, such as the night/day cycle that offers different missions depending on the time of day, and a greenhouse out the back of Wallace's house that allows the player to grow vegetables. In order to do so you have to buy the right chemicals and plant food from the shop in town. Coins can be found around the town which you can use to get the very best items from the shop.
The way the game looks and sounds will probably be the biggest draw for fans, as Wallace, Gromit and Co all look great. The town itself is rather basic, but does its job, and the cutscenes are all rendered FMV and help move the story along. Some actual footage from the film would have been nice, but at least the characters all have their authentic voices from the movie.
Overall Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit is an entertaining movie-licensed game for kids. It won't present a challenge to anyone in their teens or older, but seeing as it has been designed for young'uns it seems about right. While most hardened gamers will see this as a simple, middle-of-the-road platformer, your average eight-year old will probably see things quite differently.