Rabbit-ocalypse. Bunny-geddon. Fluffy Horde? That works better.
Fluffy Horde is a hybrid game — it has the feel of a tower defense about it, but also implements some aspects of real-time strategy, all mixed together along with time-focused levels and some puzzles. It’s a little bit of everything, and it’s quite unique. You’ve got to get through all the levels whilst protecting specific buildings, objects or people, and make sure that the rabbit population doesn’t reach a critical mass, or it’s game over.
Firstly, Fluffy Horde has a lot of levels, each offering you a different style of objective. Some require escorting a princess to a birthday party, some are just trying to defend as many farms as you can from the unrelenting, but adorable, pixelated bunny masses. You must complete the objective given to you as quickly as you can if you want to earn medals, although some are given for fulfilling more specific objectives that are not time-focused. Just keep an eye on the rabbit population bar, because if the rabbits start doing their thing far too quickly then it’s game over. Sometimes you must prioritising getting rid of those cute fluffy little guys, since they really can overwhelm you quickly. Some would even say they’re… quick as bunnies. (I’ll see myself out, no need to throw me out.)
I have not played a great deal of tower-defense games in the past, so there was a little bit of a learning curve for me at first. Thankfully, the game’s tutorial got me up to speed relatively quickly. I struggled even with some of the first levels, and found myself getting swarmed within minutes or even seconds. I had to step back and think properly about how I was going to tackle the level. Most levels offer you the chance to use at least a couple of different mechanics that can help or hinder you, depending on how you use them. For instance, you can raise or lower bridges to either stop the hordes, let them advance, or even try to fling them in certain directions to slow down their progress. Most of the levels allow you to recruit certain units, such as archers, swordsmen, or… a guy dressed as a carrot — who is used to lure the rabbits in certain directions. These guys don’t always get a happy ending.
You can upgrade units, which I soon realized was essential to progress through the game. Just recruiting and amassing units is not a very good strategy and can get a little bit overcrowded and doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to survive any longer against the beasts. (Although not as much as those bunnies.)
It should be noted too that while Fluffy Horde starts off relatively simple, it does start to get a little crazy as it progresses. New units become available that help change up the gameplay and add a fun layer of chaos and wackiness to the game as you progress. But, I won’t go into too much depth with that, since it’s much more fun to find some of these things out for yourself.
The storyline for Fluffy Horde isn’t the defining feature of the game for me, but there’s no doubt it’s still quite charming, funny and, later, wild and chaotic. Fighting a bunny shaman who is relentless in his endeavor to bring about the end of all things using rabbits… It’s definitely an original idea if there ever was one. The story clearly isn’t serious, but with a name like Fluffy Horde what’re you expecting? It’s silly, but in a good way. Now, I haven’t made it far into the storyline or game in general, mostly because I’m not very good overall! But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up, and I’ll try my best to save the kingdom from the small furry mammal apocalypse. I generally find the game quite a challenge, but after a few attempts on a level I’ll either weasel my way through by sheer luck, or it’ll suddenly click! And the answer on how to get through will become clear. It’s a game of trial and error, which I like. If you’re not a fan of failing and starting over again but trying new methods, maybe this isn’t for you.
Fluffy Horde is a pixelated game, not that that’s a bad thing at all, since its pixelated artwork is very well detailed and charming. All the units are finely made, and sometimes change significantly when you upgrade them. Although the graphics aren’t the selling point of this game, they do attract certain fans of the style. Personally, I love a lot of the artwork that’s gone into the game, whether it’s the avatars for some of the main characters, or the various rabbits and units present. But I especially feel hat the backdrops to certain levels as you progress are really well done, and very visually appealing. You can see the hard work that’s gone into it. And since the game covers a few different genres, it’s bound to find some fans quickly. It should also be noted that the voice acting is both very playful and fun, and although some lines are recycled occasionally, they’re still funny and once again help to layer up all the other charming aspects of Fluffy Horde.
With all the different approaches to levels, and the large amount of levels which areavailable in Fluffy Horde it’s hard to find fault with the game. While not a huge game, t’s a good mash of several different genres which work surprisingly well. Tower Defense, puzzles, real-time tactics all come into play, with some taking priority on some levels, giving a great variety, rather than just building up a small force and massacring a ton of rabbits, because that as a formula for each level would get old quickly.
My only real critique of Fluffy Horde isn’t really anything I dislike about it, it’s more about what I feel is missing. I enjoy getting achievements, and there are literally only 6 to get. To some that’s pretty good, since you can get them and have a game you’ve gotten all your achievements for in relatively short time. But I like getting more to earn normally, and with the game itself being unique, there’s a lot of space for potentially hilarious and fun achievements to be slotted in.
Adding in a level creator would be fun too, since it would give a whole new layer of replayability once through the camapaign. I know some wouldn’t really be too bothered by a feature like this, but it would still get some attention and some people would ultilise a feature like this to create their own difficult levels, or just hysterical ones that could just be impossible. If this used the Steam Workshop then it could be a really interesting way to keep the game live and constantly visible on the store.
Fluffy Horde is a fun and wacky game. It’s a mixed mash-up of game types that works surprisingly well, and what with me being a complete novice to any type of tower defense game, it managed to get me up to speed quickly. It’s a game for practically everyone (Unless you -really- love bunnies. Then maybe give this one a pass!) and it’s very easy to just pick up and play, and well worth it’s price. I do wish there was a little more to offer in terms of achievements and a level creator, but these are personal preferences.
Fluffy Horde is available now on PC, Mac and Linux via Steam.