Do you like cute bunny rabbits that you can cuddle? Do you enjoy looking at them as their big floppy ears dangle by their cheeks? Do you appreciate a good hearty meal that simmers in a pot for a few hours? Well, too bad. Fluffy Horde isn’t about cuddling, watching or eating rabbits; just good old fashioned bunny killing!
Released on November 7th after more than two years of work, Turtle Juice’s latest indie game promises a compelling hybrid between real-time strategy and tower defense. The trailer definitely has our attention… now let’s see how thee title stacks against the competition!
To start, I must say that I’ve never been an aficionado of the tower defense genre. The closest I ever came to saying one was perfect was with Zuma, a game that isn’t about defending anything – but more of a matching tile game about trying to stop the conga line of colors getting to the end of the level.
That doesn’t fit when describing what Fluffy Horde is, though. To get a closer comparison I’d have to use Steampunk Tower 2 or No Heroes Here; two tower defense games that I found to be OK, but that lacked the gameplay to keep me excited.
This is the issue I have. Tower defense games don’t have gameplay that would get me up in the morning. The whole genre is on the list of ‘least involving gameplay mechanics ever‘, right behind quick time events and visual novels; at least for me. Fortunately, Fluffy Horde does something different.
Turtle Juice’s game puts us on the offensive. Instead of waiting for the impending hordes, you’ll have the ability to meet the enemy head on. This gives us the chance to dynamically change your strategy; adjusting to reflect what happens on the battlefield. It’s refreshing to some extent, although a lot of what you do is sliding banners from side to side in battle.
There is also a story in here, somewhere. I’ve deduced that the shaman that mind-controls the rabbits may have bought two bunnies in the 1990’s. Since then, they have been multiplying like– Well, rabbits. I think it gives a story to those who desire it, but it isn’t necessary. I’d have been happy fighting the ever-growing horde endlessly.
Fluffy Horde isn’t shy either with the aesthetic that would scream child-friendly. Then there is the princess who is dressed similarly to a bunny going out on Halloween. The cow being sprinkled with what I’d presume is milk; that is interesting for sure. Neither of which is too promiscuous, mind it; just oddly sexualized bunnies and cow scenes.
I’ve also run into performance issues. Now I know my PC loves to squeal like a pig when I run Unreal. Unity, on the other hand, it runs smoothly. Most of the time. I’ve had Fluffy Horde stutter once or twice while reloading the fairly short levels. This doesn’t break the game, but it is causing unnecessary amounts of frustration if I need to restart.
My last issue is that the UX could definitely use a bit of a once-over. A full tutorial or more detailed descriptions would have helped me get a better idea of what I was supposed to do. And perhaps the developer should consider adding something to break up the soundtrack and sound effects. I confess I immediately muted the game so I could focus!
And the conclusion…
In conclusion, I still enjoy Fluffy Horde. I think it has improved the outlook on the grand scheme of the tower defense genre, even considering all of its flaws. This is not a game of the year contender by any means, but I do believe Fluffy Horde could find a lot of success on phones and tablets though.
Do I recommend it, however? Not as your main source of entertainment. I don’t think you could play multiple hours of Fluffy Horde back-to-back for fun. The game follows the design of a quick experience to pass the time, however, which I enjoy a lot. If that’s the kind of title you’re after, you should definitely give this one a go.
For those of you who wish to buy the game, why not buy it through our partners over at Humble? Use this link and support The Indie Toaster at no extra cost. And if you have any issues with the game, the developer’s discord server is very active and willing to help anyone.