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Wabbit - The Atari Times


Another average game from Apollo
by Ethan C. Nobles

December 26, 2006
The most effective way to describe Wabbit to most dedicated 2600 fans is to simply say, "It's from Apollo." Yes, this 1982 release from Apollo is about as mediocre as fans might expect. Yes, Wabbit has a unique concept (like a lot of Apollo games), but it comes across as something that will distract for a bit you from the really good games in your 2600 collection, but not much more than that.

As I said, the concept behind Wabbit is a novel one, indeed. The player controls Billie Sue, a farmer who is intent on keeping rabbits away from her carrot patch by throwing eggs at the critters. Now, there are a couple of very strange things here. First of all, the rabbits will ultimately win because there are so blasted many of them and they just get faster as the game progresses. So, why did Billie Sue plant a carrot patch in the middle of a colony of rabbits? There are 10 rabbit holes on either side of the carrot patch and rabbits pop out of them all the time. Why didn't Billie Sue simply exercise a bit of caution when finding the spot to plant her carrots?

The only answer I can think of is because there wouldn't have been a game if Billie Sue had shown some common sense in planting her rabbit patch. Heck, there wouldn't have been a game if Billie Sue had simply taken some measures to poison the rabbits before she planted her garden.

And, why is Billie Sue tossing eggs at the rabbits? Here in Arkansas, there's a pretty effective way to get rid of varmints - grab a .22 rifle or a light shotgun (a 410 is great for such purposes) and kill every pest one can find. These eggs of Billie Sue's don't do much good - a rabbit gets stunned when hit with one then goes back to stealing carrots.

Okay, Billie Sue should have planted her carrots somewhere else and she ought to use some serious firepower while combating rabbits. Regardless, Wabbit isn't a bad game at all. The goal is to bean as many rabbits as possible before they steal 100 carrots (and, yes, they will steal 100 carrots - you're fighting them with eggs, after all, and the number of rabbits doesn't reduce throughout the game). The problem is this - that's all there is to the game. Just toss eggs until 100 carrots are stolen and start over. You get one, fixed screen and rabbits that get faster as the game progresses.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Some of the best games ever made are on one, fixed screen. Games like Space Invaders, Asteroids, and Missile Command thrived on a single screen. And, yes, that's all very true. But, those games threw in various elements to keep things interesting. Aliens got closer to the player and moved faster in Space Invaders. In Asteroids, the field of rocks moved quicker, got denser and flying saucers got more aggressive as time passed. And, let's not forget those "Smart Bombs" and increased number of nukes in Missile Command.

In Wabbit, the only change is in the speed of the rabbits. That's not bad in and of itself, but the rabbits get so fast in later levels that it's almost impossible to bean them with eggs. So, the player is left with a weapon that wasn't too great to begin with and gets even more worthless in later levels. Yeah, thanks a lot, Apollo.

Still, this isn't a bad game from time to time, and the graphics are quite good. There are some minor issues with screen flicker, but the rabbits look like rabbits, the carrots look like carrots and Billie Sue looks like an actual girl. Not bad at all, there.

The sound is, as usual for an Atari game, fair to middling. Frankly, as average as this game is, that's no surprise. How many Atari games had fantastic sound, anyway? Not a great number of them, to be sure and certain.

The control is pretty good, too. You can move Billie Sue left and right and launch eggs without any trouble. That's good enough for this game.

In the end, Wabbit isn't overly impressive, but it is fun to play from time to time. This game isn't exactly common, but it wouldn't hurt to pick up a copy if you find for a good price.


(c) Apollo

What's up Doc?
It has some nice graphics anyway.
How come Coleco couldn't make a multicolored character?
System: 2600
Publisher: Apollo
Genre: Action
Graphics Score: 80%
Sound & Music Score: 70%
Gameplay Score: 70%
Control Score: 80%

Final Score: 75%

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