This post is part of a (new?) series where I review media, including games, books, movies, and more, that doesn’t have a direct connection to Japanese fashion, but it shares enough similarities that I want to recommend it.
Name: Usagi Shima
Price – Free with optional microtransactions and ads
Designer – Pank0
Systems: iOS, Android
Great for – short breaks at work, waiting for your coffee to be prepared
Usagi Shima is a quiet, adorable game with minimal mechanics, cute design, and low effort game play that’s sure to make you go “aw” at least once everytime you sign in.
You’re designing a haven for bunnies. You earn carrots by attracting bunnies and catering to their individual needs. You can decorate, build shops and attractions, and dress up your bunnies. Don’t stress to much. There are no time limits or penalties in this game. You get rewards for getting things right and nothing happens if you get it wrong.
You start with a shop and a plain forest canvas to decorate. Bunnies who stop by will tip you with carrots, which allow you to buy more shops/attractions and decorations. The more you add decorations and attractions, the more bunnies will come visit.
When a bunny visits, they may ask you to interact with them by petting them, brushing them, feeding them, taking a picture of them, or playing hide and seek with them. If a bunny visits while you’re gone, they’ll leave a tip in your tip jar, even if you don’t interact with them directly.
Essentially, that’s the whole game. There are minor surprises which occur as you build out your bunny paradise that I won’t spoil here, but the whole game is sort of collection/decorating game.
The game is free, but there are ads. You can also spend $0.99 to get 1000 carrots, or $1.99 for 3000 carrots. You also have the option to “tip” the developer for $3.99 to remove ads and get additional benefits. I did tip the developer (because I believe if I’m enjoying something I should pay the person who made it) but I don’t think that the microtransactions are particularly obtrusive if you elect not to pay.
The biggest appeal of this game is the cute designs of the 30+ bunnies in the game. Though the game is fully digital art, it feels like a charming watercolor painting. They have more or less the same model with different color variations and small design tweaks. The bunnies interact with objects in the game in adorable ways too. A bunny may chase a ball around, or it may hang out in the hot springs. There are small loop animations for each of the activities each bunny can do, so every time I open the app it feels like a charming little moment of discovery when I find Yuzu rolling on a beach ball or Moose hiding in a log, just his bunny butt and tail visible.
For the low low price of free, I think this game is absolutely worth downloading. It’s quiet, cute, and simple, making it great way to unwind in small moments throughout your day.