Bubsy is back! It’s been almost two years since his previous adventure, and we’re now getting an autorunner from Choice Provisions and Accolade. Is it any fun? Find out in our Bubsy: Paws On Fire! review!
After a 21 year absence, Bobsy came back on PS4 with Bubsy: The Woolies Strikes Back, a game I had a lot of fun playing. It’s now 2019, and we have a new game from Choice Provisions and Accolade that brings out the old cat out for a new adventure. While The Woolies Strikes Back was a regular platformer, Paws On Fire is actually an autorunner. Choice Provisions, formerly known as Gaijin Games many moons ago, is the studio in charge of the development of Bubsy: Paws On Fire, which is why the game draws inspiration from the most excellent Runner2 and Runner3 games the studio released in 2013 and 2018 – games that built on what they did with Bit.Trip Runner way back in 2010. Bubsy: Paws On Fire looks great but it certainly feels different from all other Bubsy games, so now it’s time to find out if it’s a fun adventure or not!
When you boot up for the first time, You will be treated to a cutscene which tells you what the story for this release is about. The gist of it is that Bubsy enlists the help of his friends Virgil, Arnold, and Woolie to embark on a journey over the three very different worlds to stop Oinker before it can do some irreparable damage. That’s the starting cutscene for the game, and you won’t be seeing another one until you finish this one… or until you go into the main menu and view it from the corresponding option – a nice touch, right? The art style is a very cartoony and colorful 3D that helps to make everything pop. The character models look great and have this lively feel to them with goofy animations that you would find in cartoons.
Each of the levels you take on allows you to play as Bubsy, Vergil, and Woolie. Or, should I say, each level HAS to be played with all three characters. You will play each level three times as you collect all the yarn balls and jigsaw puzzle pieces you can get to not only open the way to new levels but also gain access to sub-levels. There are no lives in this one, so one hit is all it takes to send you back to the last checkpoint. Bubsy and Vergil need to jump and dodge their way to the finish line with plenty of obstacles to avoid along the way. Bubsy has its pounce and glide abilities, while Vergil can double jump and slide. Woolie has a spaceship and can shoot its way to the finish line and collect everything along the way without stressing too much about things.
Bubsy: Paws On Fire! encourages you to chain together jumps or to stay in the air for as long as you can for bonus points. Defeating enemies and jumping on TNT bombs also rewards you with extra points. Add this to the many yarn balls you can collect in each level, and if you want to 100% the game you’re going to need a lot of practice to master all stages! The game is easy to learn but hard to master and will require pixel perfect running, sliding and jumping, as needed, to get to the end with everything. The game also includes leaderboards so that you can compare your scores with players from around the world. Do you have what it takes to earn a spot at the top of the charts?
As for the sub-levels, these are very different from what you play with the other three characters. The sub-levels are played with Arnold, and they’re short and to the point: gain as many points as you can. There are obstacles such as glue that will make it harder for you to get a good score, but as long as you pay attention to a level’s layout and learn what you’ll be running up against in each sub-level, then you’ll be good to go. Another extra thing to consider is The Shoppery, where you can use the yarn you’ve collected to purchase some fun costumes for the game’s characters.
And now, let me expand on something for a bit. The way the game has you replay each stage with all characters might not be everyone’s cup of tea. You will need to have a certain number of medals to progress, and that means finishing a stage with all three characters. Since they each have different abilities, and levels change a bit here and here to reflect this, some players won’t like how each stage is brought back right away for a new run. For completionists and trophy hunters, this is not going to be an issue since it’s usually what they expect to do to 100% a game, but I did want to bring this up again so that you are very aware of how the game does things.
Bubsy: Paws on Fire is a fun autorunner that will, of course, remind you of the Runner series from Choice Provision while also taking older gamers down nostalgia lane. Before The Woolies Strike Back in 2017, it had been 21 years since Bubsy’s last video game – way back on the original PlayStation -, so it’s good to see the old cat back for some action on PlayStation 4. Are you ready?
This Bubsy: Paws on Fire! review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Accolade.