Starpath’s Rabbit Transit is a triple-screen contest that combines elements of Frogger and Q-bert into a fast-paced game for use with the Supercharger. Using your favorite joystick, your object is to hop the rabbit across the Mysterious Meadow and through the Land of Ledges to the Bunny Bushes where he can do what rabbits do best—start a family and make it grow. Unfortunately, the meadow is inhabited by snakes, chattering choppers, and bouncing balls all of which are deadly to your rabbit. Also fluttering about the meadow are little butterflies which send the rabbit back to the top of the meadow to begin again.
If you make it to the bottom of the screen and the waiting turtle, your rabbit will be transported to the Land of Ledges. Here you must change the color of thirty-one ledges by hopping onto each one. To complicate matters, there is a man hurling rocks at your rabbit from the top of the screen. After the first couple of rounds, the rocks will also reverse the color of ledges you have already changed. Once all ledges have been changed to the target color (indicated in the top left corner of the screen), you proceed to the Bunny Bushes for a brief intermission before it’s back to the meadow to begin again.
The first time you cross the Mysterious Meadow, each downward hop that hasn’t previously been made is worth ten points. This amount increases by one point with each subsequent round. There is also a bonus timer which begins at ninety-nine at the start of each screen. When you successfully cross the meadow, you are awarded between eleven and twenty-two points for each second left on the timer. This amount also increases in subsequent rounds.
In the Land of Ledges, scoring remains constant throughout the entire game. You receive thirteen points each time you change the color of a ledge, and thirty-one points for each second left on the bonus timer at the end of the screen.
You begin the game with three bunnies, and are awarded a bonus rabbit when you reach the 10,000-point mark.
THE MYSTERIOUS MEADOW
Of the four objects you will encounter on this screen, only the bouncing balls can travel in either direction. Snakes and butterflies always move from left to right, and choppers always move from right to left. You can hop your rabbit diagonally to the left and right, both up and down the screen.
On most screens, the Mysterious Meadow also contains fences and rows of flowers. Since the rabbit can’t hop over a fence, you have to move him through an opening or gate. Each fence always has either one gate in the center, or two gates located near the sides of the screen. Flowers are harmless and can be easily hopped over, but you’ll have to watch out for butterflies which always hide among them.
Although game play alternates between the meadow and ledges screens, they can be viewed as two separate games. First, the overall pattern for meadow screens is as follows:
Screens One and Two are simple, easily mastered, and different from all other meadow screens.
Screens Three through Ten are the basic screens which will repeat throughout the game in different variations. Eleven is a variation of Three, Twelve is a variation of Four, and so forth.
As the specific patterns for each of the first ten meadow screens are described, there are always exactly seven hops from the top of the screen to the waiting turtle, and since all moves are downward, they are stated simply as either left or right.
Screen One: Three hops to the left, followed immediately by four hops to the right, will land you on the turtle’s back in only seven seconds. Just be sure to begin as soon as the screen appears.
Screen Two: A right, three lefts, and three rights in rapid succession will get you through both fences with no problem.
Screen Three: After two lefts into the first gate, wait for a ball to pass from left to right directly below the rabbit. Then take a right and wait for another ball to pass. From there it’s four quick hops to safety.
Screen Four: This is the only screen which reappears in exactly the same form throughout the game. It consists of four snakes and a row of flowers. After three rights and a left, wait. Once the lowest snake passes, two quick lefts and a right will finish the screen.
Screen Five: Head right down the middle through all three gates and you can’t miss.
Screen Six: Although it looks as if you could easily hop all the way to the turtle without pausing, it’s better to play it safe. A quick right and left will get you safely by the first set of chattering choppers. As soon as the next set passes below you, head for the turtle.
Screen Seven: Two lefts will get you safely into the first gate. Then, after the snake passes, it’s a right, followed by a left, followed by three more rights.
Screens Eight, Nine, and Ten: These three screens can be discussed together because the strategies for each are similar, and in all cases timing is critical. For each screen, you should begin with two fast hops to the right. Then, the instant the snake passes underneath the rabbit, you should jump left as you work your way to the bottom of the screen. This usually requires another slight pause to avoid running into a set of choppers or another snake, but once you make it past that important third jump, the path is fairly clear-cut and easy to follow.
And there it is. The next eight meadow screens will be repeats of Three through Ten, but in almost all cases, objects such as balls and choppers will come at the rabbit two at a time. The eight screens which follow these will feature triple hazards, making timing even more important. Finally, when you reach screen Twenty-seven, the patterns will change slightly, requiring minor alternations in the strategies already established.
THE LAND OF LEDGES
The thirty-one ledges are arranged in five vertical rows of three ledges, separated by four vertical rows of four ledges. During the first two ledge screens, no color change occurs when rocks are dropped from above, so any pattern which will quickly change the color of all ledges without backtracking will work fine. This usually means hopping around the perimeter until the rabbit’s come full-circle, and then spiraling your way inward. Just watch out for those rocks.
Fortunately for the rabbit population, the man who hurls the rocks must go off-screen briefly to pick up each rock he decides to throw. This gives our furry hero time to hop around. Also, since the man will always try to drop a rock directly onto the rabbit, through careful hopping you can control which vertical row of ledges will have its color changed by the rocks. For many reasons, this should be the center of three ledges.
By repeatedly hopping out to the sides of the screen and then back to the center before the man returns with a rock, you will be able to complete the entire screen except for that middle row. Then, the next time the man goes for a rock, a few quick hops will finish the screen. If you were to leave an outer row for last, the man could easily get a rock and be back in position to crush the rabbit in no time.
As the game progresses, the man, and his falling rocks, move very fast. Isf you have to wait in the central row for a rock to drop, stay on the bottom ledge. This will give you more time to hop out of the way. Also, limit yourself to only four jumps away from the central row, and four hops back, while the man goes for a rock. This will allow you to reach the outermost ledges, while preserving the work already accomplished.
Once the basic game is mastered, a flip of the difficulty switch will provide even faster action and a diving turtle, necessitating the development of entirely new strategies. Since Rabbit Transit contains a two-player version, the difficulty switches can also be used to handicap an advanced player when hopping against a beginner.
As the first “cute” game from Starpath, Rabbit Transit is fun and fast-paced entertainment for the whole family. Adorable graphics and gameplay should keep most players hopping for quite awhile.