Why Rabbit And Steel Is My Dream Roguelite

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A perfect blend of MMOs, Roguelites, and Touhou!

Story Highlights
  • Rabbit and Steel is a roguelite developed by solo developer mino_dev, combining intense MMO raid boss rushes with the gameplay of Touhou games.
  • The game offers hyper-specific power-ups and an exhilarating multiplayer experience with unique roles for different players.
  • With four levels of difficulty, the Lunar mode is a particularly challenging feat, with only 2.5% of players having completed it.

For a roguelite fanatic like myself, the search for the perfect blend of mechanics can feel like chasing a mythical carrot. But then came Rabbit and Steel, a game that sings to my min-maxing heart, a bullet hell ballet that fulfills every roguelite desire I never knew I had.

A Roguelite With Bunny Girls?

YouTube video

Rabbit and Steel is a roguelite masterpiece crafted by the solo developer mino_dev. The game is a love letter to meticulous planning and bullet hell mastery. Imagine a game that combines the intense boss rushes of classic MMO raids with the difficulty and gameplay of the Touhou games. mino_dev, wearing every developer hat imaginable, brought this symphony of mechanics to life single-handedly, making Rabbit and Steel a testament to both creative vision and solo development prowess.

Hyper-Specific Power-Ups

rabbit and steel fanart
You may have to fight a teammate for an item (Fanrt by Nyanarts)

Unlike roguelites that shower you with generic power-ups, Rabbit and Steel offers a buffet of deliciously specific buffs. Sure, you’ve got your immunity frames and increased stats, but you also have a buff that switches your normal damage into your special damage and buffs your special by a number divided by the number of times you’ve used your special during the raid. As lame as maths was in high school, hoarding buffs that mathematically synergize with each other in this game feels so amazing.

A Roguelite MMO

Rabbit and Steel - Gameplay
Rabbit and Steel – Gameplay (From the Rabbit and Steel Website)

Remember the intense, adrenaline-pumping boss rushes of classic MMO raids? Rabbit & Steel captures that same exhilarating spirit. Each run culminates in a gauntlet of bosses, each with their own unique attack patterns and bullet hell choreography. Instead of farming through levels to collect buffs and items before you fight the big bad boss, why not fight a boss before yet another one?

Four Rabbits Are Better Than One

The multiplayer side of things further elevates this experience of old MMO raids with characters farming vastly different roles. The game also has probably one of the greatest team difficulty optimizations to date, at least in an indie game. When you’re playing solo, you’ll be met with just enough unique mechanics to keep you on your toes. Play in a duo, and you’ll each only have to deal with certain mechanics, leaving the rest for your duo.

Trio and a squad is where this gets fun. If you’ve ever played a Touhou game, we’re talking that level of difficulty. The entire screen is filled with enough unique jargon to make your eyes spin around, but it ends up being fun regardless.

Choose Your Rabbit!

Rabbit And Steel - Classes
Rabbit And Steel – Classes (From the Rabbit and Steel Website)

Each character is absolutely adorable, but that’s not all of it! Each character’s kit is given so much attention to that even in your 100th run you’ll find more ways to use their skills. For example, I’ve been using Druid lately. She has this skill that’s a stationary region of damage. The problem is that bosses in this game move way too much to deal any damage with it. I never really tried making the skill work, but recently I realized there’s a power-up that makes the skill deal damage to your entire screen.

Lunar Difficulty

Race To World First - Rabbit and Steel
The tournament had 2 winners. One used a cheese strat, and the other team beat the game normally. (From the Rabbit and Steel Website)

The game has 4 levels of difficulty. You’ve got the easy difficult, which is called Cute. Then you’ve got the Normal and the Hard, which are self-explanatory. However, you’ve also got what I like to call the masochism difficulty, Lunar. With over 2.6k average active players (5k at peak), only 2.5% of the playerbase has managed to beat the game on Lunar. 

There was actually an entire tournament hosted by the dev called the Lunar World First Race where a number of teams raced to beat the difficulty, and only recently did a team win it. This just goes to show just how difficult it was, despite any cheese strat you may find. I’ve tried the mode myself, and I got extremely close. Extremely close to defeating the tutorial bosses, that is.

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