Bouncin' Baby Bunnies
Bouncin' Baby Bunnies is one of those prototypes that people suspected existed somewhere. This is probably because programmer Alex Leavens mentioned working on the game in an interview he did in Video Game Player magazine (where he referred to it as Bouncing Baby Monkeys). However it wasn't until a copy of the nearly complete game surfaced in the collection of a former Telesys employee in 2007 that everyone's suspicions were confirmed.
Bouncin' Baby Bunnies (or BBB for short) is an odd little game that plays a bit like the old Nintendo Game and Watch game Fire. In BBB the player controls a pair of monkeys holding a platform at the bottom of the screen. At the top of the screen a stork flies around dropping little bundles which just happen to contain baby bunnies. Your goal is to prevent these bundles from hitting the ground and deflect them into the house on the left side of the screen. Every time one of these bundles hits your platform it will bounce around the screen, hence the name of the game.
Sounds pretty simple right? Well, it is! At its heart, Bouncin' Baby Bunnies is a rather simple game without any depth. Sure the stork drops more and more bunnies as the game progresses (up to five at a time), but that is about the extent of the gameplay. There are no extra screens, no bonus rounds, no new obstacles to get in your way. Just pure, simple, bunny bouncing action. Miss three bunnies and the game is over.
According to programmer Alex Leavens, Bouncin' Baby Bunnies is based off the old Bugs Bunny Cartoon where the stork mistakenly delivers Bugs to a gorilla family and they think he's their baby. However other than having a pair of monkeys (gorillas?) at the bottom of the screen and a bundle containing a bunny (use some imagination), the game itself doesn't seem to have much to do with the cartoon (at least I don't recall Bugs being bounced around a room like a ping pong ball). At best Bouncin' Baby Bunnies can be said to draw some 'inspiration' from the cartoon.
The only known prototype of Bouncin' Baby Bunnies seems to be fairly complete, but it still needs some tweaks and bug fixes. There appear to be ten different game variations selectable from the title screen which are your standard one player/two player and difficulty selections. The game will also sometimes act strangely when attempting to select variations and will alternate between the title screen and the gameplay screen with hanging sound. After selecting a variation, pressing the fire button will sometimes cause the bunny to disappear and add a point to your score. Other strange things also occasionally happen such as the variation number changing or the game resetting.
So why didn't Bouncin' Baby Bunnies get released? As usual the answer is the collapsing game market of 83/84. According to the former Telesys employee:
The employee seemed to think that this prototype was the final version, but given the bugs mentioned above I would say that this prototype is more of a late beta than a final product. Although BBB is a bit of a let down, it's still a fun way to waste a few minutes of time. Just don't expect too much and you'll do fine.