Sixteen years ago, a side-scrolling platform game called Toxic Bunny entered the gaming scene. It was 1996, and the sun was definitely setting on the golden era of platform games, but I remember playing and loving Toxic Bunny because of its offbeat humour and psychotic main character. It also made my parents uneasy, which for a kid in standard six (grade eight) was something to relish in. The best part about Toxic Bunny, however, was that it was South African.

What you need to bear in mind is that back then there was practically no gaming scene in South Africa. Hell, NAG didn’t even exist, so for there to have been a game made by South Africans was kind of a massive deal. The development team was Celestial Games and now, sixteen years after Toxic Bunny’s initial release, the team is back to release a completely revamped HD version.

Celestial Games will be at rAge 2012, and the best part is that Toxic Bunny HD will be launching at the show.

Toxic Bunny HD isn’t like most HD remakes that get a bump in texture resolution and compatibility fix for contemporary hardware. The team at Celestial Games has rewritten every line of code for the game. They’ve also redrawn all of the artwork, giving the game a serious facelift. If you want to see what they’ve been up to, then check out the development blog here.

The original box art from 1996.

If you head over to stand number 14 on the rAge show floor, you’ll get to meet the guys from Celestial Games, including two of the original members Travis Bulford and Nick McKenzie. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to get a game out in South Africa, you’ll get a chance to speak to local veterans to ask them any questions can think of.

On top of launching Toxic Bunny HD, Celestial Games will be launching competitions aimed at helping those wanting to get into games development. General game development as well as character design (for you artsy types) will be the main focus on Celestial’s stand.

Click to embiggen.

If you’re thoroughly into gaming (which you probably are seeing as you’re reading NAG Online) and you missed Toxic Bunny sixteen years ago, then don’t miss this chance to catch up on some local gaming history. Also, the game has a Nitric Hamster Launcher so really, why would you not want to check out Toxic Bunny HD?

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