The Night of the Rabbit Review – Down the hatch
Okay, this is possibly the most deceptive game I have played. When I loaded up The Night of the Rabbit, I thought I had the game sorted. A cute, fluffy, harmless adventure game. Where it was all these, its also sinister and that cute white rabbit turns into a furball of evil. There really is more than meets the eye in this colourful land of mice and men, wizards and rabbits, but discovering these secrets is a beautiful experience which you most certainly will not forget.
The Night of the Rabbit weaves the tale of Jeremiah Mazelnut, a small boy and aspiring magician who only has two days left of his summer holidays. Whilst exploring the woods around his house, he stumbles on Marquid de Hoto, a gentrified rabbit who offers to teach him the way of the Treewalkers – magician-travellers who use so called portal trees to move between an infinite number of worlds – and have him back before dinner. Little Jeremiah happily joins him and they go on a magical adventure to beautiful Mousewood and further afar.
The Night of the Rabbit really does stand out from the crowd and also from the studios other games. This reason is because the game is so well balanced. There is no drag in the middle of the game, it doesn’t get too similar or padded out until the last segment of the game. However, the game does unfold slowly and quite steadily so if you thought you were getting a fast paced point and click game (if there is one) then I’m afraid this isn’t for you, although it does mean than it makes the storyline so much more enjoyable when it moves along.
People who are new to the adventure genre will fit right in at home here. There is a fun and chirpy tutorial which acts as a brief and guides you into the basic game play. The point and click style is simple, well designed and works beautifully in twine with the art style. Within a few minutes you effectively will know your way around the game and the interface will seem to disappear which is a credit to the designers. It feels like you are playing with a piece of art being drawn as you play, rather than a video game. Like I have mentioned, the art style is lovely, which is something we have come to expect from all Daedalic games.
The hand painted backgrounds and colourful characters are well suited to the charming fairytale storyline. One thing I must pick out is how impressed I was with the voice acting. By far the best of any Daedalic game, it seems to complement the characters perfectly and adds depth and immersion to thee already hauntingly beautiful soundtrack. The time and care that has gone into finding a distinct voice for each character is brilliant and means you can associate with each character much easier than having to read text constantly.
There is bountiful cast in the Night of the Rabbit, each with their own charming quirks and characteristics. The crisp writing and engaging voice acting keeps them amusing and doesn’t break the game up. You will spend much of the game interacting with such characters from completing simple tasks as delivering their mail to completing puzzles and making a birthday cake. Although it took me a while to get my head around the journal – which is there to guide you through quests and to objectives – it managed to keep me heading in roughly the right direction most of the time. Puzzles start off fairly straightforward and simple in manner but in the second half of the game they really ramped up which was great and keeps you thinking. Later in the game the puzzles demand more logic and some are quite complex, but lucky our good old rabbit friend Marquis is here to help with a generous hint system.
Night of the Rabbit is helped along with a number of extras the developers have decided to include which help you stay in the world much longer and proves a rest bite from adventuring! For example, there is a built in card game which can be played with any of the characters you have met. Its basically a fantasy version of go fish with some added twists. It proves a simple but enjoyable mini game and in my case taught me go fish! One aspect I really loved about the mini game was the fact that it gives you the opportunity to unlock some beautiful digital artwork for one of the steam achievements. Such a nice little touch from the developers and I for one really appreciated it. There are also an abundance of hidden items to collect throughout the world, including eight ‘Mousewood Stories’ audio books that fill out the games lore and fantasy, and while some are challenging to find, the dose of extra content is a bonus and also an entertaining diversion.
My biggest problem with The Night of the Rabbit is simply its simply too enthralling for the dozen (plus all the extra goodies) of so hours of game play. After a while too much of a good thing can become so enjoyable. Because it is so well paced throughout the entire game, I was disappointed with the final act which sees you going back to adventure game basics and doing things you were doing in the first part of the game, which in my opinion is just to flesh out the final stage. The boss fight at the end is also quite awkward and not too much fun in comparison with the rest of the game .its a sad finish to an otherwise brilliantly enjoyable game.
However once you have finished the boss fight the impeccable design starts again. Its as if the end section is a blip in the design. A long and marvellously illustrated series of cut scenes explains what has happened and why. It also sets the game up for a sequel and then finished on a crescendo of beauty which is genuinely memorable. Too me it was and will be memorable because the game seems to leave you with something to think about, instead of cutting to the credits. For me Night of the Rabbit is my favourite adventure game I have had the honour of playing for years and leaves a lasting memory of great level and story design and the beautifully realised characters. I would definitely recommend The Night of the Rabbit to anyone.
Final line – Whether you’re an experienced adventure game veteran or just starting out, there is something for everyone here and if you want to play an adventure games, you will want to try your hand at Night of the Rabbit.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.