Night of the Rabbit Review: A Magical Journey, Only Slightly Confusing
German studio Daedalic Entertainment creates adventure games with a consistent style — one that becomes easily recognizable after playing a few Daedelic titles. As a result, the games often have similar strengths and weakness.
Among the strengths are well-written stories, beautiful hand-drawn art, strong character development, and the engaging worlds in which the games take place. Puzzle design can also be counted in the positive column, although it’s here that Daedalic games also sometimes trip up: A common thread through the studio’s titles (and adventure games in general) is that it’s easy to get stumped by puzzles that are a bit confused and esoteric.
The Night of the Rabbit, Daedelic’s most recent adventure, hits all the positives the studio is known for. The negatives are there too; the game puzzle designs may confuse players and force them to the Internet for answers. Nevertheless, it’s an adventure game whose pros definitely outweigh its cons, and one that comes with a hearty helping of whimsy.
The Night of the Rabbit
Platforms: PC (Reviewed)
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Released: May 29, 2013
Chief among The Night of the Rabbit’s strengths is its intense charm. The game looks, sounds and feels like a child’s storybook, and the story it tells has a lighthearted nature to match. At the center is Jerry, a young boy who has just a few days of summer vacation remaining to him, and who dreams of one day becoming a great magician.
As the summer dwindles, Jerry encounters the Marquis de Hoto, a six-foot-tall rabbit who is known as a “treewalker” — a powerful purveyor of magic who can use certain trees to travel in between worlds, and who also acts something like a Jedi Knight while protecting them.
The Marquis is seeking an apprentice, and Jerry is it. The pair quickly spirit away through a tree portal into a world filled with talking forest creatures, and it’s in their (literally) tiny town of Mousewood that most of the game takes place.
Like many adventure games, the heavy lifting of The Night of the Rabbit is handled by various puzzles, all of which use the genre’s conventional style: You’ll acquire an inventory full of items, some of which you can combine or alter, and you’ll use them on other objects or give them to people to accomplish given goals. And like in other adventure games, you’ll find yourself gathering up a lot of weird, random objects before you know quite what you’ll do with them.