“Even if you lose yourself, beginnings can be found anywhere.”
The Night of the Rabbit is the latest offering from German studio Daedalic Entertainment, the studio that brought us the Edna & Harvey series, the Deponia series, The Whispered World, A New Beginning, and The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav. They are coming out with some of the best current-generation adventure games. When Nerdy but Flirty was offered the chance to play a preview build that (roughly) covers the first 1/6th of the game, I jumped at the chance.
Check out the trailer:
When The Night of the Rabbit starts out, the prologue has you playing as a man-sized white rabbit, the significance of which does not become clear until a little further into the game. The majority of the game has you playing a twelve-year-old boy named Jeremiah “Jerry” Hazelnut, whose greatest dream is to become a magician. Summer vacation ends in two days, and he’s determined to get as much adventure out of those two days as he can. He reminded me a little of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes.
Graphics and Sound
The music is absolutely wonderful. The main theme alone had me sold – it’s utterly gorgeous – but the music throughout the game keeps up the precedent set by that piece. It all matches up well with what is happening, be it exploring the woods around Jerry’s house or being pulled into your destiny by the white rabbit. The voice acting is excellent as well, with no one sounding awkward or over-the-top. The English-language cast is entirely British, which seems to fit the setting well. Subtitles are present and color coded, as is standard in point-and-click adventures, and you are able to click to skip dialogue.
Graphics-wise, the game is gorgeous. It reminded me (as do all of Daedalic’s games) of the art style of Curse of Monkey Island. Everything looks lovingly hand-drawn, with a huge amount of detail. The world of The Night of the Rabbit is vibrant, and I found myself wanting to explore more to see what the next screen had in store. One of the things that impressed me the most was the way the game handled depth. On one screen, a path goes deeper into the woods. When you walk by this path, the way the layers move makes it look like the path is 3D. I kept walking by it to see the effect!
Gameplay is pretty standard for a point-and-click adventure. If you are not acqauinted with adventure games, the beginning offers a very clever, skippable tutorial that will orient you. The left mouse button is used for almost everything, and it is context sensitive (pick up/look at). The only thing the right mouse button is used for is looking at the items in your inventory. The inventory is accessed either by rolling the mouse wheel or hitting the “I” key. Speaking of the inventory, I really appreciate that Jerry has a backpack – it makes sense that he can have such a big inventory! (I’m looking at you, adventure game protagonists who have the biggest pants pockets known to man.)
There are two methods of hint systems within the game – a journal, which vaguely keeps track of the direction you’re going, and a magic spell that will connect you to someone who will give you advice. Unfortunately, neither of these is very helpful if you’re stuck on something. Luckily, the puzzles are not hair-rippingly frustrating, and a method to point out hotspots is introduced very early on (when the puzzles get a bit more involved). I think that current adventure games have spoiled me with regards to the highlighting of hotspots…this is very much a recent addition. Personally, I love it, because it cuts down on aimless wandering around four or five screens to find the one thing you forgot to pick up, but I can see why people wouldn’t like it.
If you like collecting stuff, The Night of the Rabbit has you covered. There are twenty in-game achievements, eight Mousewood stories, eight stickers, thirty-two collectible cards, and six videos to uncover, all of which will definitely keep you busy. I also came across some mysterious water droplets; I am not sure what the deal with those is, but I’m curious to find out.
From the very beginning, I found myself drawn into The Night of the Rabbit. It is quite funny and ridiculously cute without being TOO cutesy. I found myself smiling and giggling quite a bit while playing it. Jerry also sometimes exhibits echoes of Guybrush from the Monkey Island series in that he will make a comment and look at the camera, as if to say, “Right, guys?” I can absolutely see both kids and adults getting into this game.
The Night of the Rabbit is a gorgeous, wonderfully charming adventure game. Whether you’re a fan of the genre or this is your first try at it, the game is absolutely worth it.
You can currently pre-order The Night of the Rabbit on GOG and Games Rocket, with more stores presumably coming soon. If you pre-order from GOG, you also get another of Daedalic’s games, Deponia, which is an amazing deal, considering that both games together are $40. That’s a deal I’ll be taking advantage of. Check out Daedalic Entertainment’s official site, the official site for The Night of the Rabbit, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.