Game: The Night Of The Rabbit
Format: PC & Mac
Genre: Point & Click Adventure
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
How many games do you know of which can really deliver this most subtle of experiences?
Well, not many, let me assure you.
The Night Of The Rabbit is amongst the very few modern adventure games which not only aspires to, but actually achieves this.
One of my non-adventure gaming chums asked me to try and describe what it’s like to play this game. My response? “Like a holiday from all the guns & ammo”. But this doesn’t tell the whole tale. It’s not so much a holiday it’s more an escape.
Many of the newer gamers amongst you may never have had the pleasure of enjoying such gaming treasures as Beneath a Steel Sky, Simon the Sorcerer, or indeed Monkey Island. Well, fear not for here we have a beautifully crafted homage to these classics, which, to be fair, goes beyond what they were capable of.
Central to a good adventure game is that you empathize with your character, something which The Night Of The Rabbit managed with me almost immediately. With a very nostalgic opening, which I think many will relate to, the game quickly gets things moving and asks you to balance the archetypal hazy summers of youth against a complex and historied alternate world of magic and mischief.
Entering the “Wind in the Willows” like world inhabited by the protagonist throughout much of the game is a real pleasure. Whilst the setting and characters might not be entirely original any inspiration they draw from elsewhere is very easily outweighed by the stunning work of both the art and sound teams. This is a beautiful game visually and aurally. With a fantastic balance of Constable meets Ghibli the look and feel of environ and characters alike is superb. Perhaps, however, the most impressive element, particularly for an adventure game, is the understated brilliance of the vocal performances. All too often games such as these mar the detail of their painstakingly created worlds with sub-standard voice acting. The Night Of The Rabbit manages to tread the line between “authentic” and “hammy” perfectly and delivers voiced characters as strong in their design as their execution.
So, the “design” aspects of the game are excellent. You’ll be glad to hear that the story is also both interesting and eccentric. Nicely balanced between light and dark. I shall say no more for risk of spoiling any part of the experience.
Let us instead move directly onto the mechanics of the thing.
The Night Of The Rabbit controls well and is, for the most part, intuitive enough to pick up. There are a couple of niggles related to the implementation of the “Esc” key and how the accessibility of certain areas is communicated, but largely it’s a trouble free feel.
On occasion the “next step” can seem difficult to understand and even I had to resort to online help to get me through a couple of the less intuitive challenges, but this is not uncommon in my experience. It’s worth noting that this is down, to some extent, to the welcome non-linearity of this particular adventure. All too often you end up feeling like you are “on rails” in adventure games, The Night Of The Rabbit avoids this by giving you a fairly “open” world to work within, something I appreciate and understand the impact of in regard to “complexity”.
A well realised inventory and item system which very rarely lets you down is supported by a very nicely done “layering” device which really helps you feel like you aren’t missing anything and provides for a more nuanced feel to the world.
Final mention has to go to the “bonus” elements provided which again are very welcome in the main. With a number of different “sets” to collect and an enjoyable, if shallow, mini-game to learn there is certainly more than meets the eye in this package.
Overall this is a package which both veterans and those new to adventure games will enjoy and is certainly a cut above many other similar games doing the rounds out there. I say give it a go. You never know… you might enjoy gaming beyond guns and tactics… sometimes it’s nice to just slip into something altogether more laid back…
- Story interesting and multi-tiered.
- Beautiful visuals.
- Great sound design.
- Strong voice acting.
- Nice addition of mini-game and “collectibles”.
- Helpfully included help system not particularly helpful.
- Acquisition of collectibles a little under-explained.
- Mini-game tends to the one dimensional.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5
We were kindly provided with a download code for The Night of The Rabbit, it is available to purchase for PC & Mac via Steam.