The classic point and click adventure games were huge back in the 90’s. For some reason, they dropped off significantly since or have evolved into a completely different style. That’s not to say the new way of handling the genre is bad, but every once in a while I enjoy the simple puzzle solving and story that the style can offer. Night of the Rabbit does just that. The simplistic nature, along with a very charming story gives off a nostalgic feeling while continuing to keep the player invested.
Night of the Rabbit stars a young boy named Jerry Hazelnut. He loves magic and wants nothing more than to be a great magician. Of course, regular life gets in the way of that, but he still holds out for that one journey that will put him on his way to becoming that magician he always wanted to be. The day before the end of summer break, a mysterious note finds its way to Jerry with instructions on how to summon a large magician’s trunk. After gathering the ingredients, sure enough a magical chest full of items appears, along with a large talking rabbit named Marquis de Hoto who shows Jerry new magical worlds beyond his own. In these new lands, he will learn spells and meet other creatures and animals as he slowly becomes what he always wanted to be.
It sounds like something out of a children’s book, and for all intents and purposes, it really is. The light-hearted nature of the entire story was a breath of fresh air for me. Granted, not everything in the world of Night of the Rabbit is all happiness and rainbows. There are some sinister plots here, but it is never graphic or vulgar in any way. The voice acting took it a long way through the adventure. Not all the voice acting is great, but for the most part, it does a great job of delivering the charm.
Players will be navigating the world with mouse clicks. Just like the classic point and click adventures, Night of the Rabbit is all about solving puzzles, and there are a ton of them. Most revolve around items in Jerry’s inventory, and both using and combining them for use in a certain area. Jerry also learns spells later on that are used to solve puzzles. Although these are used scarcely throughout the game, it at least mixes things up.
The puzzles can become complicated. In fact, even the very first “big” puzzle had me stumped for a while. Luckily, Jerry has a magic coin that, when holding the spacebar, will allow him to see all the interactive things on the screen. It helped out a good amount, but even then, some puzzles were just brain-breakingly difficult. The bigger problem was the rewards for completing a puzzle. It was either an item for a side mini-game or a piece for yet another puzzle. It started to feel a bit like a grind.
The one thing that kept me coming back even when the puzzles had my brain committing suicide, was the art style and the wonderful look. The hand-drawn motif is fantastic and, as mentioned above, the voice acting really sets the tone for the game. There is one small problem with the voices, though. For some reason, pauses in the dialog occur without warning and feels jarring at times. It obviously isn’t there for suspenseful purposes, it just sounds like the game locked up for a split second. It’s not bad, and didn’t happen every time, but when a game such as this really wants the players to become invested in the story; this sort of thing took me out of it. The music, while mostly ambient, is handled nicely and the over all presentation is great. Even when a puzzle was driving me up a wall, I would still sit back in my chair and say “Man, it still looks pretty.”
Night of the Rabbit gives off that classic feel. I know I have said that multiple times in this review but really, that’s the only way I can put it. There are no flashy quick time events or fast moving story parts; it is a somewhat slow burn with a decent story and wonderful presentation. It has a lot of charm, and I praise it for that. While the puzzles can become frustratingly difficult with not much reward, the mysterious story had me coming back. Fans of adventure games will find their fill with Night of the Rabbit, and the visuals don’t hurt either.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.