The Night of the Rabbit Review

The Night of the Rabbit is a beautiful adventure with only a few pacing and puzzle quirks to trip you up along the way.

by

There's something genuinely special about the imagination of child. The ability to look at the mundane and see something truly extraordinary is a talent that tends to be lost with time and age. The Night of the Rabbit does an excellent job of taking that transcendent sense of wonder and compressing it into a delightful adventure game with only a few pacing issues and illogical puzzles to hold it back.

Jerry and the eponymous Rabbit, Marquis. The red eyes hint at a more sinister nature.

You play as Jerry Hazelnut, a young boy living on the edge of an old forest that separates his house from a nondescript early-20th-century English city. Jerry Hazelnut's imagination and thirst for the exciting and the novel lead him on a startling, well-realized quest to explore the nearby woods and uncover the secrets of being a magician. Along his journey he meets a bevy of characters that give life to his adventure. Many of them are shrouded in mystery and harbor ancient secrets of magic and wizardry. Motivations and backgrounds are rarely clear-cut, and more often than not, you won't know who is really on your side, or just using you as a piece of their own larger plan. This is all set to the backdrop of an ordinary world made extraordinary, and the thematic tension of everything's dual nature sets the stage for an exceptional tale of intrigue and mystery.

Fantastic art direction is what really draws you in here. For a game like The Night of the Rabbit to be effective, for it to instill in you the same wanderlust that young Hazelnut has, the world itself must be inviting and begging to be poked and prodded by an adventurer. Thankfully, the environments are gloriously detailed and often look like hand-drawn pages from children's storybooks. Colors are vibrant, lines are heavy but have a subtle sketched look, and the attention to detail is clear throughout. The level of commitment is enough to keep an otherwise hackneyed setting (20th-century England) more than varied enough to have you enthralled for the length of Jerry's quest--provided that you can get through the rather slow start.

Later levels take you quite far from the forest, and your home.

Unfortunately, as inviting as The Night of the Rabbit ultimately becomes, its opening segment is a bit stilted. There's a fair bit of repetitive and long-winded exposition, and the tutorial is structured as an imaginary interaction between Jerry and a radio. The cartoonish visuals and storybook vibe seem to aim the game squarely at children, but the difficulty of some of the puzzles and the sheer number of characters, items, and details you need to remember keep it from being a guaranteed recommendation for younger players.

The Night of the Rabbit falls into the same trap as many adventure games that have come before it: obtuse puzzles. You need to find very specific sticks, rocks, and tools, and use them in concert with other bits of the environment in a very specific order to progress. In reality, it's less about solving any real thought problem and more about having the patience to try any number of strange, esoteric combinations of objects to see which ones let you through. For example, during one of the very first segments in the game, you must use one rock to crush another rock on top of a third rock, but the exact order and placement of the three rocks aren't terribly clear and can result in some confusion. This isn't universally the case, but a fair portion of the obstacles have a singular solution, and will lead you in circles as you try to figure out which item you need. There are a few tools to keep any given puzzle from being too overwhelming, though. After the introduction, you gain access to an item that highlights everything in the world that you may interact with. This limits your endless clicking and keeps you from wasting an unreasonable amount of time.

The art direction is beautiful and inventive.

Sticking out the occasionally frustrating adventure game tropes, however, is not without its rewards. Jerry and the eponymous rabbit, Marquis, as well as the rest of the cast, are excellent characters with their own unique charms. Throughout the game, bonds are made, twisted, or broken, and each character is well written and believable. Jerry Hazelnut is a boy with little more than a vivid imagination and a dream of becoming a magician. These aspects of Jerry's character give a great level of meaning and significance to an otherwise common story.

The Night of the Rabbit is a personal story about a boy, his dream and the sinister figures that seek to corrupt him. It's not in the circuitous puzzles but in the narrative that The Night of the Rabbit really shines, carefully weaving an excellent score, solid voice work, great characters, and terrific art direction together to create something special. By tapping the different understandings of life that come with age and wisdom, this adventure tells a charming tale of curiosity and creativity.

The Good
Excellent visuals instill a sense of wonder
Charming characters
Imaginative take on a played-out setting
The Bad
Slow start
Some illogical puzzles
7
Good
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10 comments
skoypidia
skoypidia

It is a much better game compared to other Daedalic productions. Solid, better puzzles, better story. Into it for a weekend, still 50% and only a couple of walk-through peeks. I feel genuinely intrigued as to the outcome. I recommend it to fans. 

pal_080
pal_080

So is this a point-and-click adventure?  It sure looks like it in the pictures but it doesn't say anywhere...

ANIMAL001
ANIMAL001

I've been playing this and its just awesome, cant believe they'd rate this below the last monkey island series.

 Lately we've been getting alot of these goodies that we "old-school" adventure fans enjoy.

Kids should try this over shooting each other's head off in cod. Also very relaxing to play between dota2 games!

hinkwokching
hinkwokching

I think this type of game will be suitable for mobile releases as well... I would love to play something like this while travelling to work, etc.

cuprashoe
cuprashoe

Tempted, very tempted indeed.

ANIMAL001
ANIMAL001

@cuprashoe get it bro its pretty long for this kind of adventure, and i havent ran into any "Illogical puzzles" yet.

treo140
treo140

@cuprashoe This comment section is ours friend. What should we do with it?

cuprashoe
cuprashoe

@treo140 @cuprashoe Why do I get the feeling It's not going to be flying off the shelves. Does look good though.

The Night of the Rabbit More Info

  • Released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    The Night of the Rabbit is an adventure game where a 12-year-old boy is carried off into an enchanted realm by an elegantly dressed rabbit right after his dream of becoming a magician comes true during his last two days of summer vacation.
    7.7
    Average User RatingOut of 42 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate The Night of the Rabbit
    Developed by:
    Daedalic Entertainment
    Published by:
    Ikaron, Daedalic Entertainment
    Genres:
    Adventure