Preview: The Night of the Rabbit
The Night of the Rabbit comes from the relatively young Daedalic Entertainment who are making a reputation for themselves in making quality point & click adventure games. In-fact they even had a hand in the Germany release of the Telltale developed ‘Tales of Monkey Island’.
Adventure games were a huge cornerstone of my childhood, with many of the classics still remaining amongst my favourite games of all time. Unfortunately these games don’t tend to perform favourably when it comes to sales figures, so quality adventure games are very few and far between.
The game starts off with a monologue from an unknown character, despairing about how he was not there for his apprentice during his final hours. After this, the scene quickly changes to an unusual foggy setting where you are then given control of a very well dressed rabbit. However, blocking your path is a character known only as Odd Figure who helps you find the ‘beginning of the story’. I can’t help but feel that this particular scene adds nothing to this game and could have been removed completely without adversely affecting it, unless the developers are intending for this to be a re-occurring theme throughout this game, or perhaps in future games.
After stepping into the path, you are introduced to the protagonist for this game: a 12-year-old boy named Jerry Hazelnut. Jerry dreams of becoming a magician, but as we all know, there is no such thing as magic. Or is there?
The first thing you’ll notice about The Night of the Rabbit, is that its a gorgeous looking game. The colourful imagery looks like it came straight out of a children’s book. It is clear from the start that Daedalic Entertainment have taken inspiration from many sources, with the relaxing music being reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, the graphics reminding me of Curse of Monkey Island and the story feeling like it could have come straight out of a Winnie the Pooh meets Alice in Wonderland novel.
Whilst the dialogue during the opening tutorial feels rather condescending – explaining how to use your mouse – the game does at least offer the player the ability to skip past this step. Many point and click games these days don’t even attempt to include spoken dialogue, so Daedalic Entertainment deserve a lot of credit for going that step further. However, at times the dialogue doesn’t feel completely natural with unusually large gaps between some sentences.
Straight after the tutorial finishes you will be set off on your first adventure: Collecting Blackberries. This opening ‘puzzle’ helps the player grow accustomed to moving around, picking up items and then using these items. Soon enough, after dispatching a menacing spider web you’ll have collected your Blackberries. One thing leads to another and you soon find yourself meeting the aforementioned red-eyed rabbit who introduces himself as Marquis de Hoto.
Jerry’s mum obviously never told him not to speak with strangers. Ignoring all commonsense, Jerry agrees to become Marquis’ apprentice and travels with him through a portal to another world. This world is where the rest of the preview takes place, though I would not be surprised to see more portal traveling as the game progresses.
The puzzles within the preview are fairly standard with nothing too problematic though I did have a few difficulties. Certain actions in The Night of the Rabbit have to be done in a particular order, for example until I had spoken with a particular character (who I hadn’t even seen), it wouldn’t let me continue with the game. This resulted in me spending a frustrating 10-15 minutes going to every location, checking every inch of screen real estate, only to find a nondescript path leading to another location that I hadn’t seen before.
Even though the preview I played only offered a small piece of the overall game, I saw enough potential to convince me that this will be a very enjoyable adventure game to dive into.
The Night of the Rabbit will be transporting through tree portals on May 29th for PC and Mac.