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Gaming Review

'The Night of the Rabbit' review (PC): Part magic, part trick

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Released on Thursday, May 23 2013

'The Night of the Rabbit' screenshot

© Daedalic Entertainment


Release Date: May 29
Platforms available on: PC, Mac
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Genre: Adventure

In The Night of the Rabbit, Jeremiah Hazelnut is a boy who dreams of one day becoming a great magician, and becomes an apprentice to a giant talking rabbit and travels a mystical world.

As is typical of point-and-click adventure games, everyone has a problem to fix or an errand to run, all of which can be solved with Jerry's ever-expanding inventory of doodads.

Most of the puzzles revolve around some clever use of an ordinary object, like a spoon, which is put to new use since Jerry is mouse-sized and the spoon is still spoon-sized.

'The Night of the Rabbit' screenshot

© Daedalic Entertainment



Not all solutions are obvious though, and some are downright obtuse, requiring players to essentially try to use every object with every character or piece of scenery they can find until something works.

There is a hint system, or at least the game claims it is a hint system, where you can ask the Marquis what to do next with a magic spell in your inventory. However, the Marquis only gives a broad objective for the next point in the story.

The hints are useful if you put the game away for a long time and forget your place in the story, but players may find it frustrating when stuck on one of the many puzzles that stand between you and that next plot point.
    As is typical of point-and-click adventure games, everyone has a problem to fix or an errand to run.
A more helpful feature comes from a magic coin in your inventory, which highlights every character and object in the scene you can interact with when you press either the space bar or middle mouse button.

You're still on your own to figure out how to interact with them, but knowing where to start is a tremendous help.

Eventually the story picks up as Jerry's magician training begins in earnest and he starts to learn spells.

'The Night of the Rabbit' screenshot

© Daedalic Entertainment



The spells are a nice addition, functioning like any other inventory item while having a more transformative effect on the scenery that often opens new paths in areas you have passed dozens of times before.

The story delves into many themes during Jerry's adventure, but struggles when it comes to committing to any of them.

There are hints of a coming of age story fraught with the dangers of getting what you wish for, friendship conquering all, our primal versus civilized nature, capitalism and even some light environmental activism along the way.

However, The Night of the Rabbit inexplicably abandons all of the thematic buildup with a finale that has surprisingly little to do with Jerry and his personal journey, which players have spent the last eight or twelve hours playing through.

'The Night of the Rabbit' screenshot

© Daedalic Entertainment



There is nothing inherently wrong with raising the stakes in a story or introducing a late shift in the plot, but there are certainly more effective ways to go about it than through a lengthy cutscene introducing new characters, concepts and events followed by the credits.

Aside from the incongruous ending, a few technical hiccups also reared their ugly heads.

Most commonly bugs came in the form of framerate slowdown when entering a new scene, but on a few rare occasions pieces of the background appeared to be in front of Jerry as he walked and at one point the dialogue volume muted itself for no reason.
    The Night of the Rabbit is not without its missteps, but when at its best the game is hard to resist.
These events were hardly the norm, and could not be reproduced in any reliable way, but the pre-release code provided still had some kinks to work out.

Faring much better is the voice acting, with convincing performances for Jerry and his supporting cast of woodland creatures. It's a good thing, since there is a lot of dialogue.

The game still suffers from that old adventure game problem where conversations are full of awkward pauses between lines, but the lines themselves are well acted.

'The Night of the Rabbit' screenshot

© Daedalic Entertainment



The Night of the Rabbit is also packed with secrets to discover, with collectable items scattered all across the game's world.

This includes several audiobooks written about the citizens of Mousewood and an entire collectable card game called Quartets.

Quartets plays much like the card game Go Fish, and can be a surprisingly fun diversion to challenge characters throughout Mousewood.

Like all of the collectables, it is entirely optional, serving more to flesh out the fantastical world for those who want to explore it than to act as a barricade before continuing the story.



The Night of the Rabbit is not without its missteps, but when at its best the game is hard to resist.

Gorgeous art, charming characters, and the promise of an intriguing mystery to uncover will keep players glued to the screen right to the end.

The payoff isn't quite the mystery that was promised, ending on a note of sour disappointment.

But it is still worth a look for those who value the journey more than the destination, and who are eager for a charming new point-and-click adventure to lose themselves in.

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