Daedalic Entertainment seems to be having a good run with the point-and-click genre. The adventures of the ’90s seem to be a lost art these days, but companies like Daedalic are working their hardest to change that. Both Deponia and Harvey’s New Eyes have been critical successes. The Night of the Rabbit, though, may be its best yet.
The story follows a young boy, Jerry Hazelnut. With two days left in his summer vacation, he’s determined to make the most out of his final days and embark on an adventure. After receiving a mysterious set of instructions, he suddenly summons the mysterious Marquis de Hoto, a odd anthropomorphic rabbit who helps you try to realize your dream of becoming a magician. As the game progresses, you learn various magic spells to help you along in your journey, such as reading thoughts of inanimate objects or changing the time of day instantly. These abilities drive and shape the game’s situational puzzles.
The game itself is filled with colorful environments and characters filled with personality helping you on your adventure. From the voicework to the atmospheric music, as well as the animation style and how everything is drawn as a whole, the game is an aesthetic marvel and never becomes dull. It’s easy to get lost in its world, and The Night of the Rabbit sticks around long enough to let you do just that.
While the directions for the puzzles are delivered to you in a relatively straightforward manner, the steps that are taken to complete these puzzles are what make this game incredibly frustrating. In the game’s very first puzzle, before I could crush the chalk stone I had gotten (which was the obvious part), I had to draw with it somewhere, as the game repeatedly reminded me. I wasn’t allowed to put the chalk down on the rock I needed to crush it, because it was wet. After the time-tested adventure game “click everything until something happens,” I was able to draw with the chalk to activate a certain event. When I received the next item, the arbitrarily-slick stone mysteriously dried up.
It’s this kind of adventure-game tedium that holds The Night of the Rabbit back a bit. You’ll have to put things in containers in arbitrary orders. You’ll be forced to do certain tasks first for scripting reasons instead of logical ones. While the game does try to provide you with hints, I found them to be vague and not particularly helpful. Most of the time, I resigned myself to just clicking around everywhere until something worked.
Despite the frustrating nature of some of the game’s puzzles, The Night of the Rabbit is an endearing adventure in a charming, inviting world. If you can forgive the sins of the genre, there’s a lot to enjoy.
Pros: Excellent production values, interesting implementation of magic
Cons: Confusing puzzle procedures