The Night of the Rabbit preview

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There was a time in my childhood where every bush concealed a mythical creature and every shadow held a possible doorway to another realm. It was a time where an imagination full to the brim with whimsical fancy was fed by books and nature, with nary a gadget of technological wizardry in sight. Jeremiah Hazelnut is one such courageous 12 year old boy in Daedalic Entertainment’s next exciting point and click adventure.

Jerry lives in a beautiful cottage in a picturesque wood with his mother, and with two scant days of summer vacation left until the dreaded return to school and the end to most of his adventures. Little does he know that his dreams may be about to come true and his wish to become a magician could be at hand with the appearance of the Marquis De Hoto; an unusual red eyed and snappily dressed rabbit who is a dab hand at magic and just happens to need an apprentice.

Coincidence? I think not.

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Up to this point you are guided through a wonderfully unassuming tutorial, giving you a glimpse into how the mind of this clever youngster sees the world around him. His childish preoccupation with the mundane is heart-warming and the wild abandon with which he approaches the game’s many early puzzles brought a smile to my face.  Rather than scoff at the seemingly Beatrix Potter like fairytale land he is plunged in to as most adults would, Jerry revels in the new and wonderful experiences surrounding him.

On the surface The Night of the Rabbit seems aimed at a fairly young audience (but may have a darker edge further along) with its storybook visuals and almost sickly sweetness. Yet, after just a few minutes I was hooked; mesmerised by the simple looking but beautifully detailed backgrounds and often melodious voices of the characters. The puzzles I was privy to were challenging but fair, using logic and common sense in equal amounts that lead to satisfying conclusions.

It seems that Daedalic Entertainment has learned from past indiscretions on the sound front and even though the game is not yet finished, the creatures I conversed with on my journey had a lot of character without having to resort to over the top silly voices. Even the music blended well with the surroundings, almost making me forget it was there at all, adding to a captivating ambience.

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The mechanics are what you would expect from a point and click game with a context sensitive pointer to help you search each area for interactive objects and an easily accessible inventory. There will of course be some pixel hunting where small articles are concerned but a handy magical tool has been included to help as you progress that doesn’t break the immersion whilst giving guidance when you ask for it.

There have been many adventure games released in recent times, with many more in the pipeline and while countless try to wow you with tales of dark horror or secret societies there is something refreshing about this game’s honesty and the simple approach to its story. Perhaps it awoke those memories of my childhood I had thought long forgotten or just helped me feel that young again. Whatever the reason I for one will be vying for the chance to review The Night of the Rabbit upon release on the 29th of May…

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