After a quick glance at Daedalic Entertainment’s website, I was ecstatic to start playing The Night of the Rabbit. As an adventure game enthusiast, the game’s style immediately jumped out at me. The game features intricate, mythological back stories, influenced by the rustic lore and personalities of different countries, such as leprechauns from Ireland and Kitsune from Japan. When I started up the game, the first thing I noticed about the point-and-click adventure was its fantastic art and its beautiful aesthetics. Daedalic’s games are visually breathtaking, and Night of the Rabbit is no exception. The game features a wide variety of quirky, witty characters and stunning music making for an engaging and endearing atmosphere you will quickly become attached to.
The protagonist, young Jerry Hazelnut, is voiced by British actor Jed Kelly. Kelly was thirteen years old when he recorded for the game, and his outstanding voice acting adds to the game’s charm. Unlike most child characters in video games who are portrayed by adult female voice actors, Jed Kelly brings Jerry to life with his remarkably believable performance.
In The Night of the Rabbit you find yourself playing as a dimension-crossing magician in a world filled with enchantment and magic. As one would expect, I had to dig deep and be creative to progress in-game. The Night of the Rabbit isn’t a game I would approach logically, as I was forced to think outside the box and put myself in the shoes of twelve-year-old Jerry. That being said, some of the solutions are still a little farfetched, but not more so than with your average point-and-click puzzles.
The Night of the Rabbit’s story isn’t anything to overlook. Although the game’s plot starts off innocently enough with the story of a young boy’s last few days of summer vacation, it quickly becomes haunting and melancholic, leaving you with a feeling of uneasiness and concern. I’d be lying if I said that my eyes did not tear up toward the end.
Although many aspects of The Night of the Rabbit are absolutely commendable, like every game, it has its drawbacks. Despite its wonderful hand-drawn art and simple gameplay, the game could probably benefit from more fluid animations and more keyboard shortcuts. The missing frames make the game feel a little unfinished, and constantly having to open your inventory can get frustrating (unlike most point-and-click games, in this one, your inventory cannot be found on the bottom of your screen).
The game’s pacing is a little strange as well. For the first half of the game, I found myself wondering when the story would pick up, only to suddenly become overwhelmed with the story’s intense change of direction and pace, as well as the addition of an unnecessary minigame. While playing the card-based minigame, I experienced a potential glitch which completely discouraged me from playing strategically and soured the experience overall.
Even though I adore the voice acting, the game has a lot of unnecessary dialog, often littered with pauses in speech that cannot be skipped over. As with most point-and-click adventure games, you’ll find yourself talking to the same person more than once hoping to pick up on clues as to what you should do next, but the long-winded speeches can get a little annoying when you’re 13 hours into the game like I was.
My biggest problem with The Night of the Rabbit is that I never had a chance to finish it. I was more than willing to look past its shortcomings because of how impressed I was with its strong points, but right around the story’s ending climax my computer could no longer run it. Let it be noted I am not using a new computer, but my three-year-old laptop is surprisingly powerful and can run most games without a problem. I tried to complete it on a friend’s brand-new gaming computer (on which he easily runs very demanding games), but the few times I made it past the loading screen, The Night of the Rabbit crashed immediately. This is because this game has ridiculously high system requirements for a point-and-click game, a result of bad optimization on the developer’s part. I was incredibly disappointed to have missed out on the story’s ending. I wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone who doesn’t have a computer with very good specs. Crashing aside, I experienced serious graphic issues which made the game completely unplayable. Nobody wants to play a point-and-click game where the entire screen is white, or where your character’s upper half is obnoxiously plastered over everything on-screen.
Although my experience with The Night of the Rabbit wasn’t a great one, I would still consider it to be a brilliant, beautiful, and magical game. If you’re a fan LucasArts’ 90s-era games, fantasy themes, and your computer can run it, I highly recommend giving The Night of the Rabbit a playthrough.