The Night of the Rabbit Review

I am an unbeatable optimist. Since around 2000, when the best of the best in the quest genre stopped releasing classics. Yes, I am often disappointed. But every time I believe that the next game will definitely be the one. In the case of Daedalic, I was absolutely sure of it. Did Night Of The Rabbit become that game? I will tell you now.

Night Of The Rabbit is a huge, beautifully hand-drawn point-and-click adventure, filled with passion and a strong spirit. It is charming in many ways. Except for the last five minutes, where the storytelling stumbles, the events lose any meaning, and the game becomes frustrating with illogical puzzles.

Daedalic is undoubtedly a talented team. But they desperately lack a sense of moderation. In their long, often disjointed games, there are many true treasures, but they are also filled with unnecessary content that dilutes all the beauty. And in the very pleasant Night Of The Rabbit, this is felt more strongly than before.

A Magical Journey Begins

We play as 12-year-old boy Jeremy Hazelnut, which is already an interesting start. There are two days left until the end of summer vacation, and there is a forest near the house where he lives with his mother. Jeremy goes there in search of adventures. And he finds them. There are portals, talking frog statues, rabbits walking on their hind legs, a whole village of mice and hedgehogs, unusual trees, frog postmen, and an eerie atmosphere everywhere, hinting at something more serious behind it all.

The game has a lot of things – I would say, even too many – besides the standard quest clicking, there are spells that can be used on characters and objects, there is a unique version of the card game Happy Families, and even a collection of short audio stories.

13-year-old British actor Jed Kelly voiced Jeremy excellently, and this is a wonderful alternative to the standard approach of “a woman voicing a child” used in games and cartoons. And I am happy to report that all the problems that Daedalic had with the English localization have now been resolved. The actors were chosen brilliantly, and – finally – the sound director worked on the voices in a way that preserved their certain integrity. This is a great achievement after the studio’s last project – back then, I wanted to scratch my face listening to how horribly some sound files were processed. The voice acting is also available in German. Unfortunately, there is no Russian voice acting.

Enchanted Forest Exploration

For whatever unforgivable reason, Jeremy’s lines are often randomly cut off, with pieces of unnecessary words heard at the end or beginning. This usually happens when describing items in the inventory. Even I could fix this in Audacity in half an hour, and there is no excuse for such flaws.

More serious problems lie in the game’s structure. Daedalic has always been known for their creations not being linear series of point-and-click puzzles, but sets of locations where different tasks need to be solved. The problem is that this deprives the game of smoothness. The cascading effect, the feeling that by solving X, you open the way to Y, has always been one of the most enjoyable aspects of the genre. Here, however, the almost inevitable hitches only leave a sense of helplessness.

Understanding which specific items need to be combined and what to use them on to obtain another item needed by someone usually immediately signals a transition to the next plot element. But in Night Of The Rabbit, sooner or later, you will come across “I still don’t want to do this” everywhere.

Meeting New Friends

The player is more disappointed than happy. After solving the puzzle, I need a reward in the form of some progress, but in reality, the narrative does not move forward, and I understand that I need to do something else (maybe even more) to advance the story. And these are not rare moments. The constant – and it really is constant – feeling of depression does not let go throughout the game. Successfully overcoming a difficulty should always lead to a new plot scene, not leave you in the same place in confusion. (And yes, don’t bother looking for hidden drops: everything you will get in the end is a big fat nothing).

Night of the Rabbit slips through your fingers thanks to its magical charm. After all, it’s a game about hedgehogs and owls, about creepy crows and snakes in masks, which still remain quite cute. The game does an excellent job of creating an original atmosphere, as well as maintaining intrigue and a sense that the lurking darkness is about to burst out.

However, having finished the lengthy adventure, I want to warn you not to get too hopeful. The game constantly gives you food for thought about what is really happening and what the motives of the key figures are. The only thing that kept me going through the boring puzzles (in many cases, they can only be solved by trial and error or by looking at a walkthrough) was the desire to unravel the local mysteries.

Adventures in a Fantasy World

And they unraveled. But not gradually during the game. After the final puzzle, all the answers come crashing down on you swiftly. Not to mention that this is a completely joyless way of culminating, the solutions themselves are joyless. One specific element throughout the game hints at something very personal to Jeremy, which could have provided a touching moment at the end – but in the end, there is nothing like that, we are presented with dry facts, reasons, conclusions, and all of this is crammed into one messy resolution. This is saddening, especially when the well-thought-out sequence of the plot allows for carefully revealing secrets while the player still controls the gameplay.

It is worth noting that closer to the end, the quality control somehow disappears, which is also a distinctive feature of the developers. Several voiced lines are missed, one of the descriptions looks like “{_Text345_}”, there are sometimes glaring errors in the texts.”

Puzzles and Mysteries Unfold

Without a doubt, Daedalic is approaching the quest after which the company will be remembered with special warmth. Especially when it comes to the English voice acting – it is magnificent! But damn it, they need to polish the games. Smoothly connect the puzzles together – of course, without giving up on multiple parallel tasks – so that the player feels the progress of the story. And they need to tell this story throughout the game, not in several pages of text afterwards. Undoubtedly, Night Of The Rabbit captivates with its visuals. But when my only motivation to keep playing is the desire to find out how it all ends, it’s hard not to be disappointed in the game. They are approaching – for now, they are only approaching.

The game was released on May 28, 2013, for PC and Mac. It is distributed through Steam and costs $20.

7 quest points out of 10
The Night of the Rabbit
Daedalic Entertainment
Daedalic Entertainment
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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