Many developers have been going darker with the tones of stories lately. It's time we stop asking definitively if this is a good or bad thing and consider the artistic value at hand.
The Night of the Rabbit Review: A Muddled Harry Potter
Follow the white rabbit.
You followed the white rabbit and dropped into a world of PURE IMAGINATION!
Cross Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings together, then throw in some point and click. You really should like clicking things. And combining things. This is The Night of the Rabbit.
Jeremiah Hazelnut is your I-want-to-be-a-magician-but-I’m-only-12-years-old every-boy. There’s only two days of school holidays left. Dread. But magic can do some amazing things for the people who believe. Enter Mousewood.
Miniaturize to mouse size. The over 14 hours of story will guide mouse-sized Jerry through Mousewood as he acquires new spells under the apprenticeship of a magical bunny, talking with other other animals and fighting mysterious evil. This is Night’s strongest element. It’s story (for the most part) is full of whimsy and makes me feel like a kid again. The young British voice actor is superbly cast; very reminiscent of Harry Potter. The background tunes are earthly and medieval.
What kills the otherwise cool cartoony graphics and cute story is the puzzles. Grizzled point-n-click vets might not get as stumped but I struggled way too many times, to the point where I sat fuming and once consulted with a guide (something I hardly ever do). The solution to my problems are always so nonsensical, so ridiculously stupid that I just wanted to just stop playing and grow up.
Who would have thought that looking for ‘fish scales’ would mean actually taking them off a stone fish? A stone fish tucked away into obscurity on the edge of the map? Seriously. These type of inane solutions to puzzles are constant. It doesn’t help that there is no useful hint feature at all. The only thing you can rely on is Jerry’s journal (which gives you a vague outline at best) and the master bunny via Skype spell (he only gives you a huge generalization as well).
To top off the puzzle frustration, I found myself skipping past dialogue segments that were… completely obnoxious and annoying. For the most part the voice acting is great, but there are some very questionable sections. Pieces of dialogue and story toward the end of the game felt injected in to extend the game time. Which feels silly when you realize how long this game actually is (Depending on how often you’re stuck, over 14 hours).
I’ll will say that there are some very funny moments to The Night of the Rabbit. And if you’re patient, really quite patient, this game can be a treat to play. Just be prepared to use a guide, seriously.