The point-and-click adventure game is not extinct, but it has been largely in hiding over the last several years. It is not a surprise, video games have evolved a great deal over the years, with a lot of AAA titles sporting amazing, fully animated visuals and high-priced voice and musical talent. Still, I have a soft spot for the genre. They are not generally the first games I go out to play when I see one released, but every now and then a storyline, or some gorgeous artwork will catch my eye and I settle in for a good old fashioned bit of video game nostalgia.
I think perhaps my most recently point-and-click adventure was also courtesy of Daedalic Entertainment, back when I reviewed The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav - which I liked quite a bit. I happily scored it an 8 overall and it was definitely time well-spent.
I was fortunate enough to get a chance to play The Night of the Rabbit, and it has a lot of the same hallmarks found that title as well - a likeable main character, a distinctive art style and good audio that helps present a story that is probably the biggest Daedalic has released to date and definitely worth your time if you are a fan of this genre of video game. It is still somewhat short of a play compared to some titles, but for an adventure like this, it holds up nicely.
Graphics - 9:
These are not a technical achievement by any means, but sometimes visuals simply resonate with you. The art style here is bright, colorful and shows incredible style and detail. The animations are quite good, especially for the lead character Jerry Hazelnut, a twelve year boy reaching the end of his summer. It is not going to tax out anyone's video cards, and that is a good thing in this instance as I was able to just settle in on my laptop and run it very smoothly from my bedroom.
Sound & Music - 8:
The sound effects are usually minimalistic in nature, but are woven into the game's events skillfully. The music was also quite good, never grating on my nerves and offering up enough variety to keep it from ever really getting repetitive. Best of all, there is a ton of well-voiced dialog to be had here. You can skip it if you want, but you lose some of the vibrance of the world all around if you do.
Gameplay - 7:
This is a click-and-point adventure, so from an interface standpoint you should know exactly what you are getting here. I never had any detection issues, it all ran smoothly enough. The puzzles generally work well, but there are a few that can strain your patience. I admit that sometimes I wish the games would point you in the right directly a bit more than this one did, but maybe that is my own personal preference.
Intangibles - 8:
I thoroughly enjoyed the story in general, and Jerry in particular as our protagonist. I touched on the length above, and I would guess I spent about fourteen or fifteen hours with the game. I suspect a big factor is how often you get 'stuck' on puzzles - which can certainly happen. There is some bonus content in the game as well, most notably a fairly basic card game called quartets - all of which is welcome because once you have beaten the story and seen it through to the end, there is not much reason to give it another go.
Overall - 8:
I actually liked The Night of the Rabbit a bit more than The Dark Eye. Both games have a distinctive style about them, both are point and click games, but they do some things differently as well. The spells you can learn on your quest in The Night of the Rabbit are actually quite fun to attain. As soon as I got one, I found myself pondering how it might be used in an upcoming puzzle of some sort. Point-and-click adventures are not for everyone, but if you are a fan of the genre, The Night of the Rabbit is very easy to recommend.