Children have the most colourful imagination. They see things differently than we adults or maybe see things as being something else. The little ones are able to create their own world. My Brother Rabbit does exactly that too. You have the typical family, mother and father with two cute offsprings. The older brother takes care of his little sister and they are playing in their parent’s backyard together. Suddenly, the girl is holding her stomach while crouching down in pain.
The story starts when the family goes to see a doctor and the brother starts distracting his sibling with her stuffed toy, a rabbit. Both that rabbit, and a sickly plant symbolize both kids by also functioning as the main characters.
Being an adventure game with puzzle elements, My Brother Rabbit surprises. It is also with elements of the popular book series “Where is Wally?”. Taking place in five beautiful and admirable levels, Artifex Mundi did such a formidable job in creating a dreamlike environment. Easy controls will not distract you too much from the landscape filled with puzzles to solve and things to uncover.
The cursor movement is simply done by moving the left analog stick. One control I often forgot, but is of value because not many titles before My Brother Rabbit have it, is the fact you can use the right stick too. It functions as a more slow, but precise control of the cursor, making it less difficult to fiddle it around in puzzles towards the right place.
The D-Pad serves as navigation. One optional thing is you can enter a new room or area by placing the cursor over the door/the side of the screen and press A. Holding it will make a green circle appear, filling out the round cursor to confirm the action. Same goes for cancellation with the B button. Real convenient if you accidentally tap the wrong button. Y shows you instructions in a puzzle. Pause the game with + and use either ZR or ZL to navigate through the different objects you have to find.
Allow me to fill you in on what the deal is with gathering objects and these “hints”. Every screen has some more or less well-hidden items for you to collect. After you have the amount needed, a puzzle will unlock or a new path opens up for you. You can encounter collectables before they are needed and are somewhat related to the puzzle. Although, you are not able to pick them up in advance and store them for later use.
Storing those items would have made the game a lot easier. The player encounters a lot of them during your playthrough. Is My Brother Rabbit short of content? Not in the slightest! Nevertheless, I had a problem with that.
Making progress by collecting things, solving puzzles, and such are right up my alley as a Point and Click adventure game fan. The amount and lack of variety, however, made it easily repetitive. Sometimes so much that I found it tedious and forced myself to continue playing. I have to admit that the puzzles you have to solve are rich in diversity though.
Unfortunately, they are not really challenging. And if I got stuck (The hourglass one…!), I asked my dumb luck to lend me a hand by pressing random buttons. More of a challenge is actually unlocking that kind of puzzle by collecting things like pearls, pills, ladybugs, hourglasses, sea shells and turtles. Most of them are obvious to find. Most of them are certainly not and seriously well disguised into the level.
Indicated in a bubble on the upper right of the screen, you see how many items you still have to gather in total. Black dots show the number of missing pieces, and bright white ones tell you how many you got so far. Now, back to the previous mentioned “Hint” option.
That “hint” you get is – like the instructions for the obvious puzzles – not really helpful. It only shows where you have to return to and use the groups of items. For example, on a door or a giant chameleon with a built-in screen. Yes, you saw that right!
To be fair, the icon for each collectable is grey when none of them is around in the area you are currently in. They only pop in colour when you still have one to uncover where you currently are. Sadly, that fact was missed by me for the first three levels thanks to no introduction to it. Although, that was mostly me not really paying attention and focusing more on finding these collectables.
Instructions for the puzzle are there, but since they often are obvious, I would have prefered to have a hint option like in the Professor Layton series. Sometimes the solution was so obvious, I did not even think of it.
The graphics are beautiful and the performance was very good as well. When a cutscene was played, you could note a slight drop in the graphics though. The colours weren’t as bright and popping as they were in the rest of the game too. My Brother Rabbit is still gorgeous though, and these problems is nothing too much to worry about.
To accompany the stunning graphics, I expected some fitting soundtrack. I was not disappointed in the quality, but sadly was in their variety. Although, I have to say, it does not bother me too much here since my mind was thankful for less distraction during the objectives to hunt. The controls were fluent and responsive.
My Switch was occasionally on a durability test during my playthrough. I found myself constantly tapping the A button to uncover a new item at some point since I was stuck. I am not going to lie, this can be frustrating for many players and I will not talk the fact down that I spent more time on some items to get than I’d like to admit here.
The autosave function is something I appreciate, but I also would like to have the option to save manually. I left the game and my Switch in Sleep mode, afraid of losing the progress I have made. Since the icon for autosave was only visible during the world map, I was rather playing safe than to be sorry. (Edit: I closed the game to play another title. The progress I made after the story skit was shown, was gone.)
The things I have to say about My Brother Rabbit seem a bit told in a low voice and, maybe, rather negative. Although I might sound hard on some things, it is a joyous experience. I had my fun with the game and cleared my way almost through the end. Well, until I got stuck at the hourglass puzzle that I lost my nerves on before writing this review.
I still am in level four and I will pick up the title after finishing this review again. Even though the hunt for objects can be frustrating, discovering one piece can fire up the curiosity again to experience the end of this heartfelt story.
This review was written by Jennifer. This game was provided by Artifex Mundi for the purposes of this review.