My Brother Rabbit Review (Switch)
''A World Of Pure Imagination''
My Brother Rabbit is a heart warming indie adventure game developed by the folks over at Artifex Mundi. Known for their work on point and click adventure games like Enigmatis and Nightmares From The Deep, Artfiex Mundi this time takes us on a journey into the mind and imagination of a child.
When a daughter falls ill and the parents are out to seek the proper treatment for her, it is up to her brother to keep her spirits high and mind strong by taking her into a land of imagination. Go on adventure of child like imagination as you adventure through the minds of children as they cope with the real world situations in their own special way.
As stated above, My Brother Rabbit is an emotional and heart warming adventure game,but also has some puzzle elements throw into the mix as well. If you've read my past reviews or you've even played previous titles by Artfiex Mundi, then you know the type of style of game they're well known for. However, this time they've decided to take a different approach to the same formula. No longer will you be solving mysteries of wizards,monsters or beasts, but this time you'll be playing through the mind and imagination of children.
You play as a brother of a sister who has fallen ill from sickness and it is your job to keep her in high spirits and find a way to get her to forget about all the bad things the real world has to offer her,even if only for a moment. This job was bestowed upon you by your parents who are out seeking the treatment needed in order to rid their daughter of this illness and have tasked you with possibly the biggest job of all. Like a loving and caring brother, you're up for this task.
Using his imagination, the little girls brother transports both himself and her into a world that you'd normally expect from the mind of Tim Burton,only with a lot more color. Closest thing to the creativity level of this games design would be to compare to something out of Alice In Wonderland. Everything is seemingly odd, but at the same time very whimsical. If you haven't guessed from above, the character the brother takes form of in the imagination land is of a rabbit and his sister takes form of a flower.
The game plays out sort of like a silent movie. It reminds me a lot of how the game Old Man's Journey story was told to us as the audience. You're not given voice acting and instead all manners of story is told to you through sounds,sights,music and character gestures. It's extremely well done and you always know what emotions are being conveyed and what each character is going through at any given time even without hearing a single word. I love this style of story telling because It lets me get more invested into the characters and helps put me in their shoes as if I were there with them or if I was experiencing their hardships myself.
So what does the full game play utilize when were not heavily involved in what is going on in story? puzzle solving. It wouldn't be an Artifex Mundi game if there wasn't some aspect of puzzle solving involved in the game. The puzzles in the game range from small to large and vary in difficulty depending on the users personal thinking skills. Although I feel the puzzles in this game were more casual than past Artifex games,that's not a bad thing because this will help make the game more playable and enjoyable for all types of gamers. Which is a great thing.
I'll start off explaining some of the smaller puzzles and then move into what I consider the ''bigger'' puzzles afterwards. The smaller puzzles consist of you putting items together to make a contraption move in a certain direction,making objects move because they block a route you must take or matching insects together. Yeah that last one sounds very strange right? but take my word for it,when you play the game, it makes much more sense in relation to the story and the environment that you are apart of.
Now onto what I consider the bigger puzzles or most substantial puzzles that are in the game. My definition of this might not be the same as many others so bare with me if it doesn't meet your same thoughts of what big puzzles are. The main big puzzle of this game takes place around mid to end of each chapter which requires you to find a set amount of items to use on a machine that the brother wants to use. These items can at times be a bit challenging to find, so you're required to search thoroughly, but luckily you're shown what they look like and where exactly they go on these inventions and machines so over thinking about these sort of things won't be that much of a issue for most people. Be creative with your thinking, some aren't just as easy as looking one time and going ''oh, there it is''.
The game's length is roughly the same size as most of the other Artifex Mundi titles,which means you'll be able to complete the full magical tale in about 2-5 or so hours,give or take a few for those who might get stuck or confused on some of the puzzles. While that may not seem like a long time for a lot of people, trust me, its a 2-5hr ride of emotions you will not regret taking. Any longer of a game and I think it would've overstayed its welcome. So great job for the balance done by the development team here.
The graphics in this game are absolutely beautiful. Take note of what I said above,it is a land of pure imagination,wonder and feels ripped straight out of Alice In Wonderland with its style and creativity that is put into the worlds design. Every single aspect and scene in this game is completely hand drawn,which gives it its own unique style and feel. The style that the developers went for with this game truly makes you feel you're inside the mind of a child's imagination and apart of all the craziness and innocence only a child could imagine. Truly beautiful.
After playing through this game, my heart went from feeling warm and happy to a feeling of sadness. This game is able to make you feel a variety of emotions at any given time due to the way you get attached to each of the characters in this game,how you relate to them,makes you think about what would you do in their situation and how far would you truly go to make your loved one feel better in the moment of illness.
The game is short and maybe a few puzzles here and there might seem a bit redundant, but aside from those gripes, I feel this was not only a good direction for Artifex Mundi to go, but a must needed one to go in as well. This game proves that emotional,non verbal narrative story telling is alive and well and much like Old Man's Journey, it can be used effectively to portray characters and heighten game play at the same time.
If you enjoy getting emotionally invested in game,happy,sad or inspired, then I one hundred percent recommend picking up My Brother Rabbit whenever you have the opportunity to do so. You will not be disappointed.
My Brother Rabbit is out now on Nintendo Switch
*Review code provided by Artifex Mundi