Developer: Artifex Mundi
Publisher: Artifex Mundi
Rating: E for Everyone
I am loving this comeback of point-and-click adventures on the Nintendo Switch, especially from developer Artifex Mundi who excel in this genre. My Brother Rabbit is definitely their most personal game released and tells a heartfelt story that takes center stage away from the actual gameplay. Despite its lack of difficulty in most of the sections, it’s a journey worth taking, one that’s filled with character and splendor across its beautiful world.
Negative themes: The thematic elements of My Brother Rabbit pertain to a story about a loved one suffering from a potentially deadly illness. This can be depressing, but the narrative does a great job of helping to find happiness in the darkest of times through loved ones and imagination.
My Brother Rabbit is a beautifully hand-drawn adventure title from Artifex Mundi that uses the point-and-click control system to solve puzzles and perform mini-games. The story centers around a young girl who becomes very ill, and she and her brother must escape the world through her imagination. Along the way in the make-believe world, you stumble across her plush rabbit and you spend your time helping the rabbit solve puzzles and mini-games to heal the little girl and complete your mission. Honestly, it’s great that developer Artifex Mundi is able to tell a story like this; it is such a delicate and personal subject.
The gameplay consists of playing in over 30 different mini-games which vary in difficulty; some are straightforward and simple, while others are somewhat tricky. All of them have you find many different objects which are then displayed in the top right of your screen. Moving your cursor over an object highlights it, and areas will light up if there’s something to be found there that is necessary to complete the stage. Navigation is fairly easy using the cursor with the left analog stick, but you can also use the d-pad to immediately jump to any interactive object.
During your playthrough, you’ll find hidden objects and different machines that you must assemble. Some of the puzzles, especially the machine assembly ones, can be challenging and take a page from the cryptic point-and-click adventures of the past. They do require some extra thinking, and even with the clues I still found myself stuck as to what to exactly do next. I prefer to have these types of adventures feature some difficulty with their puzzle solving mechanics, but at times I just wanted to move the story along since there is a strong narrative underneath the gameplay.
All of the characters have their own personalities and all the collectables and hidden objects are used to interact with a character or something in the environment. What I really appreciated is that they all add something to My Brother Rabbit and there isn’t much in the way of filler content. Many of the puzzles are similar and lack some originality, but I rarely found one that wasn’t enjoyable.
There are five worlds to complete, and all of the different areas have their own special aesthetic consisting of fantastical elements that you might expect to see in entertainment properties like Harry Potter or even The Never-ending Story. The whimsical and fairytale-like art style is unique enough to differentiate itself from other adventure titles; lush and colorful images are beautifully presented and help bring gravitas to the narrative.
My Brother Rabbit has some fantastic and gorgeous environments to explore and soak up. It helps, of course, that each area rests on a distinct theme, ensuring that any sense of repetition is kept at bay. The same can be said about the game’s wonderful soundtrack and audio design, which goes hand-in-hand to set the mood of My Brother Rabbit well. When all is said and done, the challenge may vary between puzzle sections and point-and-click gameplay, but it’s certainly high up there as far as uniqueness, quality and the overall experience is concerned.
My main gripe with My Brother Rabbit is that the backtracking still became a chore. It became problematic the most when I was only missing one or two items, and I was stuck going between each area to have another go at clicking everything to find them. I wish more of the puzzle element were incorporated in the point-and-click gameplay, as some sections were noticeably more difficult than others.
Overall, My Brother Rabbit is a casual yet difficult puzzle and adventure title that anyone can appreciate in some way. The heartfelt story will keep players engaged and there are enough difference in the puzzles to keep things fresh. While the game doesn’t take long to complete and there are no reasons to come back, I still enjoyed my time in this whimsical world.
The Bottom Line