My Brother Rabbit Review

Hare-Brained
Developer: Artifex Mundi Publisher: Artifex Mundi Platforms: PS4/Xbox One/Switch/PC

An enjoyable hidden object puzzle game with a heartfelt story and a brilliant soundtrack that's well worth checking out if you're into that sort of thing

I’m just now discovering that there are two appropriate age groups for hidden object games. The first is people aged 14 and under, and the second is somewhere around the 28 and up crowd. I found this out because I am now rapidly approaching the age of 29 and I have just thoroughly enjoyed what is best described as a hidden object point-and-click puzzle game.

My Brother Rabbit presents much like the plethora of other, similar games that live on websites like Big Fish and help keep retired people entertained after their libidos dry up. In reality though, it’s a little more special than that, straddling the line between casual fodder and a more ‘legitimate’ indie game. Part of this is thanks to a story that is simple in scope and execution but still dares to touch on some real themes. The star of the game, the titular ‘brother rabbit’, is an imaginary character dreamed up by an unnamed boy who conjures a fantasy world in his mind as a coping mechanism for dealing with his real-life sister’s illness and hospitalisation. It doesn’t really go much further than that, meandering towards a stock standard conclusion in a scant few minutes of scenes interspersed through the game, but it’s cool to see a game like this offer some background beyond ‘hello and welcome to our casual game, here are some nice pictures and stuff’.

When you get kicked out of rabbit country because plants are food, not friends

If you’ve played any kind of hidden object/puzzle game before, My Brother Rabbit will feel instantly familiar. Each ‘level’ is a series of screens featuring some lovely hand drawn art where the aim is to help the rabbit and his sister (who is some kind of flower person in this world) progress by finding objects tucked away in the environment and using them to fulfil objectives. Sometimes these objectives also lead to self-contained puzzles, most of which are of the standard sliding tile or colour matching variety, but they’re a nice, fun diversion. My only gripe with these puzzles is that the control schemes vary a little too much between each one when they don’t need to. Scouring screens of intricate art for mundane objects obviously isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea (in fact it’ll appeal mainly to the kinds of people who really enjoy a cup of tea), but I actually quite enjoyed how chill and uncomplicated it was. The game does a decent job of making it frustration-free as well, by clearly informing you of whether you’ve found all of a certain type of object in a screen to save you hammering away at every square inch when there’s nothing important left.

I think I may have found the machine that created me

Honestly, that’s about all there is to it. Find things, put them where they go, solve a puzzle or two and repeat. It’s not rocket accounting, but it’s super chill and a great bedtime activity that I can do and not feel super old because technically I’m playing my PS4. One major win though, is how damn lovely the soundtrack is. From the gorgeous opening theme by Arkadiusz Reikowski (of Layers of Fear, Kholat, and Observer) and Emi Evans (NieR: Automata and the Dark Souls series) to the tranquil in-game score and the bouncy, vibrant beats that pour out of the various mechanical creations in the imaginary world, there’s a lot to love about how My Brother Rabbit sounds. It’s almost painful knowing that I likely would have dismissed this game were I not reviewing it, and in turn would’ve missed out on hearing this soundtrack.

Final Thoughts

My Brother Rabbit is exactly what it looks like, a pseudo-hidden object game with some light puzzling elements, some very pretty hand-drawn art and a cute story. If that’s your bag, it’s a pretty decent example of the genre, so go for it. If not, give it a miss but still do yourself a favour and check out the soundtrack on YouTube because it slaps.

Reviewed on PlayStation 4 Pro | Review code supplied by publisher

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Good

  • Pleasant art
  • Surreal and heartfelt story
  • Some fun puzzles
  • Beautiful soundtrack

Bad

  • Rarely taxes the brain
  • Occasionally inconsistent controls
8

Get Around It

Kieron started gaming on the SEGA Master System, with Sonic the Hedgehog, Alex Kidd and Wonder Boy. The 20-odd years of his life since have not seen his love for platformers falter even slightly. A separate love affair, this time with JRPGs, developed soon after being introduced to Final Fantasy VIII (ie, the best in the series). Further romantic subplots soon blossomed with quirky Japanese games, the occasional flashy AAA action adventure, and an unhealthy number of indie gems. To say that Kieron lies at the center of a tangled, labyrinthine web of sexy video game love would be an understatement.
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