Free Game Friday: “A Rabbit Fable” (2013) Browser
I’m going to let indie game developer Antipirina introduce this little journey into surreality. ”I had job burnout and I converted that feeling in a rabbit fable. Many things that happens here are metaphors of things that happened to me.”
The result of this spell of job burnout is “A Rabbit Fable”, a weird, sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing little point-and-click adventure involving a humanoid rabbit on a quest for his paradise. But getting there might involve compromising his principles, and possibly destroying some things he dearly loves.
This game has drawn a lot of comparison to “Donnie Darko”, and Antipirina himself has stated that he was inspired by David Lynch, so it should come as no surprise that this game is weird as hell. In fact, after the game’s release, Antipirina found that players weren’t understanding the game in the slightest, so he added a new introduction to try and clarify the plot a little. I played the game with the new introduction, and I can definitely see how the game would be near-incomprehensible without it. With it, however, you can follow the symbolism pretty clearly, and a lot of players have different interpretations of the events and the ending.
Like many point-and-click adventure games, navigation is simple and puzzle-based. For the most part, the puzzles involve combining different items to figure out what you need, and again for the most part, they’re quite simple. There’s a moment at the end where things get a little obscure, but overall it’s pretty intuitive.
The art style is absolutely gorgeous, with a surreal, detailed, and beautifully coloured landscape. Many items and creatures can be interacted with, even if they have no impact on the plot, and it adds a great deal to the immersive feel of the game. Hell, there were points when I felt I was bonding with some of the characters, even though none of them speak in anything but gibberish and my interaction with them consisted of waving at them.
That’s not to say the game is perfect, because it’s not. There are several points where it’s unclear what to do next, and although the places to explore are very limited, it can get frustrating. In addition, the game still has a few bugs to it. In particular, there is one part where a vital item is dropped from a window for your rabbit has to catch. For some reason, a number of players have reported that the item never drops for them, and so far, there seems to be no fix for this rather glaring issue.
Despite these problems, however, “A Rabbit Fable” is a beautiful, intelligent, symbolic, and overall highly unique game. With shades of David Lynch, Lewis Carroll, and Richard Williams, this is a game that asks the question, how much of your dreams are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your goals, and in the end, are those goals really worth it? Worth, perhaps, seeing your ideas shattered and stripped of everything that made them unique just to make them palatable? And will even that get you what you want in the end?
Definitely give this one a look, folks. It might not be to your taste, but it’s a game that should be experienced.
You can play “A Rabbit Fable” at Antennaria Games.