I suppose one of the most interesting parts about reviewing indie games is that you really, truly never know what you’re going to get. Often, you’ll find games that challenge everything that we think we know about games; turning rules on their heads, exploring all-new territory, or simply reframing things into wholly unique experiences are pretty standard fare in the world of independent game publishing. Rabbit Hole 3D is one that takes a pretty time-tested idea and puts a unique spin on it.
At its heart, Rabbit Hole 3D is a standard “dodge the obstacles” game. The twist? The obstacles are words – and not just any words, but the text from Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. As you make your way through the remarkably difficult-to-navigate space, weaving through letters, a pounding electronic soundtrack backs a reading of the text that you’re winding through. While the spoken words come much faster than the written, it’s a really intriguing and unique pairing that gives the game a surreal feel.
To say that Rabbit Hole 3D is a tough one is to considerably undersell it. This is obstacle-dodging ramped up to Dark Souls difficulty; unfortunately, a good deal of the difficulty stems from a pretty limited range of movement and a perspective style that takes getting used to. Movement is restricted laterally by the size of the upcoming text, and vertically by only two position options that make it remarkably hard to adjust and mean that many of the open spaces that might otherwise be safe passage are, in fact, completely useless.
My biggest problem with Rabbit Hole 3D, control limitations aside, is that the difficulty and awkwardness meant I spent a lot of my time hearing the same two or three lines over and over, which gets incredibly dull. Diving deeper in definitely gives an interesting and wholly new experience, but the hindrance of getting there makes it hard for me to say it’s worth it. Still, for a meager $2.99 on Steam, it’s not a lot of risk to take if the concept tickles your fancy.
[+Unique and interesting idea] [+Soul-crushing difficulty that gamers grow to love] [-Very repetitive at times] [-Limited, poorly implemented controls]