Down the Rabbit Hole came out of nowhere. I had heard nothing about it before I was asked to review it but I am always up for something new and unknown, especially where VR is concerned. As the title subtly suggests, this is a game set in the uncanny realm of the Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland, are you ready? Let's dive Down the Rabbit Hole.
Down the Rabbit hole is a mixed third-person and first-person story-driven puzzle game. You play a girl, who, yes you guessed it, fell down a hole. She has a hazy memory, she has lost her pet and it is up to you to remedy all these concerns and try and return home from this madcap, beautiful and wacky world.
The mix of viewpoints works really well, the game is mostly third-person but during certain story points and puzzle sections, the game flips to a first-person viewpoint. Due to the immersive nature of VR and the way this game functions, the viewpoint changes really add something to the puzzles of the game. It is a nice technique that I have not seen before.
Along with the nice meandering between two different viewpoints, Down the Rabbit Hole has a really pleasant method to control which of the many VR locations you are looking at. You can either press up or down on the right analog stick or grab the many vines littering the environment and drag your viewpoint wherever you like. It's beautiful simplicity and it works flawlessly.
A nice control system is really advantageous in a game like this too, you are constantly moving between VR spaces, walking back and forth through interconnected rooms and the apt control scheme really makes these transitions a joy. The way that the environments are joined together and formed in this game is brilliant, each area just flows to the next effortlessly.
From climbing through rooms to walking on the underside of stairs, everything in this title is geared towards VR immersion and you can tell. Each time my character wandered into a new area it was amazing to move my head into the 3D space and admire the bright, colourful environments. How they formed around you, above you and below you in the virtual environment was a delight.
The way the storytelling works in this game is also quite novel and engaging. At certain points in the story, you are given three choices which make up part of the story going forward. Due to your slight amnesia, you as the player are required to fill in the blanks. Not only does this make you feel more involved but it also makes the story more personal to you. It was once again a very unique trait about this game I loved.
While we are on the subject of storytelling, I found Down the Rabbit Hole much funnier than I expected. There were a few jokes that really made me laugh and along with the bright and breezy feel to the whole experience, I had a great no-hassle jaunt into the mind of Lewis Carrol and I loved it. Nothing was too difficult, nothing annoyed me and everything just functioned as intended.
While the game is a short experience, there are collectable invitations to find which do alter the outcome of the story a little. They are scattered about the games wondrous landscape and sometimes locked behind puzzles. There is even a little tracker to see how many you have missed and it's easy to revisit old sections through the use of fast travel mirrors. All in all the collectables are an enjoyable, easy-going side quest to slightly distract you from the main plot.
Graphically, Down the Rabbit Hole was amazing. Its fantasy-style cartoon graphics were very well done. Its environments were brilliantly detailed and were a pleasure to navigate through. Even on the low resolution of the PSVR headset, everything looked crisp, sharp and I really enjoyed taking in all of there little details in this amazing VR experience.
Down the Rabbit Hole's sound design was also very charming and enjoyable. Everything from the voice acting to the music was pleasant and fitted the rest of the game's aesthetic perfectly. This went hand in hand with the games beautiful art-style and environments to create a lovely fantasy experience everyone would enjoy. The overall presentation of the whole game was lovely and I really appreciated it.