[dropcap size=big]V[/dropcap]isual novels have become increasingly popular over the past several months and Lusaw Project’s Rabbit Syndrome is just the latest in the ever expanding lineup. I took the time to play through the short demo provided on their games Kickstarter and I wanted to give my first impressions on the game. It’s hardly a polished demo, with some placeholder art and the like, but from what I saw it looks to be a solid addition to any fan’s collection. Should this one get funded that is.
Here’s the story in a nutshell. You’re a shut-in. You haven’t been to school in a year and haven’t left the house in that time. It’s just been you and your father the entire time. Your doctor has diagnosed you with an illness known as Rabbit Syndrome, a disease that if you don’t go out and socialize you’re literally gonna die. Yeah, that’s a lot of heavy stuff to take in for a dating sim. But it kinda works.
The next day you’re off to start school again after being absent for so long. Your father comes off as either eccentric or creepy as he wakes you up in an apron and has an omelet ready for you to eat for breakfast. The creepy factor lies in that he pretends to be your “onee-chan”. You may now shudder uncontrollably. Your first major decision in Rabbit Syndrome comes with a “leave your house” or “stay a shut-in” option, the latter being disabled for the demo.
Okay, so you triumphantly proclaim that you did it. You’re breathing in the atmosphere of the outside world and you’re ready to take on whatever the day throws at you. Then you meet your first girl in the game and you choke. Like a coward you can run away or you can stand your ground and try to talk to her. Either way, you’ll end up being forced to at least acknowledge her existence. While trying to find your class you bump into another buxom beauty, a third year that apparently doesn’t go to school often and is lost.
As I mentioned above, in Rabbit Syndrome you’ve been away from school for about a year. You hope that other students don’t remember but you’ve been branded the “shadow shut-in”. After class you’re hit with another option. Do you join a gang or do you help out a fellow student being bullied? This leads to one of two situations. You’re either confronted by the bullied kid and you get to talk to him a bit or you’re off to the field to get in on some gang-related action. The latter briefly introduces you to the third romanceable character.
The demo for Rabbit Syndrome is very short, possibly shorter than any other visual novel demo that I’ve played recently. That doesn’t mean that it’s not worth playing to get an idea of what to expect. Despite the placeholder art and the short play time it’s still a good indication of where Lusaw Project wants to take it. If you’re on the fence about backing then you should definitely give the demo a shot.