Game review: Mary’s Hare

But there are more babies coming. She doesn’t have the strength.

Justin L.

Summary: A short story set in the early 18-hundreds, showing the depiction of poverty and what one is willing to go through to escape this fate. Featuring breathtaking audio at the right moments and illustration to aid the visual horrors of this awesome one-time playable game.

Introduction to the game:

Mary’s Hare is a short interactive horror story about a woman and a rabbit, based on the story of Mary Toft. The creator also added in a small content warning for violence and gore, so if that’s not your cup of tea, feel free to try to make it yours! The story of Mary Toft is a rather obscure one and unsettling as is, so proceed with care into the game, since reading the story alone is enough to feel the barbaric times back then and the things people were willing to go through to go from the lower class to a higher one (in terms of money). The game also has audio features, which I always advise since they truly add to the experience, as for this game, it’s absolutely worth it! There are also few illustrations used to aid the player in visualizing the world of Mary, they are pictures of sometimes, dark things.

My opinion

We are met with little information, except the fact we (presumably) read the original story of Mary Toft and a little disclaimer. The starting menu looks extraordinary with the font and the title staring at you while you are alone in the dark. A rasp shriek trumpeted in my ears immediately and threw me inside the story, it’s not every day one hears a hare being hurt/slaughtered. The story features short texts, and little context, I love this since it means every word counts and one has to read carefully to absorb the meaning of the words. The suspense really starts when Mary has two options to choose from, both equally harsh, for the fact they are morally tough. “Kill the rabbit and eat it” or “starve and let your baby die due to malnutrition” (Mary is pregnant). Their crops didn’t fare well and this has been the reality of many people back when we didn’t have supermarkets, and it still is the reality to many people in the current world. This decision isn’t really a difficult one for a mother, but taking life for your own survival is something beyond what should be asked of one.

Oh Gosh… the sounds… it was indeed predetermined. Of course, the dark twist comes after eating the rabbit, what goes around comes around, or rather ‘Karma’, I suppose we can say. Mary seems to have undergone one of the most gruesome things a woman can undergo in her life. I can neither imagine nor understand what it would be like, to survive and have to carry that mental scar for the rest of your human life. Right after this the author gives another darkened and frightening plot twist, text-wise one could argue that the fetus would be disturbing, but the visuals give us the true meaning of “Mary’s hare”, I lost my tongue when I saw it. The story continues on the unsettling chain of events and makes it more severe, Mary has more babies coming… But.. Mary isn’t strong enough since she hasn’t eaten in weeks. The power in the last few scenes was something else, so much sorrow and eye-widening short texts. I will not spoil it, but, all I can say for now is, the last illustration is nightmare fuel for anyone. This short game was something beyond my expectations and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Even though I hoped for a secret deeper layer, altering the scenes and the outcome of the story, there isn’t. It’s a one-time game, or two if you skipped through some dialogue because of the suspense, but it’s not made for replayability. So rest assured if you were afraid you missed a thing or two, that’s not the case. Besides being one-time playable it’s also super short, so you could easily play this right before bedtime since I estimate playtime between five to fifteen minutes.

Mary in bed, pregnant with ‘something’.