Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Puzzle Game Review: Hare Raising Havoc

Hare Raising Havoc is a classic puzzle game starring Roger Rabbit, the film version of the novel character that debuted in the 1989 Disney film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

The film opened with a supposed short film with animated characters that was directed by a real human director. Roger was supposed to protect Baby Herman, an adult man in a baby's body who plays the part of a real baby in the short film, until Baby Herman's mother got home.

The game has the same premise. Baby Herman sees a giant milk bottle on top of a bottle factory and leaves the house to get it. Roger has to chase after it by performing cartoony acts to get from one room to another. He goes through the living room, to the kitchen, to the bathroom, to the backyard, to the street, to a construction site, and finally to the bottle factory.

Roger has to move quick as he has to make it all the way through to the bottle factory before time runs out. He can get more time, however, by doing the wrong thing, Roger will get hurt and the time still ticks down during his hurt animation. As the way through each area is not logical in terms of real-life, it is more likely than not that you will have to play each area several times as you learn both the correct way to get out of the area as well as which action gives Roger more time.

If you run out of time, you will be chewed out by the director and given the option to start all over again. If you get through it all, the director will be pleased and the cast, crew, and significant others, will be able to go home.

The selling point of the game, at the time, as well as now, is the Roger's excellent animated sprites that are full of expression. The full screen animation has few frames due to the limitations of the IBM PC compabibles running DOS and Amiga machines on which the game played. However, the animation of Baby Herman, and especially Roger, still looks good today.

The music in the opening screen is the same as that from the film, and the sound effects as well as Roger's voice clips, are suitably cartoonish. The voice actors from the film reprise their roles here, and sound as good as they did in the film.

Hare Raising Havoc is a hard-as-nails puzzle game. However, the game's presentation, animation, music, sound effects, and voices, make up somewhat for the difficulty. If you don't mind the tough difficulty level common in games in the 1990s, or use an Amiga or DOS emulator build with savestate support, it's worth checking out.

Final Verdict:
3½ out of 5

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