This spooky bunny horror game is free, but you can buy a cool zine to support the devs

I like horror, I like bunnies, I like cool little games. Hey, y’here that, Rental? You’re alright, kid. It’s a free (free!) little game originally made for 2022’s 32bit jam that takes about 20 minutes to play through, wherein you play a child rabbit who has arrived at a holiday cabin with her family. You’re the first to head inside and, oop, the door locks behind you. Classic twist. A further twist is that, while Rental is entirely free to download and play, you can buy a supporter zine as DLC to kick some funds to the devs. Noice.

The game itself is a nice intersection of cute (bunny girl Mui’s solemn face, you know how rabits kind of look serious all the time, because they’re always alert to being eaten?) and spooky (you are trapped in a house with some kind of ghost watching you). The theme of the original game jam was the 90s, and Rental has, for example, the fixed camera you loved from Resident Evil, just they are in a small cute holiday home and trained on a bunny rabbit. It’s in glorious 4:3, which I have preserved above instead of cropping out the black bars. And it’s all fuzzy, like an old VHS. Lovely stuff. To escape the house you have to collect a bunch of crosses, candles and some Catholic icons – Mui does not understand any of them, which is great – to perform a ritual. This also involves going into a secret room that really confused me for a while.

I want to play it again, because I have a feeling it might change a bit with repeated loops – but I can’t be sure. The zine, meanwhile, is a sort of meta horror story all by itself, and it even puts a different spin on the game. Which is cool! I like it. And I will be interested to see if Animita Project (a team of devs from different studios) release any info about the numbers involved. I think we’re heading towards a big change in what the internet even is, and alternate types of funding on a micro level could become a thing again (see: I mostly consume the internet in the form of subscriptions to newsletters).

It feels like an evolution of the whole ‘allow clips to circulate on YouTube for free and it boosts DVD sales!’. But on the other hand, what, are you supposed to gamble your income on how many chuds will pay you after they’ve played your game? And on a third hand, maybe you just can’t afford to buy stuff? Hence my interest in the numbers. FWIW, I definitely think Rental was work my three quid. Related: as reported earlier, Content Warning launched free for the first day or so as well. Something else to keep an eye on.

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