Review: Ürs

(A beautiful Twine, both in story and in illustrations. Ürs - Details (

A rabbit fable.

The Rabbit Warren is in danger.

The THUD has been happening more frequently.

Against the reassurements of the old and wise Warrenherd, you set out to see if you can bring safety to the Rabbits for generations to come.

What follows is a beautifully illustrated dreamlike journey through a surreal but recognizable land. Although the true nature of the Warren and its location remains a mystery, there are enough worldbuilding hints for the player to piece together a background history.

Ürs is mostly about experiencing the story, wallowing in the dreamcoloured journey, letting the events carry you through burrows and landscapes.

The exploring and puzzle-solving that there is can be confusing, random trial-and-error. Fortunately, there is always the option to rewind until before your final mistake.

As in any self-respecting fable, there is a lesson to be learnt. It is a good lesson. It is also a lesson delivered with a powerdrill (as, again, in most every fable.)

Take a tour through the Rabbit Warren. I think you will not regret it.

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Watership Down is one of my favorite books of all time. I wonder if this takes any inspiration from that? If so, I’ll definitely play, and probably even if it doesn’t.

** Edited to add: I’ve often thought that many of Richard Adams’ books would be wonderful source material for IF games. Shardik and Maia would be excellent backgrounds for games, too.


From the blurb on the ifdb page:

A lushly illustrated adventure about rabbits, inspired by Watership Down, City of Ember, Skyrim, Caves of Qud, Super Mario Brothers, and Apocolypse now.

Watership Down is explicitly mentioned as an inspiration.

I love that book. I enjoyed it as a fairytale when I first read it and enjoyed it more when rereading it later, when I could better grasp the political critique.

I read Shardik for the first time even before Watership Down. The sociological and religious likenesses were lost on me then, and I found the entire book heavy and confusing. Having reread it twice since then, I like it even more than Watership Down.

I don’t know Maia. I’ll have to write that down for my next visit to the library.

(The TV animation series based on Watership Down is also very good.)

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The world-building is the best I’ve ever seen. The language, the mythology… sigh.

Maia is a prequel to Shardik, set before the fall of Bekla. It’s pretty racy as its main characters are sex slaves in that rotten, opulent world. Sadly, I think it’s out of print. It’s nowhere near as good as Shardik, but it’s a long and engaging book, of course, being written by Adams. You get to see some of the characters from that book when they are younger.


By the way: Thanks!

This conversation reminded me of another book by Adams: The Plague Dogs. I bought it in a second-hand bookshop about two years ago and it’s been sitting in my large and wobbly to-read stack eversince. I’ll put it on my nightstand for when I finish my current books (Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel and Killigrew and the Incorrigibles by Jonathan Lunn).