Switch owners like their game icons a certain way. They want bright colours and sharp-looking art. They’d also prefer the game’s logo be present in some way, shape, or form. What many of them don’t seem to like is slightly blurry, eyeless terror rabbits. I can’t see the problem. Neither can the rabbit, technically.
The game this cuddly monstrosity represents is Murder House from mostly-one-man development studio Puppet Combo. Developer Benedetto “Ben” Cocuzza has a thing for ‘80s VHS slasher movies and retro, low-poly survival horror games. Murder House is about a news crew breaking into the mansion of the Easter Ripper, a notorious rabbit-themed serial killer, to shoot a haunted house story. Unfortunately for them, it turns out the Easter Ripper’s reported death might not have stuck. In fact, he might be in the mansion with them, picking them off one by one. Murder House was released on Steam last year, where it enjoys “Overwhelmingly Positive” reviews. It came to Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation just last week.
But this isn’t about the game. This is about the icon. It certainly stands out among the other Switch games I regularly play. Whenever I come across it I find myself pausing briefly, as if trapped inside the blurry bunny’s hollow eye sockets. It looks especially wrong next to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Do I smell crossover? God, I hope not. Or so. Not sure.
It is so disturbing that at least one player took to Twitter to request the developer change “that horrendous Murder House Nintendo Switch icon,” further suggesting they “add the game’s logo at least so it doesn’t look like a cheap mobile game icon.” Puppet Combo responded with a succinct “No.”
— PUPPET COMBO (@PuppetCombo) October 20, 2021
We reached out to developer Ben Cocuzza for comment on the negative icon reaction and will update should he have anything to add, but for now that “No” seems pretty definite.
Fair enough. As much as I enjoy the bright and colourful icons that normally populate my Switch dashboard, I don’t mind a jarringly different icon now and then, especially when it’s attached to a jarringly different sort of game. Murder House is a creepy-as-hell throwback to old-school survival horror like Clock Tower and Alone in the Dark. It features on-screen VHS artifacts and uses tank-style controls requiring you to rotate the character in the direction you want them to walk. It stars a murderous mall Easter bunny straight out of the 1980s. If any game needs a fucked-up-looking icon, it’s this one.
As for those complaining, you bought a game called Murder House for your little Mario machine. Embrace the cringe.