Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Rain World is a 2D survival platformer with a vast world to explore. You play as a slugcat who has been separated from your family. You are trying to find your way back to them, but you encounter a whole lot danger along the way. There seems to be more going on in Rain World that what appears at first glance, and I find it intriguing.
One key thing to keep in mind about Rain World is that you are always battling against the clock. There is a constant countdown until the next rain storm, and these rainstorms will kill you. Hibernating is the only way to reset the rain timer, but you can only do this in special safe rooms. In addition to being in a special room, you’ll also have to make sure that you have hunted or scavenged enough food first. Food you forage is limited and will not respawn, but after hibernating food you hunt for does.
Some creatures, like the bats, are your prey, but the majority of creatures are predators that will hunt you down and devour you. Avoiding predators is an absolute must since you are extremely squishy and vulnerable. Expect to die a lot if you try to venture far out into unexplored areas too quickly. If you play more on the safe side, then you can expect to do a good amount of backtracking to hibernate in safe rooms you’ve previously discovered. In addition to avoiding the rainstorms, hibernating also ranks up your current rain cycle icon by one each time. Dying deranks it by one. These icons match specific gate icons, that will allow you go into other regions. If you rank up to the same icon enough, then you can permanently unlock all of those gates.
- survival mechanics are important, but aren’t too much of a hassle
- exploration plays a huge role in Rain World, and the maps are absolutely massive; there is a lot to see (I’ve played over 7 hours so far, and have been in 4/12 different regions)
- freedom to explore blindly if you want to or you can follow the hints that your spirit guide shows you (the guide is usually helpful for finding the quickest route, but it might not always be the easiest)
- the 16-bit style of the environments is simple, yet visually appealing
- the ambience and music are atmospheric, and well suited to the gameplay (there are some sections of audio that have some irritating almost clanging sounds though)
- character animations are procedurally generated, and result in characters that wiggle or flip-flop in strange ways – it’s more cute and goofy rather than something that detracts from the game
- keyboard controls are fully customizable, and there is full controller support (controller recommended)
- while the platforming is decent for the most part, at times feels finicky as well, and may take some getting used to (i.e. sometimes you’ll have trouble making jumps or climbing
- sneaking around, being patient while enemies pass, or exploring for safer routes feels like a must, but it’s somewhat counter productive to the constant battle against the clock before the next rain storm (it’s fast paced stealth)
- (nitpick) if you choose to play more safely, there is a good amount of backtracking to safe rooms
- (nitpick) there are times it’s difficult to see yourself in the environment, especially while swimming underwater, and you will drown repeatedly
- (nitpick) some frustrations from having a limited food supply combined the death penalty of deranking the gate icon that you have
When I first started the game, I felt sort of bored and think others may feel the same way. I kept playing though, and realized this game is not as easy as it looks; since then, the game has really grown on me. Despite my innumerable deaths, I keep wanting to try again. Rain World is a niche game, and will certainly not appeal to everyone. However, those who love somewhat challenging exploration platformers, and don’t mind that there isn’t much in the way of combat are sure to get a lot of enjoyment out of Rain World.
Press copy was provided for this review.