Some video games are fast paced shooters full of mayhem. Others are strategic operas where you as a player command a symphony of armies on a global battlefield. Then there are the game which truly touch the heart. Rain World is one of those games. Taking a destroyed world covered in rains which can cause you death, the faithful Slugcat searches for its family. Smarter than just an average cat, you can use spears, stones, and even a small sparkling helper to guide your way. Rain World is deep with story and emotion, the hard part comes with unforgiving game mechanics.
The artwork and throw back bit style of the game really takes you into a different world. You are very sympathetic to the character you control as the cat searches for its family. Navigating the industrial ruins and drain pipes can be tricky so you’ll have to reference the map often. You will also have to maintain food and karma throughout your journey. The goal is to get to hibernation points where you can respawn if you get killed. Each room you enter offers its own set of challenges. Similar to old school games there are tiers and levels to climb. Working through the room can be tricky at first and it took us a few tires to get the hang of moving around. Jumping from place to place got easier as we practiced. Using the spring jump to get across large pitfalls got easier after a few attempts.
The game does give you what is called “the little yellow helper” sort of a fairy like spirit who stands out and highlight objectives in the rooms. This tutor really comes in handy when catching food or trying to overcome big obstacles. Another feature which is open in the rooms is the ability to pick up trash and throw it at bugs or prey. This took some getting used to as well. Food is critical and you’ll need to keep your energy up to travel around this dark world. Having a spear helps a lot when hunting or fighting.
There are plenty of prey to choose from for food in the game. However, you are also food to some of the scariest predators on screen in a while. When you enter a room with a massive predator, you will be scared out of your wits the first time. They are intimidating and will hand you a quick death. Because you can only respawn at hibernation points, there is a lot on the line when you go up against a predator. You will lose progress, the game is highly unforgiving that way.
A recent patch just put in last week has made it much easier to find karma flowers in the game. These flowers help you recover at spawn points. Adding in more around the map takes the sting out of dying so you do not lose as much progress. You just have to be very smart when you play. The patch also added in more food so you are not constantly against the clock when you explore. With these two updates any complaints about the game being too hard early on will probably go away. The team are clearly listening to fans and fixing the game as they go.
Rain World is truly an artistic adventure. The mood and depth of the story will keep you playing late into the night. Fearing predators and overcoming the odds with Slugcat made for some amazing days of gameplay, even with the frustration of losing progress at times. Adult Swim Games continues to impress with their stylized approach to video games. They are definitely not main stream and neither is the network, but we like it that way. Plus, their games are a challenge (try Volgar the Viking if you are up to a tough game). For now, Rain World is a joy. People will see you playing and be very curious what it is all about. That is the best part about these types’ games. Go give it a try. It's gotten beaten up with review scores, but really if you like hard games that don't hold your hand, this one's worth a look.