Rain World (Switch) Review
Creative art style
At times frustrating
Can be obtuse
Rain World is a 2D adventure game in the same vein as Another World or Prince of Persia, where the platforming and exploring elements of the game have a sense of timed puzzle solving elements to them. The player takes control of a ferret looking creature and explores a beautifully rendered landscape one screen at a time; avoiding enemies and finding safe places to escape rain along the way.
The first thing that anyone will notice is that the backgrounds themselves feel as if they are all hand painted. Each screen is another area of places for the player to explore and interact with, and all carefully crafted onto the system. The enemies that hassle the player character throughout all have a feeling of other worldly being, somehow similar, and yet not of this earth—all of them distinct creations that can be instantly recognized after first seeing them.
The world exudes a sense of atmosphere that not many other titles can manage, and it does this from the moment the start button is pressed. From the muted sounds of everything in the world, to the way that the player must find enough food to survive on before the next downpour of rain forces them to find shelter and hibernate for an unknown period of time. Rain World is mysterious and odd, nuanced in all the right ways. Every corner feels like there might be a hidden secret that might be hanging just out of reach or found with the right combination of actions. But that is also where the problems start.
Nothing is really explained to the player in the game, which is fine. But the problem becomes that the entire exploration element starts to wear when the next objective isn’t exactly clear, or a series of enemies seems to be happily camped exactly where progress might be made. There is nothing wrong with having a sense of whimsy and fun, but at times it feels like that needs to be pulled back down so the rest of us can figure out how one area connects to the next, while finding food, and doing that in time to avoid the flood.
Rain World is a good game, it is probably one of the more memorable titles that has come out from the Adult Swim Games publishing team. The same studio that published Pocket Mortys and Robot Unicorn Attack has brought out a subdued and muted game to this extent is nothing more than astounding. It isn’t that the other titles weren’t good, just that it is so different from everything that the studio seems to be known for.