I’ll tell you – I picked up Rain World partly due to my love of cats. I’m a big cat person (though dogs are awesome too!). So cat plus slug and the title looks intriguing? I’m in. However, while Rain World is a very enjoyable game where I get to play as said slugcat, I was not at all prepared for the rage quitting this beautiful title would induce.
Rain World opens up with a beautiful cutscene of you, a slugcat, with your family in a desolate wasteland of industrial buildings. Of course – you know it’s coming – you’re separated and must find your way back to your loved ones. You brave the world alone, looking for food, shelter, and a way to survive the endless waves of predators seeking you for lunch.
The opening scene of Rain World is in no way unique, but it still does absolutely pull at the heart strings. The environment definitely adds a twist though. There is plenty out there looking to kill you from lizards to plants to earth shaking rain storms to natives. It’s up to you, a tiny slugcat, to make it through alive.
The opening cutscene is an absolutely gorgeous introduction to Rain World and sets the tone for the rest of the artwork throughout the game. Although it’s simplistic, the world is varied and unique, fitting the tone of the story perfectly. The slugcat itself also maintains its adorableness, even when pixelated.
I do have to mention though: I personally am prone to headaches and potentially migraines from certain sound or visual effects. The oncoming rain storms were another reason why I would have to take a break from this game; they are graphically intense and harsh on the eyes. If you’re prone to headaches as I am, be aware of these and get to shelter before they hit!
The music goes well with the graphics and tone of the story. Simplistic and bare, it speaks of the industrial wasteland you live in. Sound effects are in the same boat. Every aspect of the game has one, from falling to the floor to lizards fighting, but they’re toned down to fit the music and feel of Rain World.
I said in the beginning: Rain World caused quite a bit of rage quitting from me. There is no denying it; this is a difficult game and not for the lighthearted. The world is as unforgiving as it probably would be in real life and being a tiny slugcat does not make things easier.
I highly recommend that you play this survival game with a controller. The original keyboard controls are rather hard to use, making it even more difficult.
First off, Rain World is absolutely a fun and different game. If you enjoy a true challenge, this one is it. However, it gets to be a bit too frustrating at times to be able to enjoy all of it, especially early on. Rain World doesn’t have much of a tutorial and very little direction through the rest of the game. You are forced to explore and find your way on your own, which means quite a lot of backtracking and getting lost.
This gives a “real” feel to the game. I’m sure this is what it would truly be like in the real world of slugcat, but it becomes a bit much from time to time. For example, you have to find shelter and enough food before the overwhelming rain storms hit the area. Food is not always easily discovered. You are forced to backtrack through zones searching for food and if the AI decides not to give you any, you will run out of time and die to the rain storms. This constant drag for food and shelter makes it difficult to make much progress.
In addition to the endless search, you are constantly at the mercy of murderous plants, lizards, natives, and others. If you die to them (or the rain storms), you restart at your last shelter and the AI may bring different critters, prey or predators, to each room.
Obviously, there should be difficulty and conflict to the game, but the amount of progress you can make comes down to sheer luck. You often die at no fault of your own. You went through a tunnel and a lizard was there, is only one example. All the progress you made up until that time is lost and you again will have to rely on luck to make it through on your second, third, or fourth attempts.
Now, while this makes for a frustrating experience, especially in the beginning, Rain World was enjoyable overall. I found it fun after I changed my mindset and started focusing on exploring first and foremost. The exploration aspect of the game is a true adventure to me. If you get through the steep learning curve and can stay with the game, it pays off. Even though something is waiting to kill you on the other side of the wall, it is exciting and you’re constantly on your toes, looking to see what may be coming or where you can go next.
If you wish to enjoy Rain World, I absolutely suggest you approach it with exploration in mind and stay with it. The first few hours are a literal hell. I reached the point where I can accept I am going to die, I am going to curse, and I am going to scream myself hoarse at the unfairness of the game, but I want my slugcat to survive. You need patience for this title.
Rain World isn’t for everyone (personally, I would like an “easy” mode of this one), but if you love a serious challenge in your video games with beautiful graphics and audio, this one is for you.