After first seeing this game being played at this year’s EuroGamer Expo in London, I instantly knew I had to play ‘Rain’. You are a lost young boy, navigating the glistening streets of the unnamed town you live in. After chasing after a mystery girl who ran past your window, you happen to become invisible, only to be given form when you are out in the rain. The girl you chased after is in the same predicament, and unable to communicate to each other, you and the girl work together to avoid the various monsters, ghouls and nasty things that happen to hunt invisible children. This is the most basic form of story I can put to paper without giving away any major plot points and spoilers, but believe me when I tell you that the game and the story is so much more. Its melancholy, its sweet. It’s tantalizingly sad but gloriously beautiful.
The design of ‘Rain’ makes this game a diamond. it literally shines, as rain constantly falls through the lovingly built town. The winding streets and subtle but appreciated details give the game the impression of size. It draws you in, and given that you are playing as a child, it can really make you feel lost sometimes. Though it’s not actually possible to get lost, you are given the freedom to make mistakes and wrong choices. The game is forgiving to the wandering player, it doesn’t force you to go down the desired path right away.
The fact that you can only be seen in the rain is a beautiful concept. If you’re outside you can be seen, but if you’re under cover, only your tiny foot prints are visible (note: recommend playing Rain on a relatively big screen, or you wont be able to see where you are at times.) It gradually introduces you to more obstacles, encouraging you to look around and use your surroundings in order to get where you need to go. The town seems endless, with a circus, factory, church, and sewers to explore. The baddies in this game are awesome. They’re invisible too, so the added dynamic of trying to escape from something you can’t always see really adds to the gameplay. The piano accompaniment to Rain is soulful and pretty. It sets the tone for the adventure you embark on, using delightful melody and ominous chords to highlight your play.
If you are a marathon gamer, you may be disappointed with Rain. It is separated into chapters, giving a sense of accomplishment as you complete each part, yet each chapter does not take long. You could happily finish rain in half a day, but then you wouldn’t have taken the time to savour it. On completion of rain, new aspects can be unlocked, so you are able to play it over again, looking for new objectives.
Rain is definitely a game to take your time with. Take in the setting and the feel of it. You will not be disappointed with this little beauty, and it wont break your bank either.