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In a journey to go back home, it must trek through the predatory and brutal environments of an industrial wasteland. What is a slugcat, you ask? Just as the name implies, it is a part-slug part-cat creature which is somewhere at the bottom of the food chain. It needs to hibernate underground before the destructive rainstorm cycle arrives and it needs to maintain a certain level of food to make sure it can make it through its adventures and said hibernation. While slugcats are predators to bats in this world, it is also a prey to many colorful creatures. Slugcats aren’t only cute but as the developers at describe it, they are delicious as well.
Rain World starts off with a beautiful and sad scene of a little slugcat torn away from his family. And yet, everything about this game is not about that. There may be the assumption as we pick up the controller to control slugcat where there is that hidden objective and yet it doesn’t take long to realize that it is really about survival from predators that lurk everywhere and are procedurally generated. Rain World is hard to survive as little slugcat climbs and clambers through small crevices to move along to the next area. However, the strength of the game is the immersion into the environment even when there is no apparent goal at the beginning and only blurry ideas of grabbing pearls and giving it to achieve something else and a hologram creature that gives off scenes and directions to where slugcat needs to go next along with curious symbols that seem to match those in the cycles we achieve through surviving each time we go back to hibernate.
In the bleakest way, Rain World brings an environment that is a mesmerizing industrial wasteland that is ever so great to explore going from above and under ground to the Sky Worlds and in the meantime, finding hibernation spaces to sleep through the cycles and stay away from the deadly rain storm. In this environment, almost nobody will help you. Certain allies can be formed one way or another however, the world and will to push forward is all on our slugcat. Colorful lizards will want to tear him apart. Camouflage plants will want to eat him alive and soaring bird creatures as well as leeches will all want to stop the journey. The best tool might be the map that shows us where to find food and where the hibernation spaces we have found are located and what areas have been visited and not.
This is where Rain World may be not as appealing. The game is geared towards more skilled gamers with the patience to press through in frequent defeat and deaths with some hard to grasp controls. It drills and drives its players to discover and survive and yet makes it so hard to not admit defeat and endure frustrating moments at times unless for those who have the mental motivation to figure it all out and maybe get a resolution of what this whole journey was for. The question here is: How many gamers will have that motivation? Do you?
Indie games are known to be hard and truly bring something that fulfills an untapped market. In one way, Rain World fits the build with its creativity: not only in the extensive world design but with its creatures, slugcat, lizards, vegetation and many other predators. It creates a clever world of survival and discovery. However, the controls are not hard and yet somehow slugcats nature also gives and takes from what he can do. At the same time, the objectives are unclear. Rain World is for the hardcore gamers up for a challenge to reach the finale.
Game description: Rain World is a 2017 survival platformer developed by Boston-based independent game studio, Videocult, about a young slugcat that has been separated from its family.