Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

Rain World

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 26 - 2017

Life is brutal for the cute Slugcat.

 
Rain World, the survival platformer from Adult Swim Games, is a pretty looking game. The retro visuals create an atmospheric post apocalyptic world in which the player controls a creature known as a Slugcat, some kind of hybrid animal which moves around somewhat like a weasel. The Slugcat has become separated from its family and must trek through a variety of different environments in a quest to rejoin them. It would all be so simple if only everything wasn’t trying to kill it.

 
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Players are given the bare minimum of information when they begin the game, ramping up the difficulty before the player even has the chance to find their feet, or whatever the Slugcat has. This is a game of exploration and learning, alongside the platforming component. Being small, and presumably tasty, Slugcat is prey to the majority of the creatures that roam the different areas of this mysterious world. Brightly coloured beasts will wander around the world, wanting nothing more than to feast on the adorable Slugcat, and they will actively hunt Slugcat if they catch a glimpse, so the player is mostly left with the choice of running away and getting somewhere safe, or dying.

 
Death is something that players will have to deal with a lot in Rain World, and the result of death is to be cast back to the most recent checkpoint, with any discoveries found since being forgotten. While it should be taken as read that almost everything that moves will want to kill Slugcat, the way they would do so, and how they move or hunt, is knowledge that will only come through facing them, dying and then learning. It is brutal to the extreme that the player is given so little information about this dangerous world and the only way to learn is through dying.

 
But the creatures of Rain World are not the only threat to Slugcat. The rain is deadly and comes with alarming frequency. To avoid the rain, Slugcat has to find special dens in which it can snuggle up and hibernate through the downpour. These hibernation spots act as the checkpoints in the game, from where the player will begin again on death. However, before hibernating, Slugcat will need to find enough food to survive the long sleep, adding an extra hurdle to the simple task of surviving. Life is certainly not easy for Slugcat.

 
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Objects can be found through the game that can be used to aid Slugcat. Again, this is another thing that the player has to work out for themselves. Some objects can be used as weapons, although they really don’t have much of an effect on the monstrous creatures that may be pursuing Slugcat, while others can be used as tools of sorts, maybe creating makeshift platforms that will allow access to previously unavailable areas.

 
So far, there is a lot stacked against the player. No one can accuse Rain World of being an easy game. However, while learning the dangers of Slugcat’s world in an attempt to rejoin its family may be seen as tough but fair, there are some aspects of the game that are not fair. Platforming plays a large role in the game, whether escaping from predators or simply reaching new areas. The problem is that the platforming just doesn’t have the precision of other games. Slugcat’s movements on the ground are not too bad, but when it comes to climbing and leaping from one platform to another, the movement just feels “sluggish”, for want of a better word. In a game where death is one wrong movement away and where escaping at speed is a necessity, sluggish movement leads to many a death where the players skill is not at fault, which is just frustrating. Also, things such as random enemy placement, which can result in enemies spawning right in front of Slugcat, add to the frustration.

 
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Rain World is a great looking game and, on paper at least, has some really cool ideas. Even the punishing difficulty could be seen as a bonus for the hardcore gamer. However, imprecise controls and numerous deaths, along with an almost complete lack of information for the player, make it very difficult to recommend Rain World to any but the most optimistic gamer.

 

 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 



 

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