Rain World had intrigued me when I had first heard of it. The game looked beautiful, and had great looking animation to fit the type of survival experience it was pitching. Unfortunately this game falls victims to a nasty combination of unreliable controls and small sprite sizes, leaving a lot of the game's promise unfulfilled.

Rain World is about a slugcat and their family wandering through the grim environment, when a sudden rainstorm comes and manages to separate them from one another. Now it's your job to find all of the other slugcats and avoid getting killed by the hostile predators that lie in wait. You also have to eat to survive, as you have a hunger meter. The slugcat eats bats, which are annoyingly hard to catch.

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Hazards like predators let you know the threat level by a color marker floating over them. One other hazard you have to deal with is to get to shelter to avoid the floods caused by massive rainstorms. Your slugcat doesn't have many offensive capabilities other than grabbing things and throwing them, and even then they are mostly used for distractions. Otherwise you can hide in places they can't see you, mainly by climbing into crevices and the like.

Rain World sounds like a neat concept for a survival game, especially when paired with its beautiful artwork and animation. But this all goes wrong once you start dealing with the terrible controls and small sprite size. The game has this tendency to make your slugcat not behave in ways that you'd desire. Your jump strength is weak no matter how full your hunger meter is, even when doing a long jump. And the slug-cat will often either fail to cling to the pole or crevice that you want and do something else(or fail entirely). This, combined with the small size of the sprites, will often result in a number of unintended deaths that will frustrate you.

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And don't make the excuse that since the slug-cat is inexperienced, that the controls for it are intentionally terrible. That's not a good reason for Rain World to play poorly. What we have at the end of the day is a game that could have been great had it not been for these issues. It also doesn't help that map of the game is very basic, with little sense of where you are supposed to go. Rain World is a game that just ends up feeling like much of its promise was washed away. At the very least, try it on a sale, and play it on Steam instead of the PS4.

VERDICT:

The Good: The animation of the sprites is terrific.
The Bad: The controls feel very like they have a mind of their own.
The Ugly: Small sprite size makes it hard to see things.

SUMMARY: Rain World is a 2D survival game that could have been better if the controls had been less wonky and sprites were larger.

FINAL GRADE: 

Promotional consideration provided by [adult swim games]

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