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Platform: PC, Playstation

Developer: Videocult

Publisher: Adult Swim Games

Release Date: March 28, 2017

You will die. You will die again. You will progress. You will lose all your progression. You will like it. Or, will you?

Rain World demands a lot from the gaming community. Even the most veteran and hardened of our ranks will find navigating the adorable protagonist, a slugcat, through a grueling dystopia to be mildly maddening if not wholly rage inducing. For those that want to say they accomplished what is truly the unimaginable for many of us, this game is for you. For those who’s aspirations are not so sky high, you may still find yourself enjoying the challenge but, heed this warning, you will have to watch your blood pressure.

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Poor little slugcat, he is a wobbly creature, fast to snatch up the bats and insects needed to sustain his life but much less capable of stealthy motions when contorting through the maze-like environment of Rain World. To make matters worse, the start of the story shares beautiful art showing that slugcat has fallen into these dark depths you must escape, and has been separated from his loving, and equally endearing family members. Regardless of the visual appeal the persistent slugcat has, it does not control enough charm to prevent you from screeching at him the next time a level is lost, and then some, and that is what makes Rain World one of the most punishing games ever played.

The art style is done freakishly well. Slugcat is cute- the world is, grim. You sense the unsafe nature of your surroundings from the get go, and you never once assume anything is on your side as you attempt to survive. Survival is the name of this game, because outside of the platformer dynamics the heart of this title is in simply enduring the elements long enough to avoid the rain, which will kill you, predators which will kill you, and food sources which will attempt to avoid you, all while hoping for progress and begging to prevent regression. Yet, the art does provide a backdrop of something that makes you want to keep trying. The panic the equally awkward enemies elicit somehow is propelled by the style they are created in. This is a place where the creatures are easily spotted, and not so easily avoided in the unique textures and grimy colors of their niche.

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The sounds in the game are well done, the music matching, but despite all the characteristics of a great game being in place, it is truly up to the player to decide if this is a challenge they wish to explore. Nothing is handed to you, through trial and error you will bumble forward and eventually the controls and the quirks of slugcat’s abilities will become more apparent. There is some enjoyment to the struggle, and a learning curve mastered is a rewarding experience. Rain World may not have to be so difficult after all.

Then you blink and find yourself tail spinning, about to lose everything you have slaved over to achieve.

Reviewed By: Monica @UnicornholeTV

This Review is a segment on the weekly podcast Backspace Nomads Podcast. You can find us live every Saturday night at 8 pm est on twitch.tv/backspacenomads. To connect with us, follow our twitter, @backspacenomads.