Rain World: Downpour (2017), and Rain World are traversal and survival games where you play a half-cat, half-slug in a living breathing world. You must venture out and brave the other predatory creatures to find food before the rain comes and you have to hide.
Play involves sneaking, climbing and pouncing your way around a world that is itself evolving. You have to work to find enough food to hibernate before the rain comes. If you do this, you gain access to more of the vast number of 1600 rooms and 12 diverse regions. But when you die you lose some of this access and must build up again.
It's a difficult game. There are unexpected ambushes from opportunistic animals. There is the harsh rain from which you must hide. Even the movement is hard to control as you have to work around the physics of your slinky body and the broken world.
As you explore you discover both opportunities for food and plenty of danger. You are small and soft and must rely on stealth and wit rather than force. The ecosystem of predators and prey has goals of its own so that the food chain evolves and you never quite know what or who you'll find in the next room. There are items to help you deal with these creatures, but you still need to work with physics to defeat the other animals and avoid being eaten.
The result is a game that gets you behaving like an animal. You find yourself scurrying out to explore the local habitat and wildlife before retreating back to safety. In doing this, the game shines a light on our own animal-ness, collapsing the usual divide between us and the other creatures we share the world with.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Rain World: Downpour 17 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 5 months ago.