Rain is a very small video game developed by Cocoa Moss that takes roughly three minutes to complete. I will be spoiling all of the content within the game, but I suggest that you play it right now. It is easily one of my favorite games I have played in my entire life.The atmosphere is amazing, the silent protagonist is wonderful, the simple gameplay works extremely well with the tone, its art direction is adorable yet dreary, the music was delightful, and its world was expertly crafted. Rain offers a lot to love in very little time, making itself not only an amazing experience, but the pinnacle of simplistic game design.
You begin Rain as a young girl leaving her house as rain begins falling from the sky at a moderate speed, making an environment of comfort and sadness; a perfect representation of walking in the rain, and a stupendous representation of the coziness of crying. There is no explanation of why you are leaving your house in such a downpour, but you just do it. You make the spontaneous decision to explore the unknown as the droplets of rain drown out the world around you, letting you see the world with a new perspective.
The colors in the world are completely dulled out by the downpour of rain, all that’s left is silhouettes of the environment while the rain jacket of the protagonist stays a nice beige. Not a very vibrant color, but one that completely sticks out compared to the darkness and despair that lies within the lack of color of the landscape. It lets you know that you have not been overcome by this dread. You are witnessing it, embracing at it, and greeting it with a faint smile. Telling it that it is okay to exist, but demanding that it will not take you down.
You come across different houses and different villages, all drowned out and seemingly vacant. You are taking this journey alone and everyone else is practically non-existent. You have the world all to yourself, because you are the only one who chose to do this, a little girl with the courage to explore the unknown, a task that nobody else has taken.
In Rain, there is very little interaction between you and the environment. The only mechanics are walking, climbing and descending ladders, and occasionally interacting with the objects you come across during your journey, such as an umbrella stuck in a tree, or a cat that needs to be safely transported across the water. The interactions, though scarce, are very well-drawn and flawlessly executed. The shaking of the tree, the activation of a light, every single piece of art in Rain is astounding.
The villages you explore are not your ordinary villages. They ascend to the heavens, they are dead but lively, with neon-like signs hanging from the sides of buildings, but lacking the light that once brought joy to the town. I am almost unable to express the feelings I had when exploring the environments throughout the experience. I felt like I was learning a little bit about the lives of the people in the village. Their quality of life, the places they would visit, how they would line up for their journeys up the ladders ascending to great heights, it made me feel like I was part of this lost culture that has been diminished by the cries of the clouds.
My favorite aspect of Rain is its protagonist. She is so brave and so strong. She leaves her parents to take an emotional journey while learning about the environment around her. It is a meditative experience for her, but it is also a way for her to show her strength. She saves the life of a cat, risking her life in the plunge, she leaves home in harsh weather conditions, she is taking on the world, and she continues trudging forth regardless of how hard the rain pours or what lies in her path while a gentle and solemn melody plays, creating beautiful moments of perseverance. She eventually makes it back to her house in an ending that feels just right.
Everything about Rain had a purpose. The dullness of the colors around you made it easy to spot interactions and made the protagonist seem powerful, the music filled the vacancy of human life, holding your hand as you went through the sad journey of finding yourself, your place in the world, and how to address your sadness. A nice cry, the support of friends, the support of the knowledge that you matter in this world and that you exist. Rain is an unforgettable experience that I will always come back to. Rain is a game that you must experience.