A very difficult, fully fleshed out 2D action-platformer.
In Rain World, you play as a Slugcat -- a weird, adorable, graceful animal -- in a 2D action-platformer. You are separated from your family during a flood and need to find your way home. You explore a vast, connected environment, consisting of over 1600 rooms (each room takes up the screen), filled with enemies and food. Your Slugcat needs to run away from dangerous animals and eat pretty much anything smaller than itself in order to hibernate. This relates to the game's titular mechanic, where you need to find protected alcoves for you to hibernate in every so often, otherwise a furious downpour occurs, killing your Slugcat. These alcoves also act as save points where you respawn from if you die or quit out of the game.
As for the presentation, the game has astonishingly beautiful pixel art. Considering the number of rooms and the cohesive environment, the developers have accomplished quite a feat. Each room has its own layout and atmosphere, yet feels part of a greater whole. Every animation is fluid, flowing in a completely natural fashion. The animations for your Slugcat and the enemies are combination of regular animation and procedural generation, leading to this fluid motion. It is pleasing to look at it, and one of the more unique animation styles you'll come across in any game.
Gameplay You need to navigate your Slugcat around the world by crawling, jumping, and pouncing. The controls are responsive and natural, letting you control your Slugcat just as you'd like. A large part of the game is mastering the controls, understanding the physics of the game and how to use the controls to achieve a task. Sometimes you'll need to squeeze into small spaces or make a far away jump, and this relies on you inching to edges and climbing poles. It can get tiresome to try to master the controls to make difficult jumps or evade enemies, since this will usually result in many deaths or falling to an area you didn't want to go to. It's satisfying when you master the controls and can navigate with ease, but getting to this point requires a lot of patience. You will constantly be faced with enemies that want to eat you, and there is little you can do other than evade them. Sometimes you'll have a weapon, like a spear, which you can throw to kill an enemy, but mostly you'll be defenseless and on the run. The majority of the game is spent exploring the environment, traveling from room to room to find safe-spaces to hide from the rain and save. In order to save, you'll need to have eaten the proper amount of food by finding smaller creatures for your Slugcat to enjoy.
Cool Features There are three difficulty levels to choose from, although even the easiest difficulty still makes for a hard game. The difficulty levels change how much food you need to save, how many enemies you encounter, and a couple other gameplay elements.
There are two types of multiplayer arena modes: competitive and sandbox. In competitive mode, you can catch food and kill enemies and opponents for points. In sandbox mode, you can create your own connected rooms with items and creatures.
Is it for you? This game is hard. Even on easy mode, it's hard. It will require a lot of patience and attempts to work through each portion of the game. If you have patience and are looking for a challenge, then Rain World is probably right up your alley. The gameplay is smooth and the art is beautiful. The game is fully fleshed out, with a slew of interesting mechanics based on just a small number of controls. The environments are stunning and the procedural generation used for the animation is something almost entirely unique to the game. There is a lot to like in this game -- responsive platforming, simple and fun killing mechanics, and even some stealth. The main draw is whether or not you can deal with dying over and over, being forced to restart at your most recent save point. If you think you can handle that, then go explore what Rain World has to offer.