An adorable family of furry mammals traversing a dystopian urban environment; snapshots of joy and intimacy (playful hunts, mutual grooming, snuggling together for a nap) already infused with the melancholy of impending catastrophe; the terrible, life-altering moment when a young cub loses its footing and plunges into unknown depths, separated from the pack. Our fledgling protagonist, alone for the first time, has to fend for himself and find his way among the perilous mega-city ruins.
If you engaged at all with the indie-game sphere in 2022, chances are this introduction rings a bell. Only it’s not a description of last year’s breakaway hit and multi-award winner, BlueTwelve Studio’s Stray, but an older and much more brutal feline saga, Videocult’s grim survival action game Rain World. The thematic overlap of these games, coupled with their contrasting design philosophies, provides an excellent springboard to reassess the latter – one of the most opaque, challenging, and underappreciated titles in recent memory, just in time for the arrival of its first official DLC, Rain World: Downpour.