Rain on Your Parade presents itself as a whimsical indie game with cartoony characters environments that are contrasted by the playable cardboard cloud. The game does not look great, with the humans especially lacking polish, but the change in focus makes for a more interesting visual experience than there would otherwise be. The music in the game is not memorable but the sound effects are, not that that is a great thing as the humans give a distinct yell when rained on which can be annoying.
The game seemed very simple from the start, with not much depth to its gameplay or its level design. The game looked and played like a free mobile game. I was shocked in the first few levels to not be able to change the sensitivity of the cloud speed or move the camera. Whether these decisions were made for gameplay purposes or not remained to be seen. There was some fun to be found in causing destruction, but the only thing keeping me going was to see if or when more complicated levels were coming.
Players control a cardboard cloud in Rain in Your Parade where they float above levels filled with “hoomans” and given tasks that usually involve soaking them with rain. The cloud can move around in two dimensions and rain on anything below as long as the water meter does not run out. Over the course of the short campaign players gain the ability to snow, thunder, and tornado as well to cause more chaos and destruction on the world below. Many levels additionally give the ability to pick up a different type of liquid with the cloud that have different properties.
Even with these simple mechanics, though I was frustrated at how they were implemented. The movement is just too slow, even though there seemed to be very few levels where a faster cloud would have given any sort of advantage. The camera was also immobile which made it difficult to impossible to see humans behind walls. I found myself having to go into “camera mode” to see around things, which is so much clunkier than simply giving me the ability to control the camera with the other analog stick that goes unused.
The rain mechanic having a meter that runs out makes sense as the main tension of the gameplay, but it is strange that thunder and tornado mechanics lack that restriction and can be used as much as needed. This causes the game to lose that tension in areas that only require those mechanics.
There are about 50 short levels in Rain on Your Parade, and many can even be skipped on the path to the end of the game. Even with some of the mechanics lacking nuance, there was certainly opportunity to create engaging levels that combined mechanics in interesting ways and forced me to be tactical and think about my limited water use. However, this was never really the case. Almost every level was designed more to be funny or to be a quirky pop-culture reference instead of a well-designed video game level.
Besides lacking interesting or thoughtful set-ups to challenge me, some levels were even more baffling as I simply could not fail them. The only tension in the game was the limited water resource and so many levels gave a way to regain water, meaning I was left to just move around the map and rain and storm on everything until I hit what I needed to. Time limits on levels would have added at least the lowest bar of a challenge to keep gameplay engaging. Some levels only asked me to rack up as much property damage as possible, but gave no minimum damage necessary, meaning simply quitting out of the level got me through to the next stage. Tornado levels could still be interesting, but play out like less interesting or fun versions of Katamari.
Of course, the real challenge of the game comes in hitting the “hidden objectives” from each level. Every level consists of one or two objectives that need to be accomplished to move on. These are usually the easy, with secondary objectives sometimes taking some more thought and hidden objectives requiring some experimentation or a google search to uncover. The new game plus option in this game gives the choice of taking on each level while avoiding a cardboard sun which drains the cloud’s water. This is an interesting mechanic that adds a lot to many levels though it only exists in a couple of levels until the new game plus, which is just bizarre.
Moving from level to level throughout the map is simple and going through them will unlock the additional weather abilities that can then be used to uncover secrets in the previous levels.
The story of the cloud is being told from a grandfather to his grandson over a few cutscenes. The cloud then progresses to eventually encounter the protagonist Dr. Dry Spell who players will face off with a few times over the course of the game. There truly is not much story, and again, instead of story-driven levels the game focuses more on pop-culture references from other video games, movies, and shows. If these quirky levels were also used to tell a story that would have been much more interesting, but they are not. The game just throws these references and jokes in as an attempt to get a cheap laugh from the player. The game wants to be liked and to be talked about, and to be comedic (calling humans “hoomans” etc), but these shallow quips are not enough to disguise a poor game with no interesting story or levels of its own.
Going through the new game+ might add some enjoyment to this short game as it offers a bit more of a challenge, but I was so bored by the gameplay of the main campaign that I would rather not continue further. For achievement hunters looking to 100% the game, though, that should prove to be a short and easy task.
The great thing about indie games is they can explore ideas and gameplay mechanics off the beaten path of proven successes. This game does so, giving players the power to storm over landscapes and people to cause a havoc. The premise has potential, but the execution is poor. The mechanics lack depth and the levels lack thoughtful design, innovation, or a compelling story. The game looks and plays like a mobile game but lacks the addictive sensation or fulfillment of beating a tough level.
Rain on Your Parade is a short game, but it is still not worth the time. This game has an interesting premise and tries to be funny in its writing and pop-culture references, but none of the gameplay or experiences underneath are worthwhile. There may be some fun to be had by younger audiences, but even for those players there are better options elsewhere.
Poorly designed stages
Forced pop-culture references