PC, Nintendo Switch
April 15, 2021
Rain on Your Parade is a slapstick comedy game developed by Unbound Creations where you play as a mischievous cloud determined to ruin everybody’s day. It showcases a wide range of levels while unlocking new abilities and mechanics that get progressively more ridiculous. You’ll travel across the world, inventing new ways of causing chaos and mayhem. Turn a perfectly dry and sunny wedding day into a wet one, unleash thunder and lightning upon the cities, bring pandemonium to supermarket shoppers, destroy farmer’s crops, sneak around military bases and rain down meteors on dinosaurs! Yes, not even the dinosaurs are safe!
Initially, I was drawn to Rain on Your Parade. The game was reminiscent of Untitled Goose Game, an absolutely brilliant game that I thoroughly enjoyed. Although instead of roaming the village as a horrible goose, causing mischief and mayhem, I would instead be raining chaos as an adorable cardboard cloud named ‘Cloudy’. Neat! Each level comes with a set of objectives to achieve, but that is about where the similarities end. The mechanics are indeed ridiculous, and you do indeed ruin the ‘hoomans’ day. It does not disappoint in that department. However, the lack of cohesive design choices did leave me confused and the disjointed gameplay left me wanting more.
Rain on Your Parade opens with the cardboard cut-out of ‘Cloudy’, who’s your controlled chaos machine, as well as an introduction to basic gameplay mechanics. A simple instruction on the bottom right corner tutorialises how to move and rain, there’s also some ‘hoomans’ to annoy and menu choices that can be selected by raining on them. It is worth noting that there are 10 language settings available which is phenomenal for accessibility! I was impressed.
Starting the game brings up an open world map, with levels locked until the previous has been completed. Each level has a set of objectives to complete, usually with no time limit or failure state, making this an easy to access game for all ages. The objectives are diverse in their requests as well, and this is one of my favourite aspects of the game. You’ll find objectives that involve tower defence, score attacks, and challenges. Some really creative and engaging objectives were found scattered throughout the whole experience and it was always a joy to uncover something new and fun. Although sometimes these objectives were a little unimaginative, offering an incredibly basic prompt with no real challenge whatsoever. One objective is simply ‘just paint’, where your rain ability can be used to drop different colours on a canvas. Whilst it was different and showcased the mechanics of the game, I was left wondering what the point was? Or perhaps a better question would be where the challenge was? But then you have some levels which were incredibly challenging! Some took mere minutes to complete, and others took several tries. In no particular order either. It had me feeling like a yo-yo, with a difficulty curve that felt all over the place.
There are some key gameplay aspects that are missing too, like score goals. The game’s levels are often quite fun, but it’s hard to get a gauge of whether you performed well or not. I could get a score of 50 one match and a score of 5000 the next and still pass the level on either attempt. This means the game really lacks replayability without any kind of leaderboard or goal setting, which I think is a big oversight.
As you progress through the 50 levels available in the game, Cloudy unlocks different cloud-like mechanics to help vary the gameplay. These include rain, thunder, lightning, tornados and more. Each ability has a unique interaction with the world and sometimes needs to be strung together cleverly to complete objectives. Some were quite easy to work out, whereas some others left me absolutely puzzled. But this isn’t a bad thing! One level on the moon asks you to make a hot tub. I can tell you I was there for some time before I realised how to do so. It was very much an ‘ah-ha!’ moment and it felt gratifying to figure out a puzzling yet logical solution. One of the cooler mechanics allows you to modify your ‘rain’ ability into oil, acid or even coffee! Dropping oil around and lighting it on fire creates a different kind of chaos, as does raining acid on crops and ‘hoomans’. I do admit I felt a little bad murdering all the animals. It was an accident, I swear! Some levels even have really interesting ways of utilising these rain modifications as optional puzzles to solve. This is something I would’ve liked to see a lot more of because it worked really well.
The game is also very appealing and endearing visually. The art style and overall visual quality is impressive and adorable. To top off the cuteness factor, your Cloudy is also completely customisable. If you have the talent you can draw your own face, change the colouring and add decorations and hats. To acquire more decorations or hats you will need to successfully complete a level. I thought this was cute but it wasn’t something I was particularly compelled to engage with much. I ended up with a purple Cloudy with a froggy friend, but didn’t really go back to change it after the first time. I did try (and failed miserably) to draw a face, but I know there are more artistically engaged individuals who would really enjoy this aspect of the game.
Whilst the game does offer a lot of positives, the characters, cutscenes and overall storyline in Rain on Your Parade was a really big miss for me. I wanted to enjoy it, but it started feeling a little cringeworthy. To start with, the character names were entirely predictable and unimaginative. A frog named Froggy, a bug named Buggy, a cloud named Cloudy, an old cloud named Papa Cloud. Come on. Every interaction with any NPC is also met with far too many written interjections or unimportant waffling that seems to pad out the text unnecessarily. I wanted to care about what the NPCs were saying or to try and understand the underlying storyline the devs were trying to write, but I just couldn’t. I found myself skipping the cutscenes as I wanted to get back to the gameplay. I enjoyed the game when I was actually able to play it but the levels are often short whilst the cutscenes, load screens, and travelling on the map seemed to take up most of your time. The balance is out, it feels disjointed and ruins any attempt at immersion. It left me feeling frustrated and honestly bored at times.
We also need to address the game’s jokes, which are honestly hit or miss. The references and jokes also confused me as to who the target market for this game is. It looks, in passing, to be a game created with a young audience in mind. However, Papa Cloud makes a joke about acquiring abilities through microtransactions, Froggy talks about how he was a famous frog crossing the road, Grandma is constantly talking about how she is ‘old and decrepit’. These are jokes surely aimed at an older age group. So to put it to the test, I got my 12-year-old son to play the game. Straight over his head. There are some really cool level designs based on de_dust from Counter-Strike, Metal Gear Solid and the TV show The Office. Whilst I enjoyed them all, he had no idea about these references either. It certainly didn’t ruin the game for either of us, but it did feel as though the game’s target audience was a bit disjointed.
- Interesting and intuitive gameplay
- Some really creative and fun objectives
- Beautiful art and visuals
- An impressively accessible experience
- Lack of cohesion and confusing storyline
- Spent too much time in load screens and menus
- Missing key elements for replayability
- Unnecessary or forced comedy
Rain on Your Parade does what it sets out to do. It’s chaotic, ridiculous and allows you to ruin the day. The lack of cohesion between target market and style does make this slightly confusing to recommend. However, players of all ages will enjoy the simplistic but enjoyable gameplay. It’s a cute indie game with a great visual style but in many ways it also misses the mark just slightly. It lacks immersion with the jarring and seemingly pointless cutscenes and the jumping in and out of load screens. With a few design changes, Rain on Your Parade has the potential to gain better continuity and appeal to a wider audience. There’s something special and engaging here, but in its current state, it leaves me a little frustrated, confused and expecting more.