Played on Xbox Series X
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of hoomans at their grills;
Outside their homes, beneath the trees….
Let’s go rain on everything.
I don’t know about you, but there’s something relaxing about playing video games when it’s pouring down and the weather is generally unpleasant. You can go on all sorts of adventures and achieve the impossible, live new experiences – save the world – all from the comfort of your sofa.
But Cloudy, our hero in Rain on Your Parade, just wants to visit Seattle, probably because he’s a big fan of the rain. The story of this heroic raincloud, such as it is, is told via some amusing cutscenes as a grandfather regales his grandson with the tale of the little raincloud that could.
The game is a fairly bright, colourful and simple affair – control Cloudy on his journey, travelling from level to level via a 3D “map world”, unlocking new weather abilities along the way. Each of these levels has a set number of challenges to complete; some are necessary in order to unlock the next level, whereas others are bonus objectives that won’t hinder your progress if you don’t complete them.
Rain on Your Parade is primarily a puzzle game, but there’s some wonderful variation here that should be applauded. Initially, I was sceptical that raining on folks could be entertaining enough to last, but I was surprised at the creativity here.
It’s full to the brim of amusing references to other games; Katamari Damacy, where you use your tornado power to pull everything and everyone into your chaotic vortex (just to help someone do their weekly shop) or Metal Gear Solid, tasking Cloudy with sneaking into a weapons facility and avoiding all the guards to destroy some sort of super weapon. There’s even a wave based Tower Defence style level in there, just because the developers can.
What’s great is regardless of the amusing variety in level design, the core gameplay loop remains the same. You are a cloud, and you can use rain, lightning, snow or a tornado to achieve your objectives throughout. You have to monitor how much water you expel, but you can hover over water sources to soak up a new supply, presumably via evaporation.
The game also throws in some great customisation. Not only can you design your own version of Cloudy by drawing your preferred facial design, you can also wear a variety of hats and accessories, doled out at the end of each level. Some even provide extra sound effects, like the guitar which produces some neat crunchy feedback when you’re flying around.
As an adult, the silliness and humour had me smiling throughout, but if you’ve got kids, while they may not fully understand some of the references here, they will have an absolute blast going from level to level. Be it ruining someones special day, persecuting a weatherman, setting fire to a birthday party or raising an army of the undead, there’s a lot of fun to be had here. I would say it’s not particularly challenging, but the devs provide a new game+ mode, with additional objectives for those who want more of a challenge.
Rain on Your Parade is a wonderful little puzzle game with a lot of heart, imagination and some occasionally laugh out loud moments. While it won’t last forever, there’s more than enough here to enjoy on a rainy day and would certainly bring its own kind of sunshine.