Art Of The Game: The crushing disappointment of a game that looks better than it plays

In Art Of The Game, Nick Wanserski explores how visual design shapes video, tabletop, and role-playing games.

I was so eager to try Rain World, the recent debut game from the four-person team at Videocult, that I snatched the chance to play it away from A.V. Club Internet Culture Editor Clayton Purdom. I had only seen some preview coverage of it, but how could I resist? It looked amazing! A shifting palette of colors dappled the screen like the shadows cast by clouds on a rolling landscape. Impressionist monuments stood alongside neglected technology hung in a perpetual mist so evocative you could almost smell the petrichor. And the whole experience is anchored by the Slugcat—the name of the adorable amphibian-feline creature you are tasked with navigating safely through this strange, damp world.

Then I played it, and man, did I hate playing it.

Image: Videocult

It looks great …

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