Rainstorm EP is a pleasingly simple game about digging up cassette tapes that have been lost around a rundown car park, and then listening to them as the nighttime rain pours down.
Playing it has made me quite sleepy, so here, take a look (and listen) to a little of it in the launch trailer below.
“The love child of a music box and a snowglobe,” say the developers, which is a good description, though I may betray my always-online tendencies by instead comparing it to one of those lofi hip hop beats endless YouTube playlists crossed with the compelling interactive plinking of the corners of a Hearthstone board.
Fiddling with all the bits of this diorama has a purpose, since it will find you new cassette tapes to listen to, but it will also just make things wiggle satisfyingly. You can spin the whole thing too, so be sure to peek behind the wall where you might find some new tracks hiding out next to the graffiti-decorations and between unspecified bits of rubbish.
“Rainstorm EP is designed to live on your desktop and keep you company while you do other things,” say Ice Water Games. “we’ve released it in the middle of a workday for a reason!”
That means yesterday, of course, Friday being one of those traditional “workdays” that I can’t relate to, but I can say that it’s still just as good company if you’re busy with something on this here Saturday like me. If you don’t queue up another song right away there’s still the buzz of the streetlight and the quiet noise of the rain to fill the space, which is comforting in its own right.
You might know Ice Water Games from their earlier works, of which there are many. Somewhat similar to this is the potted plant simulator Viridi, which allows you to flourish succulents and also a snail friend by checking in now and again. Then there’s survival simulator Eidolon, walking simulator Pattern, and window watcher Tenderfoot.
Though these had different developers and span several genres, they do share some underlying atmosphere that I am rather enamoured with. Even Yule Log, a crackling Christmassy fire generator has the same feeling of quiet, unrushed appreciation of the little things.
Now Ice Water Games has recreated themselves as a “democratically run games label,” which they explain on their blog is “a community of artists sharing resources and an audience within an institution controlled collectively by the membership.” They go into more detail there and while I can’t pretend to know what all of it means, it sounds like a rather nice way of producing more games in this vein while ensuring that everyone involved gets a fair deal.
You can buy Rainstorm EP on itch.io for $3.00.