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Bringing the Rain Reviews
Reviewed by Sam Kabo Ashwell
Bringing the Rain was written
under the narrow coding restraints of the ADRIFT EvenComp. (In this case, 8
rooms, 12 objects, 14 tasks, 2 events and 4 characters.) It tackles these
restraints with a heavily linear structure and essentials-only approach to
scenery, thus managing to get in a rather longer plot than the constraints would
It's a fantasy quest minus the swords, a third-son kind of story. Your town is
suffering a prolonged drought, the witch Melda is holding the town to ransom,
and you need to bring the rain back.
At its outset, the game presents you with two courses of action: investigating
Melda, or going straight to Feather Mountain. If you go to Feather Mountain
first, the story assumes that you've already taken the other path and found an
important item. The bug isn't fatal, but it is pretty disruptive. Travel is
often described in static room descriptions, and room descriptions don't reflect
things you've taken or destroyed. Scenery implementation is very limited; this
is largely due to the comp constraints, but it does make for a moderate amount
of pointless frustration. Apart from this, the correct action is usually obvious
and the story flows easily.
The writing is competent but not striking, and the story feels much the same
way. It's a very basic plot; that isn't inherently a bad thing, but I came away
feeling unsatisfied. Having conceived of its basic story, Bringing
the Rain doesn't really add
anything to it; the wicked witch is as wicked as you'd expect, the protagonist
is thinly characterised, the challenges are unchallenging. I began to be a
little irritated with the wicked-witch-is-wicked plot, but it's fairly clear
that the story isn't interested in trying to make any kind of ethical point.
Everything feels adequate and un-elaborated, which is acceptable in individual
elements as long as they're in service to something. In this case, I think the
author's interest lies in big dramatic spectacle: the
great avalanche, the exhilaration of flight, the elemental power and beauty of
the gryphons. This is a
difficult kind of effect to render in a non-graphical format, particularly an
interactive one; if the most interesting elements of an IF piece are in the cut
scenes, it's worth considering whether it needs to be IF.
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