Point-and-Click is one of those genres I never got comfortable with. I have tried a number of Point-and-Click adventures masquerading as visual novels throughout the years, and due to some reason or the other, only a very few of them managed to make a mark in my perspective. But, that didn’t prevent me from delving into the genre. Rainswept is one of those games, which caught my attention despite being a Point-and-Click adventure. But, does it end up being just another visual novel, or is it a hark back to the 90s? Let’s find out.
Gameplay & Mechanics
Like most Point-and-Click adventures, there isn’t much to do in Rainswept. However, it is not just a mere Point-and-Click game. The game has decent interactivity in the form of a controllable protagonist, and different interactive options for the various items present in the environment. The gameplay sticks to a pretty old school style and doesn’t try to do much. But, most importantly, it does what it does pretty well. For instance, the gameplay is really well complemented by the narrative. While that might sound pretty obvious for a visual novel, it is something which a number of visual novels fail to nail down. I have played a number of visual novels wherein the gameplay feels pretty out of place for the story, and even if they deliver a good narrative, a game without good gameplay, is…, well, far from being a game.
However, Rainswept has pretty decent gameplay up its sleeves to complement the intriguing narrative. Much of the gameplay revolves around talking with people and collecting stuff/evidence to crack down the mysterious murder. There are a few puzzles which are pretty easy to get through but offer some different stuff to do just for a change. One of the flaws that the gameplay suffers from, is the lack of player involvement. As in, when players gather evidence by investigating the entire environment, figuring out what the evidence means is something the players have no control. The protagonist himself narrates the conclusion drawn from the evidence found, and it does feel a bit out of place and immersion breaking. However, given that it is a visual novel with sole emphasis on story, this is something too far fetched to expect from a game like this.
Keeping the minor flaws aside, the gameplay is pretty good. Given the experience I had with visual novels in the past, Rainswept’s gameplay is pretty good. While it does stick to a pretty old school styled gameplay, it has bits of variations for a change, and at the end delivers a pretty decent, immersive experience, and complements the dark themed narrative of the game pretty well.
Story & Narrative
Rainswept’s story is engaging, intriguing and relatable although a bit disappointing. The story essentially revolves around a murder incident of Chris and Diane, a couple who recently moved into town. Players play as Detective Michael Stone, who arrives at Pinewood to investigate the murder. While the rest of the policemen and the neighbours consider it as a done and dusted case of domestic assault and murder. While the rest of the people have a pretty firm opinion that Chris killed Diane and then committed suicide, Michael refuses to believe it since evidence pointed towards the fact that Diane was killed at really close range.
The narrative is pretty decent and unlike the story, it doesn’t have cliched sections. The narrative mixes things up by incorporating multiple themes. We see things in a flashback from the couple’s perspective from time to time. That gives us a subtle insight into their life. The other two themes involve the whole investigation and a series of hallucinations Detective Stone witnesses, owing to his dark past. The story also adds some strong moments from the couple’s life, which add to the surprisingly emotional moments in the game.
Overall, the story is pretty decent. There are a number of cliche moments, but they are well overshadowed by the emotional, and intriguing elements of the game. For a short 3 to 4 hour experience, Rainswept’s story pretty much does it job really well.
Graphics, Performance & Sound
The game’s art style is appealing, if not unique. The striking feature of the art style is that its really well detailed in a pretty specific fashion. Much of the game has a pretty gloomy and dark colour scheme, and that is pretty well in song with the game’s dark theme. Animations are a bit janky at times, but it doesn’t feel out of place.
We played the game on a PC with the following specifications:
- Ryzen 5 2600 @3.9 Ghz
- 8GB DDR4 3000 MHz RAM
- WD Green 240gb M.2 SSD
- Gigabyte GTX 1060 3GB OC
The game ran flawlessly and there were no bugs or performance issues whatsoever. The OST of the game is simply phenomenal. It isn’t something that would grab your attention the first time you listen to it, but the gloomy and at times uplifting theme it adheres to ensures that it complements the very theme of the game exceedingly well.
Rainswept is a pretty decent Point-and-Click Adventure. If you’re looking for a game with an intriguing and emotional storyline, with some dark elements and isn’t much bothered by sub-par gameplay, you will not be disappointed by Rainswept. Ignoring the few shortcomings, it’s a short, crisp and memorable experience.