Sometimes when a game has a really simple premise, it can end up a little plain. After all, even if it’s a fun idea, doing anything over and over can get old quickly. This is a problem a lot of simple games can run into, but it’s a double-edged sword because continuously adding more mechanics to keep it interesting can have later stages feeling disconnected or overly complex. It’s a rare feat when a game manages to take a simple premise and stretch it into something enjoyable for multiple hours without bogging its players down. Rain on Your Parade is one game that’s absolutely nailed this sweet spot. Over the course of its four-hour playtime, it managed to surprise me over and over by using its incredibly simple premise to its full, wonderful potential.
In Rain on Your Parade, you play as a little rain cloud whose sole goal is to soak people and ruin their days. You’ll use your (occasionally limited) supply of water to spread discontent and ruin picnics across 50 different levels. Each level will have a series of main objectives, like soaking every person, and some bonus objectives to complete if you want the full star rating for that stage. It’s a slapstick comedy full of hilarious surprises, wacky situations, and a cast of memorable characters. And while the comedy is definitely the main draw (or maybe the hats, depending on who you are) what really kept me playing hour after hour was its incredible use of iteration and comedy to keep the levels fresh.
While dumping rain on people for 50 levels might sound alright on its own, the real strength of this game is how they manage to continuously innovate on this concept to expand it into more than the sum of its parts. Let me give you the rundown. Early levels teach you the basics, joyfully soaking people in a park, putting out fires, and growing trees. Pretty simple, right? But early on you encounter a more open level, where you have a wider variety of objectives, like “destroy the wheat field” and “corrode the vehicles”. These are decidedly not water-based tasks. Thankfully you find a radioactive spill in the river behind the farm, whose toxic fumes you can absorb to then rain down on the rest of the area. Oh yeah, this is gonna be good.
Spaced out through the levels are new and terrifying powers for cloudy, that enable fresh ways to harass people. First, you’ll get lightning - a power no one cloud should control. You can use it to zap people, obviously, but it also becomes a method to strategically complete objectives. The people you encounter will try to hide under umbrellas or bus stops, but lightning will scare them enough that they’ll run directly into their doom (getting a little wet, mostly). Snow turns them into little balls that you can launch off of cliffs (non-lethally, they specify due to their E10 rating) or send careening down hills. Each power is another avenue for the game to explore a hilarious new application of its “cloud causing havoc” premise.
It only gets more wild and hilarious from there. If you’re not absorbing oil to start fires at a mean child’s birthday party, you’re stuck in a parody of the office, pouring coffee for your coworkers. Disrupting the water cycle is far from the only thing cloudy is getting up to though, as many of my favorite levels aren’t really about the liquids. When you find out someone is developing an anti-cloud weapon, you’ll encounter a Metal Gear Solid-themed stealth level where you’ll sneak past guards to destroy the tech. I honestly had to pause and compose myself after the intro to the level because I was cackling so hard I kept getting caught by the guards. Other levels include protecting a frog from unwanted prince-hunters or trashing a concert venue. Each one was both a welcome breath of fresh air to keep things fun, but also a hilarious sketch comedy piece I thoroughly enjoyed.
The constant surprises were so delightful that I was genuinely excited for each new area to see what new level they would take it to. In games that are setup similarly to this one, I tend to just play a little at a time, but the first time I sat down to play RoYP I burned through over half of it because it was just that delightful. The game clocked in around four hours for me, with a few levels taking a handful of attempts to get perfect. The only reward for perfectionism are great hats and accessories, so expect to be striving for full completion here. The writing was fun, witty, and unapologetically meta which complemented the gameplay perfectly. The way that they stretched this relatively simple idea into something so exciting and continually fresh is truly such a feat of creativity and design, and I absolutely recommend checking it out.
Rain on Your Parade is available on PC, Switch, Xbox, and Game Pass.