Rain World follows the travels of a creature called a “slugcat” (which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like) as it struggles to survive in a grey, grimy, industrial world. Despite that unhappy description, it's a surprisingly beautiful game, and in a year-end “holiday update” on Kickstarter the developers say they're continuing to expand on that with “two huge late-game regions filled with unique creatures and art.”
The Rain World team says in the update that the map, a relatively new addition to the game, is still in an early graphical state but is otherwise fully functional. Interestingly, they don't want players to have it open all the time as they explore, so they've worked in a mechanic that's meant to make it function more like visual memory: Slugcat must find a safe place to hide, and then concentrate on where it's been in order to visualize its surroundings. (You can see the system in action starting at the 1:50 mark in the video.)
The video also reveals the new “food UI,” which better indicates slugcat's hibernation requirements, and shows off some work-in-progress scavenger animations. In all, it looks very promising, although unfortunately there's still no word on when the game will be released. At this point it seems unlikely that Rain World will make the hoped-for six-month target that developer James Primate mentioned during our PAX Prime interview with him in September, but the update hints that a date will be announced soon, “as we go down this final stretch.”
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.