Games of the Year

Rainswept

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Detective Michael Stone arrives in the small town of Pineview to assist the local police force with a seemingly simple case - A couple is found dead in their kitchen. The locals believe it to be a case of murder-suicide, their speculation fueled by rumors of the turbulent nature of the couple's relationship. Is it just small-town gossip, or is there some truth to the rumors? Help Detective Stone, assisted by the driven and empathetic Amy Blunt, discover the truth behind Chris and Diane's story. But be warned: the further he pursues the case, the more his own past shall come back to haunt him. And the closer his sanity will be pushed to the edge. Rainswept is an adventure game - A murder mystery dealing with themes of love, relationships and unresolved trauma. It has been developed by Frostwood Interactive, a studio found by Armaan Sandhu. The soundtrack is being composed by Micamic, the composer behind Harvester Games' excellent 2012 indie title "The Cat Lady"
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Curator page here--> DaRevieweD #158 <-- New review every Weekend
"A Case of The Blues..!!"
Here's The Thing:
You are Detective Stone, called in from the big city to Pineview; an idyllic and peaceful town. Until the presumed murder-suicide that is… Word of foul play not uncommon between the couple and malfeasant backgrounds lead authorities to want to wrap it up ASAP. But Stone and Blunt, his assigned partner think otherwise. So begins a trickling effect, because when it rains, it pours~
PROS;
:) PUTTING IT BLUNTLY~
Almost nothing to the gameplay, it’s a few steps above that of a walking sim but that’s it. In fact, the investigative and poking around front is one of its many facades. Nestled amidst a point-and-click interface but one you can freely run around! The puzzles- if you can call them that, are minimal and the solutions so close by it’s insulting.
But there is still some control, at least it wants you to feel that way by your getting to decide on the order of questions asked, where to go next for your truth-finding and the very rare irreversible dialogue. And of course, interacting with and learning how the residents; some born and raised, others temporary, all came to be there.
Technically there are two endings in its 5-6 hours campaign but one of them is an alternate outcome! Not that the hands free feeling should matter, because you’re in for much emotional investment and meaningful character development down this road. However, the best and most significant worth of your money is transfixed entirely on letting the story play out like rainfall. Going under its faraway and pensive feeling of its small world, which will be elaborated again later~
TIPS:
1) Some scenes can be skipped with “space”
2) Save frequently and carefully with the four slots…
:) WHAT A PINE-VIEW; I’M FINE!
It’s unprecedented to even think I once struggled to favor the game graphically. What with the Kermit style limbs and having mere dots for eyes! But like a certain zealous victim said, there is beauty in everything! And I soon found that to be true in its inviting color paper prose. As well as in the smooth camera pans which not only show how distracting those initial minutiae were but also how big problems can be misperceived.
The impeccably moody, awash with an intense “I don’t want to feel this way” but still be “into it” sound by Micamic was an instant hit. It came down hard with its at times placid tone and then it opened a floodgate of sadness, seriousness and rebelliousness. The sound design as a whole is criminally underrated, giving a cozy, lived-in but weary village vibe. It’s infectious and clingy~
:) COMING OUT OF THE WOODWORK.
Half of what the actual story entails is a coming-of-age, romance story fashioned after nuances of mental illness, finding and thereby losing oneself in the process… I’ve hardly seen a game so comfortable- open to death not since Actual Sunlight (2014) with its candid self-depreciation.
The other half is a coffee-addict, murder mystery in the vein of Twin Peaks (1990) & Lake Mungo (2008) where the long peace has been disturbed. And how the rest are treating said deaths be it grieving, feigning shock or just being in utter dismissal. There is an overbearing “I can’t believe this is happening” mantra throughout.
Again, for characters that don’t appear human they sure have full personalities! The tragically realistic opposites attract couple with their lives ahead of them cut short- whom we learn through flashbacks that love is not all roses. From an innocent meet cute to bumps in the road and how they are then glorified. The stone-cold lead who harbors his own drama-soaked demons. Or the hopeful and optimistic young detective, who can be fearless. Even the inhabitants, as passing their limelight may be get to wax poetic and be deep too~
:) SWEPT OFF MY FEET… AND INTO OBLIVION!
At first, I was immensely bothered by the mismatched lightheartedness till I noticed it’s exactly as intended. The tragedy was meant to be glossed over and how people have both good & bad days. So one instance- bright, happy and without a care in the world, reflected in its surroundings. Then the next, stormy… dark, and seeming like everything is too much to handle. You can’t predict this duality as the circumstance of Chris and Diane exemplifies.
What’s scarier is how rumors are weaved, spun like wildfire and the unseen impacts those go on to wreak. Words are truly so profound; passers-by have their own misguided versions to tell as you walk by. Or how a certain murder gets framed into other narratives like their deaths are appropriated lessons... Is it better to let things remain mysteries or pursued?
What’s worse is escapism indulgence; burrowing oneself in work but having those ugly feelings catch up to you at the most terrible timing. One scene in particular has a possible suicide gleaned but there’s just no way, right? In short, so much more to tell but I'll have you feel for yourself. It's brash, a rush and a crush all at once~
CONS;
:( RAIN ON YOUR PARADE!
What’s left of the negligent gameplay will have you baffled. With vague “task added” indicators really just telling you that the next objective can now be done! Navigating across Pineview is stressful despite its ambient pigments as there isn’t any fast travel possible. And the P&C while on the go makes for a strange pair, next to the deceased couple~
:( PITY-PATTER…
I appreciated what it sought to achieve but couldn’t agree with its direction. There’s really no proper way of shifting blame without grace… As there’s a habit of hurrying things along and put in suspects for the sake of adding numbers. And like a certain protagonist, the fixation on the case made it lose sight of what made it so convincing when it started~
BUGS:
x Dialogue choice mistakenly inputted for another.
x Notebook; pages show same content even after flipping...
x When moving in to speak with someone. Frame skips occurred.
x Blunt suddenly pops up despite going separate ways... Then acts surprised.
x Cutscene; arm flickering.
x Car model flew from the sky and landed on road
x Musician side-quest on repeat...
x Error "no location"; went back to old suspect at garage...
x NPC/Johnny stuck at lamp post. Prompt to talk but nada...!
x Chris skipping frames going down steps
x Text formatted on the fly during bench confession
x Missing character model at pivotal confrontation
x Reloaded game but camera tracking was way off...
NITPICKS:
~ Can't talk anymore after "talk more soon"
~ Minor grammar & vocabulary issues.
~ Even without asking questions; info will be jotted on notebook.
"-And Escape Isn’t Possible? Keep It in The Landscape."
Last Words?
Illusory gameplay? Graphics stripped of beauty standard!? However, it doesn’t skimp on its compelling & lifelike story. Everything from the OST to visuals will pull you down; nothing is set in stone~
If you like games with a heavy story at the center, stuffed with outpouring baggage & frank emotions. If you love arguably simplified yet uncharacteristically gorgeous backdrops complemented with a stirring soundtrack to bring out something strong… This is it waiting for you~
8.8 / 10
Taking a moment to reflect on our time together and really show my appreciation to Bazizen for the key
Don't forget to follow my curator DaRevieweD for more games!!

Review from Steam

Rainswept is a fantastic game with a lot of heart. I already own the game on PS4 but wanted to grab the Steam version to play away from home on my laptop. The game has a great atmosphere with some nice visuals that have a unique cinematic flair to them, the characters are convincing (and likeable!!) with a distinct mysterious Twin Peaks-like feel to them. Puzzles are just right, not too challenging that you'll be googling for a walkthrough but not so easy that it feels like the game is holding your hand.
Overall would highly recommend, definintely worth the asking price!

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