Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
And Then it Rained is exactly the experience it wants to be. It brings together the most peaceful aspects of both organic life and rigid technology to create a harmonious Zen cyborg of a puzzle game. Its heavy hippie aesthetic may not be for everyone, but there’s no denying how well it pulls it off.
At the beginning of each round, players have seven colored squares representing empty towers. And then it rains. As rectangular raindrops of different colors fall from the sky, players must drag the towers so that the right drops land in the right buckets. Towers grow as they collect water and shrink if they get the wrong kind. If a tower shrinks too much it’s game over. Players can tap on forming rain drops to speed up their descent, but once they’re forced to manage multiple falling drops at once, the normal pace of the game provides more than enough challenge.
It’s a simple yet original hook, and the game gets a lot out of it through the nearly 50 campaign missions. Tasks like trying to survive for a certain period of time or collect so many drops in a row encourage players to understand the intricacies of the system. For example, dragging boxes around changes the order of the boxes they leave in their wake. Knowing how other boxes will be shifted ahead of time can be quite useful during speedy rearrangements. Players can also tackle quick play mode, but since that has players filling each tower to the brim rounds usually last longer than most missions.
What really brings And Then it Rained all together though is its new age, trippy, and tranquil art style. With its minimal lines, soft translucent neon colors, and thin sans serif font, it almost looks like someone turned iOS 7 itself into a game. Little animation details, like square raindrops contracting like water before falling, help sell the game’s vision of nature’s serenity as abstractly seen through digital order. Immersive ambient sound effects complete the peaceful package. The only slight issue is that players in a hurry might mix up white and grey raindrops.
Nothing rewires the brain like a good puzzle game. Some will transform players into fine-tuned, problem solving machines. Others, like And Then it Rained, just want them to slow down and enjoy the view.