Don’t worry, the rain is not here yet. I just couldn’t sleep tonight, so I ended up rediscovering a mad game I remember very fondly, and it seemed to be the perfect game if the rain arrives this week and you start feeling down. It’s called On a Rainy Day, and it’s incredibly simple, and it will take at most 20 minutes to exhaust everything about it. But after doing that, I hope it will have cheered you up. Download it direct from here (PC only I think, sadly). If you want to jump right in and mess about without knowing anything, then play it before reading the rest of this, because I will now try to explain the sheer weirdness of this game, and me for playing it. Spoilers ahoy!
On a rainy day is a game that made in less than two weeks by one person. And it puts you in control of a tree made of hands, growing in a river. It’s raining, and paper boats move across the river from left to right. But sadly, as the rain falls on them they sink before they can cross. You can make your tree of hands bigger by picking up some of the hands that are floating by, each hand you pick up branches into two hands to pick up more hands or umbrellas. Picking up umbrellas allows you to block the rain from hitting the boats. You can give yourself extra motivation to get those boats across by imagining an 8 year kid has built those boats, and how sad he will been if they sank. To be honest, I replace ‘8 year old kid’ with ’19 year old me’ for the same effect.
The game starts with just a few hands and a few umbrellas. Guide a boats across by shielding them from the rain and more hands and umbrellas fall from the sky. Eventually you can make a web of hands that safely protects all the boats from the rain. And then you can use all the hands you are getting to reach the sky and stop it raining. It’s just a delightful little game that is nice to play even when you know how everything works. But when I just randomly found this game, something like 7 years ago now, It was fantastic just doing things for the sake of it and being happily surprised when something happened. I discovered that you can stop it raining by simply wondering: “I’ve protected the entire river, so I have an infinite supply of hands. I wonder how I can reach.” and I got to the top, and it suddenly stopped raining and my hands shook off the umbrellas and applauded.
This is a game that just made me smile at how delightful and silly it all was. Finding it now, in amongst the many links of the internet, and playing it again felt like a tech version of finding an old toy in a cupboard, and though nostalgia may be blinding me, I think it’s still a lovely little game.