This game is a jam! Love the hi-bit cute art style of the girlfriends. Also the city! Simple. Effective. Fun.
If I had one gripe it would be that the instructions cleary state you should be trying to protect your girlfriend from the rain, but to get the most points you need to get as many raindrops as possible, likely pushing you towards leaving your girlfriend.
This ludo-narrative dissonance had me questioning the games intentions, which quickly lead me down a path of discovery, reflection, and renewal. What if your girlfriend isn’t the other female sprite on screen.... what if the Earth is your girlfriend. This is clearly the intent of the gameplay, increasing your score is a classic motivating mechanic. It is expressed here as an integer, increasing in a y = mx relationship, where m is the number of raindrops hitting the player’s umbrella, and x is 1.
In this reading, we can recontextualize the earth, the rain, and the other human. Assuming a relationship is a positive and supportive one, the earth as the player’s girlfriend is now the Earth. We can think about our blocking raindrops not as preventing the ground from getting wet, but from our selfish choices as a species from damaging the globe’s ecosystems. By using the umbrella, we are encouraged to use our knowledge to take action to reduce our effects on the planet.
What then do we make of the other human? With a clear environmentalist message built, there doesn’t seem to be a need for another human character on screen. But this is where the author’s really define their work’s thesis.
“We should do this work of protecting the Earth, and taking responsibilities for our actions, even if it does not directly benefit humanity” - the developers seem to say.
This assertive stance on environmentalism is sure to ruffle a few feathers, but wrapped up a crisp, cute artstyle, it’s hard not to enjoy Out in the Rain.
With that in mind, I’m gonna have to give it my Game of the Year.