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Indie Corner: Raindancer: A tough indie experience that’s cheap as chips

Written by Gaming

It’s worth bearing in mind before you read any further that Raindancer has a usual price of just 79p, and has recently launched with a 51% discount, bringing it down to 39p. So, at the time of writing, it’s cheaper than a single chicken nugget from McDonalds; a pack of six nuggets averages out at 54p a nugget… This is my kind of saver menu.

Raindancer offers single player and two player, as well as story mode and a more boss-centric Tempest mode: the following review is based only on the single player story mode. With that and an explanation of the price courtesy of the most nuggety, delicious currency, let’s get on with the review.

The first place to start is the obvious Dark Souls comparison. Raindancer sells itself as being Souls inspired, and most of the comments on Steam mention Souls in one way or another. It’s pretty easy to see why: both games share a dark fantasy aesthetic, brilliantly artful enemies, a black velvet soundtrack.

There’s less focus on tactical approaches and attack patterns as there is on timing and taking chances

To top it all off, neither exactly make things easy on you. Having said that, while it looks and sounds like a Souls game, it doesn’t play like one. There’s less focus on tactical approaches and attack patterns as there is on timing and taking chances.

Of the whole Soulsborne series, it bears the strongest resemblance to Dark Souls II. But the game it actually feels most similar to, which isn’t exactly what you think of when you call a title ‘Souls inspired’, is Panda Golf. Not only am I completely serious, but I mean that as a massive compliment.

For the uninitiated, Panda Golf is a cartoonish golf sim where you play as a Panda who must perfectly time their strokes to get the ball on the green. It’s the timing aspect which is crucial here, as that’s what Raindancer’s genius attacking system reminded me of.

Rather than just hack, slash and run away, each attack starts a bar moving from left to right. Releasing it in the sweet spot gives you a critical hit with 150% attack damage.

Considering you go the entire game with a one hit kill, the risk-and-reward feels balanced to perfection.

As you face tougher bosses, you’re left deciding between whether to get in lots of quick, smaller hits or chance your arm for a more powerful attack. Considering you go the entire game with a one hit kill, the risk-and-reward feels balanced to perfection.

As for the bosses themselves, the gloomy direction, moody rainfall and gothic art style wrap around you like twisted vines and pull you in deep.

The soundtrack is gorgeous throughout, whether that be the melancholy, brooding tones of the boss battles or the crunching leaves under your footsteps. The dark fairytale art is to die for, and if you play anything like me, you will. Several times.

…all the bosses feel very similar underneath the lavish artwork.

There are five bosses, all touted as unique experiences. And this is where my one major criticism stems from: they all feel very similar underneath the lavish artwork.

However, the fact that there are no level-ups whatsoever, just perks (called Blessings) you can pick up along the way, make it an engaging and enjoyable experience, even if it is a little short.

Much better than a chicken nugget.

Last modified: 20th November 2019

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