It's a beautiful day in Seattle and you're a jerk cloud. No this isn't the next Untitled Goose Game, but Rain On Your Parade - a new game from developer Unbound Creations - where you play as a cloud who just wants to ruin everyone's day. But, if you like being a horrible goose, you'll find a lot of similarities here, especially when it comes to the playfully evil sense of humor and being creatively chaotic.
This is a tale told through a grandma's story to their grandchild. A time-old tale of a cloud that just wants to find the mythical land of Seattle, where the fables say a cloud can roam wherever - and rain on whoever - it so wants. But it's not just a simple case of floating on over to the big city, little Cloudy has to get there first.
And it starts with a wedding.
It's hard to describe the pure glee you feel when raining down giant drops onto an unsuspecting wedding party, bride, groom, and entire congregation. Little Cloudy literally rained on their parade with an almost caustic grin on its face. It's a simple joy at first, just raining down on people, but it's the game's ability to get inventive with a pretty simple premise that's its real power.
Each of the game's 50 levels gives you a certain number of objectives to work through in order to clear the level. For the wedding, it was to soak the bride and groom, along with all the other 'hoomans', and knock down all the chairs. But, later on, completing tasks will require a little detective work as you explore the level to find specific areas or hidden items. Working out how to complete a task is just as delightful as the level designs themselves, whether you're realizing you can turn Cloudy into a portable coffee maker to rain down liquid energy into awaiting mugs or setting a warehouse alight with your trails of oil.
Pry closer into many of the levels though and you'll discover there are secret objectives to be found too, often linked to items or characters in a level. It's these that really highlight Rain On Your Parade's creativity, especially when you start to unlock additional weather powers as you progress through the game. That's right, inspired by the fact the grandchild is starting to find Cloudy's story a little dull, our fluffy protagonist eventually unlocks additional three additional powers alongside the wet stuff - tornados, snow, and lightning strikes. You'll quickly learn how to start combo-ing up the various abilities to really start messing with passersby, meaning no one is safe from the Cloudy wrath - especially not that guy under the metal bus stop.
While Rain On Your Parade might not be the longest game, the sheer variety presented within the Rain On Your Parade's circa four-hour run time is honestly staggering, with few ideas used more than once and levels pulling from plenty of different source materials including games like Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hills, and Katamari Damacy. There's even a lengthy Zelda-inspired level that is truly brilliant. I found myself regularly chuckling away at the developer's impressive ability to combine the weather-based gameplay with other genres and mechanics. It means that Rain On Your Parade continually surprises with its plethora of ways to have fun - and reign down chaos on unsuspecting hoomans.
It gets even more bananas when the story introduces a weather-hating antagonist too, by the name of Doctor Dryspell, who you'll need to vanquish if you ever want to reach Seattle. He'll arrive with his weaponry and sunglasses-wearing goons to take out with the power of weather, in a series of brilliantly bizarre encounters that are less 007 and more H207.
And did I mention that you can do all this while making your Cloudy don a variety of different outfits, including a face that you can draw on yourself with a steady mouse cursor or controller stick? Nothing like watching a tiny cloud literally strike fear into people rocking a crude handlebar mustache and jaunty eyebrows I drew on myself (badly).
Outside of my artistic capabilities though, Rain On Your Parade is a visual delight too, with its brand of weather-based mayhem wrapped up in cardboard aesthetic, with moments that break the fourth wall with aplomb and always ensure a big grin is plastered on your own face - hopefully not hand-drawn though.
Rain On Your Parade is out now on PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One - and is also available on Xbox Game Pass.