DescriptionCity Rain is a strategic, ecological city planning simulation combined with timed falling block puzzle gameplay. The game is set in a future where environmental challenges demand drastic measures. This led to the formation of the Rescue and Intervention Non-profit organization (R.A.I.N.), created by the World Environment Protection Agency to help maintain and enforce environmental laws, and confront multinational conglomerates. Players start as a new employee with R.A.I.N. With the help of Catherine, a partner who provides hints, the player is gradually introduced to increasingly difficult challenges.
The game environment is shown as an isometric board of tiles. In each stage the player needs to complete a number of goals, such as building specific structures, cleaning waste, or raising money for research. While the gameplay is similar to a simplified version of SimCity, a fast element is introduced. New buildings drop down from the top of the screen and the player only has a limited amount of time, but more than ten seconds, to select a location on the field. Each "block" can be rotated to choose between different buildings such as schools, residences, factories, hospitals, police stations, and more. Certain buildings can be stacked multiple times to upgrade their level. During certain turns the player is forced to drop down four buildings at once in a set pattern, due to planning regulations.
Each decision by the player alters six main parameters: sustainability, jobs, health, leisure, security and education. Safeguarding security is for instance achieved by constructing police stations. Money is earned through the economy, but influenced by the chosen buildings. Residences and schools deduct money per round, while factories bring in revenue, but with ecological consequences. After a while, special buildings such as fire stations and recycling sites can be bought in a separate screen. The game's main campaign mode is divided into different levels. The player only has a limited amount of rounds to complete the challenges to progress. With each level, all previous work is generally reset.
Next to the campaign mode, there is quick play where different starting parameters can be defined. The third mode, blockmania, does away with all missions. The player simply needs to build a city by quickly putting down buildings in defined patterns. The buildings can be rotated to upgrade existing ones, but overlapping a wrong one destroys it. When too many buildings are destroyed, the game is over. To score, buildings need to be upgraded until a certain amount is met.
This commercial version is a reworking of a student game. It contains a new story plot and dialogs, profile management, a music soundtrack, updated AI and gameplay changes, online scoreboards and customizable settings.
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Related Web Sites
- Ovolo: City Rain (project page on the publisher's website)
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