Rain of Reflections: Set Free – No Child Policy

Rain of Reflections is a point & click adventure game with combat in turn-based mode. It was released by the Swedish developer studio Lionbite Games back in 2019. It was supposed to be a three chapter thing, but thanks to low interest, the game got unfortunately abandoned. So we only got chapter one, which of course has the game ending on a major unresolved cliffhanger. I have owned this title for a while now, I think I got it for one euro or something ridicules like that, and I thought it might be time to give it a go regardless of finished status. I’m not regretting that decision, the only regrettable thing here is that it wasn’t completed.

In the future, when humans can no longer have children, the last naturally born child have been imprisoned and experimented on to solve this cataclysmic event. You play as Wilona, a scientist involved in the research of this child, and I guess she has some kind of crisis of conscience because with the help of her friend decides to spring the child from the life of being a lab-rat. The only thing we have to go on here from Wilonas perspective is that this child “must be set free”, there is no real motivation to why what I picked up at least. I just assume she is doing this out of a moralistic viewpoint. The setting is dystopia, but not apocalyptic. Humanity now lives under some kind of corporate ruling, with cops ushered out for a private army style of security force. It’s all very sleek, and cool looking, at least where the rich people live, and as dystopias go, the regular folk, the poor people, are living in the gutter of the city. It’s atmospheric, and while I think the dialogue works, it’s very spartan, and a little drone-like, but that could be explained by the setting itself. And that it’s made by Swedes, we are not the most social of people out there, so it wouldn’t surprise me if that gets reflected on the characters.

Moody, atmospheric, my kind of place!

Gameplay wise, Rain of Reflection is very fascinating. You could say it’s separated into three segments. First we have the point & click adventure part with you having to click around to inspect items, move and such. Then we have the turn-based mode, which takes place in combat, and finally the hacking mini-games for when you need to hack computers and other things. The point & click works like any other game of this genre, but the turn-based mode stands out. When you are fighting others, you are not initially out to kill them – so shooting at them, and even taunting them has a negative effect on their morale, which kinda works like a health-pool. When your enemy has been demoralized enough they will make an attempt to flee, and it’s at this point you can shoot to kill them, or just let them go. And for a board-game style approach to TB, this actually works great and are much more interesting than say nuXcom.

Sweet looking terminal

What this also adds to the game is a sense of connection to the narrative. Usually you have to murder tons of people in games, and the story very seldom reflect this. With a system like this, having the enemy flee when outmatched you can avoid having your protagonist become a mass-murderer. I would of course prefer a more realistic style to the combat, but for what it is, it was very entertaining indeed. Not to forget, it’s also very stealth based, so you don’t actually have to fight at all if you are clever. You can stealth past all encounters, keeping your conscious even cleaner.

Then we have the hacking, which seems to solve every issue in this world, well, if you got the knowledge. The mini-games are surprisingly fun, especially the “ball” one where you have to guide a ball into a hole, with momentum management and everything. Who knew hacking would look like labyrinth in the future?

Sound effects, background noise, and music are all well-done. Nothing that really stands out, except one tune that from what I can gather was specially made for this game:

It’s really damn good, been listing to it on repeat for a while now, but it seems everything in this project, even the nice music, never really stood a chance. I wonder what happened here? Was it because of no marketing, too high price point? I mean, the game is very short, and looking at gg.deals it looks like it cost around twenty euro when it was first released. Might be a bit much for a three-hour adventure. Yes, the game is very short, but does have some differences on repeat play-troughs, not sure if that is enough, though.

I liked it, simple as that, but I also paid next to nothing for it. Even so, it’s sad that we won’t get to see how the story ends, or get more of this excellent TB-system. The visuals do also stand out, textures and such only lose some detail on very close zoom. Otherwise, the game looks fantastic, with credit to both style and technical aspects. A real shame it is.

Thanks for reading.

/Thomas

PS. The references to P. D. James and Philip K. Dick were not lost on me!


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