Rain World might look a bit different than more prominent ‘ecogame’ examples but exhibits a few design decisions that stand out among other digital games and raise pertinent issues:
- Destabilizing anthropomorphism. The game exclusively features non-human protagonists and antagonists; moreover, while the in-game creatures are inspired by real-world counterparts (e.g. spiders and birds), they are all fantastical with imaginative visual features and dynamic behaviors.
- Experiencing ecosystems. Rain World features one of the most complex in-game ecosystems in any digital game (probably outside of the simulation game genre). It employs defamiliarization as players cannot (fully) rely on their experience with real-world flora and fauna but need to observe and learn about the fictional world as they move forward.
- Bambi effect: The slug cat protagonist is designed to make players want to protect it (while many opposing creatures look horrifying, making it ostensibly less problematic to hurt and kill them.
- Critical Dystopia.