The Portable Rain Machine

  • The smartphone revolution not only opened up a totally new market for apps, it also seems to stimulate developers to come up with new experiments in gaming, art, photography, design, et cetera. Think of the recently showcased Poolga app, which turns your iPhone into a mobile art gallery featuring graphics from upcoming designers. Here I would like to draw your attention to Strange Rain, a dreamy, story-telling game that turns the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a skylight on a rainy day. Created by Erik Loyer and the interactive story-tellers of Opertoon, Strange Rain makes raindrops fall and splatter on your screen, generating melodies, texts and stories.

    “Touch the screen and guide the path of the raindrops, stepping through the notes of an eerie melody as you go. It’s a relaxing, intriguing experience that feels as if you’re holding a living window in your hands. The more you touch, however, the more strange the rain becomes: layered skies, visual anomalies and shifts in speed and color, even the occasional cataclysm if you’re not careful. Before your eyes and beneath your fingers, the familiar becomes strange, and the strange, familiar.”

    The game has three play modes. In wordless mode you can simply enjoy the falling rain, whispers mode makes the falling raindrops turn into words when touching the screen, and story mode incorporates an entire story as every touch triggers a thought. All thoughts tell the story of a man in the midst of a family crisis who has wandered into the rain to collect his thoughts. “His world (…) has gone from familiar to strange, even as his beliefs are following the opposite course.” Interaction of the player helps determine how the story of the man unfolds. Click here to watch a video of Strange Rain.