Strange Rain

App review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Strange Rain App Poster Image
Unique experiment in storytelling with serious themes.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Simply tap on the screen, in various ways, and read the text.

Violence

The app's Story mode references a car accident, which might be disturbing for some.

Sex
Language

Other than the word "freakin' idiot," there aren't any other offensive words.

Consumerism

In the About section of this app, there is an option to tap the words "More from Opertoon," which opens up the option to download another app from this author.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The Story makes reference to "powerful meds in her system," following a family member's surgery.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Strange Rain is an experiment in interactive fiction. In the main game mode, the player taps on the screen to read a story about Alphonse, a man who stands outside during a rainstorm pondering questions connected to life, death, purpose, commitment, forgiveness, and faith. The author asked iTunes to warn downloaders of "Infrequent Mild/Mature Suggestive Themes" because the Story mode discusses a car crash and the subsequent recovery, grief, and questioning of one's religious beliefs. While not direct, some users' comments mention subtle suicidal undertones in the protagonist's distressed thoughts. But there are no other inappropriate words, themes, or images in this app.

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Is it any good?

It's not just that rain appears to fall onto your iPad screen – from the inside – that makes STRANGE RAIN a strange app to play around with. It's because this best-selling download is also part poetry, part artwork, part game, part interactive music experiment, and part relaxation tool. Erik Loyer's app lets you choose from one of three main modes: Wordless (simply relax to the sights and sounds of the falling rain, with ambient music); Whispers (tap the screen to see rain-related words accompany the raindrops); or Story (the most interesting of the bunch, as your interaction with the screen is tied to the narrative). The Story mode tells of a man who wanders outside in the rain to recall the events of a car accident and the family members affected. While the written thoughts repeat themselves often, the "game" portion allows your interaction with the screen to help reach the next portion of the story -- and figure out when the narrator can come in from the rain. Strange Rain is strange indeed, but it proves to be a unique and compelling story-telling experiment.

App details

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