RPG games are hit or miss for me, as in, they either hit perfectly and I play them religiously til I’ve finished the game, or they miss and I stop playing after a few hours, but, I’ve never really tried an indie RPG which has a shorter run time before. Would it land somewhere in the middle? That’s why I wanted to give The Rainsdowne Players a try. That and the trailer featured a card game and I’m an absolute sucker for card-based side games.

The Rainsdowne Players has a wide variety of activities to try out, all of which contribute towards rebuilding and improving your rundown theatre. You get to name your two main characters at the start, so I called them Jake and Laura, and together they perform for the public to earn a living. They get paid based on the performance and creative thinking behind it, but the main goal of the game is to discover new ideas to add to your big book of inspirations, or card collection. It all fits together nicely so that you’re encouraged to do a good mix of performing and exploring to discover everything the game has to offer.

Much like this screenshot, the game is very busy

Pretty much everyone you come across can be spoken to and they’ll often have a new card for you to use in your next play. If you use certain combinations in your shows, as hinted at by the characters and a hint book backstage, they may give you further cards as well. Cards are also unlocked through mini-games scattered throughout the town, including fishing, card battles, and sinking toy ships for example, or at least I hope they were toy ships… Anyway, there’s plenty to do, and you can even unlock new venues to perform at as you go.

Speaking of the performances, depending on the venue you’ll be tasked with a different mini-game you must keep up with to avoid being booed off stage. This can be dodging projectiles from the audience, sword-fighting, or singing. I never actually got to try the singing cause for the life of me, I could never find the right time to show up at the karaoke bar to try it. The whole game runs on a day-night cycle, but it’s not made too obvious what times things open at or how long certain activities will take to complete. I do like that the people hanging around swap out at different times though, but it does mean I forgot where I needed to be in order to speak to certain characters, and I’ve been unable to find them since.

I don’t know if I’ll ever find this one missing character… They could be literally anywhere

On the bright side, the people I did manage to find were fun and interesting to talk to. The town is stock full of quirky characters who will suggest silly things for your next play, and trying to tailor your performances to their desires makes for a fun little puzzle. I would like more information from the hint book ’cause I had no idea where to use particular cards sometimes, but I’m glad of the little help it does offer all the same.

So was this game a hit or a miss for me? Well, a bit of both, leaning towards hit. I found the game very charming and fun to play, but the mini-game focused game-play only kept me hooked for a few hours before it started to wear thin. Granted, I was constantly low on money, both in game and in real life, so I doubt I’d make it too far without many more hours of grinding anyway. Overall, it’s cute, fun, and more than worth the surprisingly low asking price.

The Rainsdowne Players was developed by Stephen O’Gorman

Point of Sale: Steam, Switch

$4: Less than a cup of coffee

A review copy was provided by the developer

SteviePatamon has awarded The Raindowne Players the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.