Make it Rain is difficult to categorize. It’s a game for iOS, and it stretches the definition of a game. Though it isn’t the first to do so.
Progress Quest was the first in this genre. It was simpler, though. Think of starting solitaire and watching it play itself except with high scores on an internet leaderboard more accurately measured in minutes hours and days the program has been running than in a score.
Cookie Clicker perfected it last year by adding upgrades and removing the leaderboards to redefine the goal. Not that there is a victory condition or any well-defined end game but you’re nolonger competing against other people who have just been running the game longer. Now you’re just having fun and experiencing the ridiculousness of the game as it changes over time through the upgrades you choose and your score or cookie count increases.
In Make it Rain they’ve simplified the game but I think they’ve lost something in doing so.
The upgrades names and icons in Make it Rain are funny and the game does have some of the same fun in upgrading your production. In this case it is a fountain of dollars instead of cookies. Much like Cookie Clicker theres fun to be had in trying to pick the optimal path through the upgrade tree. There’s even a great new mechanic in that you can metaphorically “make it rain” by swiping increasingly large bills from your virtual money clip.
But a lot of the charm is gone in the unavoidable comparison to Cookie Clicker. It seems like a slide back towards the gameplay of Progress Quest. When I was playing Make it Rain I kept hoping for some point where a meta game or a new addition to the gameplay.
The breaking point for me turned out to be when, after setting my iPhone to remain unlocked on the floor all night, I woke up to a piece of the new gameplay smacking me across the face. The FBI investigation is cute, but when the wheel of justice spins and lands on a penalty a few too many times you may be ready to toss your phone out the window.
The penalties are just too harsh and put your production into a hole it won’t be fun to dig out of.
It is a free-to-play game, and that almost makes the experience worse. It seems like the gameplay is designed to put you into a situation hat you can’t get out of without spending real money.
Maybe the developers will patch Make it Rain to be a little bit more player friendly, or at least weight that FBI investigation wheel towards fun, but right now I wouldn’t recommend the experience.
2 out of 5 robot pimps.