Strange Rain By: Erik Loyer
Strange Rain is a piece of electric literature available in the app store that offers only a dampening setting throughout the whole narrative. Raindrops fall on the reader’s screen with changing perspectives of the sky as you tilt your device in different directions. Wherever the reader decides to hold his finger down, the rain will only drop there.
There are three different modes to develop the story. The first mode only displays rain drops when holding down a finger. The second mode displays words when holding down a finger. The third mode displays sentences when tapping the screen and phrases as the reader drags past the screen. It’s a melancholy yet intriguing experience that feels as if you’re holding a living window in your hands.
As the story of a man dealing with a car accident involving his family continues, the sky becomes more complex and trippy. The rain begins to fall differently and the skies start to have layers.
An interesting and difficult aspect of the work is when a thought appears on the screen. You can hold and drag your finger to elaborate on that thought, or tap again to bring up a new one, but once you’ve elaborated a specific thought to its end, you don’t get to go back ever or see it again.
The story can also get frustrating because you always feel this sense of never completing it. Although there are multiple checkpoints, you feel like there is no definitive ending, but Strange Rain seems to be so much about the lack of resolution that it seems inappropriate to complain that it doesn’t ever wrap up into the usual conclusion. So while the protagonist does reach some sort of temporary conclusions about his emotions and plans, they are erased as quickly as they’re discovered, and he returns to a state of suspension and doubt. Maybe that’s why Loyer made the background rain, because rain washes away as quickly as it comes and is a sense of purification.