Few games are as baffling upfront as Soma Games' G Prime Into The Rain. Before anything is explained to the player, they are staring at eight different contracts to sign, with zero context regarding what any of them do. There's text that can be read that gives some background on the situation, but since the game has clearly been developed for PC play, it isn't large enough to read comfortably on a television screen.
Once you've gotten past this clumsy beginning, you're then sat in a cockpit view of a space station with several different monitors that you can choose from. Once again, you're given no instruction as to how you're supposed to navigate this hellish abomination of a main menu, but eventually you figure out that one of the monitors lets you select a mission, and the other takes you to the previously selected area.
After about ten minutes of stumbling around the confusing interface, you'll finally find the game part of G Prime Into The Rain. What Soma Games has constructed is an over-complicated version of the gravity slingshot puzzles we've seen succeed on the mobile market. Each level is an outer space map filled with planets and other giant areas of mass that will affect the gravity of anything near it. The player's objective is to reach predetermined spots on said map and mark them with a small rocket they launch.
It sounds like good fun in theory, but an incredibly poor implementation ends up making these gravitational puzzles more frustrating than satisfying. The first issue is that players are not just deciding the trajectory of where they should launch their rocket, but also the power and another mysterious dial that the game does a poor job of explaining. All of the tutorials are done through voice-only exchanges, so if you're hearing impaired then you will have zero clue what is going on.
Eventually, you'll gain lift off and your rocket will be on its way. You can then briefly change its trajectory by using a boost, but even this necessary component is somehow implemented in the worst way possible. The game inexplicably zooms super close to the rocket once its fired, to the point that you can't tell which way its going or where the other points may be on the map. This makes proper adjustments near-impossible to pull off, and is just a poor viewing experience in general.
Each mission of the game requires the player to hit all of the predetermined markers, but it never indicates how many attempts you get to do so. This leads to frustrating attempts where you'll finally get that last marker you've been struggling with, only to get a failure notice. Any sort of on-screen indication of your progress would've been nice, and instead you're constantly struggling with a lack of information. There also isn't a quick retry button, so if you want to restart a mission you need to exit out into the hub, select the monitor where the missions are, back out again into the spaceship's control area, and then hop back into the mission. It's that needlessly complicated.
You'll eventually get into a groove of solving the game's puzzles, but you never stop fighting the game's controls. Any enjoyment is always fleeting, and a new frustration is just waiting to pop up. For every positive experience, there's always about three more negative ones. G Prime Into The Rain also has one of the strangest difficulty curves that we can remember in a game. The fourth mission the player is presented with ends up being more difficult than the next twenty. It's a baptism by fire, for sure.
If you stumble upon the game's e-manual you'll find an amazing amount of background information on the slightest of details. Every planet has several paragraphs of text describing them, and every corporation (which you choose from at the very beginning of the game) has their entire modus operandi explained. It's cool that so much work went into fleshing out the world, but it's also a major bummer that the story of G Prime Into The Rain is more fully realized than the game you're playing would have you believe.
If you went into the e-manual hoping to make sense of the mechanics, then you'll be sorely disappointed. In fact, the game actually lists its PC controls in the Xbox One version of the game. How this got past certification is one of life's greatest mysteries, but at least you'll know how the game plays via WASD controls.
There's a lot of Christian imagery here. While the story stuff is understandable - your spaceship is called the Ark, etc. - it's a bit strange to see the game's credits begin with text saying "Jesus Rocks." There is also a "Spacefarer's Almanac" that players can view, but it's just a strange billboard showing off stuff the developer likes. This ranges from Christian colleges in Oregon to a 2012 Polygon feature on Christian games. At this point, it's hard to still be baffled by the game, but it always manages to take it to the next level of weird.
G Prime Into The Rain has an interesting concept, but it's also one that has been done much better in other games. What made games like Blast Off successful was that they were simple to pick-up, but had enough depth to keep players hooked. Soma Games' title is the exact opposite as it's overly complicated and makes a terrible first impression. If you stick with it you might find some enjoyment, but one that still doesn't live up to its contemporaries.