Rainbow Sea is a gorgeous, free pixel-art Japanese mythology adventure

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If you like Japanese mythology, stories of fickle gods, and pixel art, you’ll want to check out Rainbow Sea, a gorgeous, free adventure game for iOS and Android that’s now available in English.

Created by Japanese indie developer Hinuko Shima (aka Shirokurohitsuji), Rainbow Sea tells the sometimes funny, sometimes bittersweet story of a human who wakes up on a mysterious treasure ship that’s home to the Seven Lucky Gods. Chosen to become a god herself, the girl spends a year aboard this ship, getting to know the other deities and developing her relationships.

Rainbow Sea uses a combination of isometric pixel art and hand-drawn character portraits (by Harafha), with its stories unfolding through a mix of life simulation game and visual novel. How you spend the limited time available to you each day, who you choose to interact with, and what you choose to say in your conversations all affect how the story plays out and the Lucky Gods’ impressions of you.

There are over 100 different events to uncover with various different unlock conditions, and 22 different endings. It seems lying plays a big role in the game: almost every dialogue choice includes (clearly marked) lies as options, with the choice of when to lie and when to tell the truth being a key factor in how your relationships with the lucky gods develop.

Rainbow Sea is available for free, with in-game ads to access various functions like clues on how to unlock different events. From the little bit I’ve played so far, the ads seem very non-invasive, tied solely to optional features. There’s no paid content at all, but anyone who wants to support the developer can do so by donating through PayPal. By donating 550 yen or more (about NZD $7 / AUD $6.50), you can also get access to a complete walkthrough for the game.

Here’s a full overview of Rainbow Sea, from it’s Google Play store listing:

Rainbow Sea is an adventure game with beautiful character designs, isometric pixel-art, nostalgic chiptune-flavored music, and a sometimes funny, sometimes sad story. You can clear this in a couple of hours, but you can play it again and again as the story changes depending on your choices and actions, and there are many ways to reach a single ending.

The player spends a year as Human, chosen to be a god, nurturing relationships with the Seven Lucky Gods aboard the treasure ship. You can move freely around the ship by tapping the screen. By talking to the Seven Lucky Gods, you can get their affection. New events will occur under certain conditions such as winning their affection, weather, and events you have seen so far. There are over 100 different types of events. You can find the conditions of each event by watching advertisements, so it is easy to find.

Not all of the Seven Lucky Gods characters will open up to you right away, and as you interact with them, you’ll start to see what they’re up to. You’ll start to see what they’re dealing with, and since many of them won’t reveal their true colors until you get to know them, you may find yourself going through the game with a somewhat unsettled feeling. In addition, Rainbow Sea allows you to lie, so you can hide your true feelings from the Seven Lucky Gods and change the course of the story. You can enjoy character designs that greatly reflect the personalities of each of the Seven Lucky Gods, music which is like a fusion of Japanese style and chiptune, and a bittersweet scenario.

We are also planning to update the character graphics and pixel-art animation in the near future.

Rainbow Sea originally came out in Japan in January this year, before getting its English release (through a translator, it’s worth noting—this isn’t a machine-translated effort!) on June 5. It’s available for iOS and Android.

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About Author

Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.