Kathy Rain is a point and click adventure game developed by Raw Fury Games and it has some decent writing, twists and challenging puzzles to contend with.
The game mainly focuses around a mystery that needs solving and Kathy collects various information, objects and interacts with characters in order to find out more. Kathy Rain is set in the mid 1990’s and sees you play as Kathy Rain, a journalism student currently living with her roommate. Right from the start the game does a good job of instantly setting the tone and humour of the game. Kathy is a girl with no problem saying what she thinks and is often very blunt. The game has good dialogue options and there’s plenty of humour that works on the most part with a few jokes that miss the mark. The story is slow-paced and you begin to learn more about Kathy, the people she meets and the town she lives in as the game progresses.
The main plot and reason Kathy sets out on her journey is because Kathy learns that her grandfather, Joseph Rain, recently passed away and after not seeing her family for many years decides to attend the funeral. This is where she meets her grandmother who tells Kathy about an unfortunate accident that happened to Joseph Rain just after she left leaving him almost dead and in a vegetative state. The game certainly has some mature themes and story elements but the lighthearted jokes and humour help to alleviate these moments.
Kathy sets off to pick up the pieces and learn just what had happened the night her grandfather had his incident. Kathy wants to find out more behind the tragic accident and what actually happened after she left.
Kathy Rain is set in a small town with a cast of weird and wacky characters, and I want to say that the game may look bright and colourful at times but it has some very serious story elements and mature themes. I had no problem with the content of the game but I can see how some younger players may find it unsettling. I also enjoyed the fact the game was set in the 90’s, which had far less technology than we have these days. You will have to use a Dictaphone, search files and make phone calls when you can as you have no mobile phone.
If you have played any point and click adventures, you can pretty much know what kind of gameplay to expect here. You visit various locations and have to explore environments and interact with objects to progress the game’s story. The game is similar to adventure games like Day of the Tentacle in the sense that there are puzzles to solve and these are often done so by combining objects that you find. The puzzles can get particularly difficult at times but the game does a good job of subtly hinting and guiding you in the right direction. If you take the time to look and really think about what you’re doing and how you would act in that situation you will figure it out.
This adventure game focuses a lot more on its story rather than puzzles and gameplay but there’s still enough going on to keep you invested and immersed. The mystery about what caused Joseph Rain’s unusual illness is very intriguing and develops well over the course of the game. The characters you meet are a huge factor in the game and are probably one of the most interesting and well done aspects. Kathy lives with her roommate Eileen, who is very different to Kathy. She is nerdy, hardworking and diligent and its clear that she gets on Kathy’s nerves despite being friends. All of the characters you meet are genuinely well designed and interesting to talk to. I would certainly recommend talking as much as possible to every character, not only because there are some interesting conversations to be had, but it will also give you more insight and understanding to the events that took place and the world around you. That being said Kathy is the most prominent character and she develops the most over the course of the game. I love games that focus on character development and having the chance to slowly find out more about their personality.
The puzzles are pretty simple to start out and often require you to find all of the required items to solve. This can mean talking to certain characters in a particular order to trigger events, like getting a bum in a jail cell to distract the guard in a police station so that you can rummage through classified files.
With adventure games it’s not only important to have a strong narrative and interesting puzzles but you need to have good voice acting and dialogue. Kathy Rain for the most part has good voice acting that kept me interested in what characters had to say and because the game is heavily focused on narrative, diverse characters and interactions we get to learn a lot about each character. I did find that the humour and jokes in the game fell a bit flat but only occasionally and for the most part I enjoyed Kathy’s wit and dry sense of humour. The music is also fantastic throughout and perfectly matches the tone and atmosphere of the game. Its mysterious, quirky and grungy, much like the town and characters in the game.
The world design is also great and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring and felt immersed in that world. Conwell Springs is a small town, with quirky characters and it all feels believable. Whilst being believable there’s still in my opinion an unsettling atmosphere that helps create tension and add to the sense of mystery. There’s not a huge plethora of characters, but each is so well thought out and designed making them interesting to interact with. It’s very much traditional point-n-click adventure with separate scenes that you explore by clicking on objects and moving Kathy around each area.
The game also runs very well, which also helped keep me immersed in the world. The graphics use a modern take on the pixel art style that we have seen in many classic point and click adventures and it works very well here. The world can often be gloomy, dull and downright depressing at times, but in a good way as it adds to the world design, tone and atmosphere of the game.
I was never really a PC gamer until the last couple of years so my experience with point and click adventure games have come recently with the chance to go back and replay some fantastic titles I missed out on like Day of the tentacle and Grim Fandango. I now have plenty under my belt and can say that Kathy Rain is certainly worth giving a go and offers a unique and absorbing narrative. I really did want to learn more about Kathy’s family and what happened after Kathy left. The puzzles are what you would expect from an adventure game and the overall world design is spot on with great characters, interesting locations and absorbing soundtrack. I finished the game in around 9 hours which felt like the right duration for a game like this. The pacing of the narrative works well and kept me wanting to push forward and find out more. I would certainly recommend this game if you like point and click adventure games or like narrative driven games that have slightly darker and mature themes, but still manages to have moments of humour.
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