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Kathy Rain (PC) artwork

Kathy Rain (PC) review

"I hope that this title is only the first in many more games starring Ms. Rain."

Kathy Rain is the type of game that didnít have to do much to make me want to play it. Itís a point and click game where you play as sassy Kathy Rain trying to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding your grandfatherís death. Itís a point and click detective game with a female lead plus retro pixel graphics; on the surface, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. However, upon delving into the game itself I found myself a bit conflicted. Everything about the game is top notch, from visuals to voice acting. The gameplay is smooth as are the controls, itís the story that lumbers. Depending on a playerís taste, it will be either hit or miss.

I admit when I jumped into this I was eager to play a detective game, working along with Kathy to figure out clues and solve the mysteries. The first half of the game does indeed invoke this tone. Youíre in control of Kathy Rain, a journalism major who has a bit of an attitude problem. Despite being a college student, Kathy doesnít seem to ever go to class, instead opting for being lazy and partying so she has ample time to be a detective on the side. She learns from her roommate, who is the complete opposite to Kathy personality-wise, that her grandfather has passed. Kathy becomes determined to figure out what happened to her grandfather, finding clues to his past as a war veteran as well as the shady history of the town he lived in. With a quick wit and a sharp tongue, we help our hero investigate the situation, finding out that it extends even farther than just dear old granddad all while learning more about Kathyís troubled upbringing and family issues.

Kathy Rain (PC) image

And then things got weird. While I had a suspicion things would take a supernatural twist, I was hoping that they wouldnít, but they do. Around halfway through the game it becomes clear that this isnít just a simple detective story, there is something other-worldly happening. I wonít spoil exactly what it is, however I couldnít even if I wanted to. The ending of the game left me very confused to the point where I have more questions than answers. Between Kathy having weird dreams and talking to ghosts, the game tries to squeeze in character development by having her overcome inner demons that had been holding her back. I commend the story wanting to do this, however I personally didnít feel the need for the supernatural aspect to do this. The final chapter of the game unfortunately feels rushed because of it, trying to tie up the loose ends of the plot with her grandfather and the creepy town while also giving Kathy her epiphany. While the game seemed to be trying to end in a way satisfying for players, it also left itself open for sequels.

Story aside, the game itself is very simple. Itís a point and click adventure game so all you need is a mouse to play, though there are a couple of moments where you need to type something in with your keyboard but itís not a major gameplay aspect. Using your mouse, you control where Kathy goes and what she does, clicking on objects and people to interact with them. You have an inventory system where useful and important items are collected for later use. You can inspect items in your inventory, like to read a newspaper clipping, or combine certain items to either make a new item or effect another item, like using Kathyís lighter on a Bible in the church. The game has a few puzzles but nothing very complicated and usually Kathy will tell you enough details to figure things out. The only issue I had was that Kathy herself moves rather slowly when she walks, you also canít double click a door to instantly go through it so youíre forced to wait for Kathy to walk everywhere.

Kathy Rain (PC) image

The game is beautiful, I adored the graphic style and the choice to go with pixel artwork. Itís very simple yet done very well, lovely shading work and the character animations all seem very natural. Each character also has a portrait as well, since it might be hard to see the details of their faces on their character models due to the pixels. The backgrounds are rich, fitting well with the dreary tone of the game. There is also full voice acting and itís done very well. Kathy has a witty line for almost everything so feel free to click away at items in the game. Every character you interact with has a voice and plenty to say making it easier to immerse yourself in the game. The music also helps with this, the soundtrack is perfectly fitting to the gritty backdrop of the small backwater town.

This is a game that packs a lot of punch in a small package, while on the surface it may seem like just another point and click game using simple pixel graphics, Kathy Rain proves itself to be the total package. The writing is amazing, Kathy is an engaging character full of humor and common sense and while I may not have found the story to be perfect, I enjoyed it none the less. The truth is, there could have been flying dogs from Mars that came and took over the town, Kathy herself is such a great main character I would play anyway. She carries this game on her shoulders as she rides down the highway on her pink motorcycle. While the price tag may seem a tad high, you wonít be disappointed if you add this to your library. Itís a fun experience, a well made game and also Steam trading cards and achievements. I hope that this title is only the first in many more games starring Ms. Rain.


Usagi's avatar
Community review by Usagi (March 16, 2017)

Read my reviews here or via Lunar Productions

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Nightfire posted March 16, 2017:

I've had this one on my wish list for a while now. I'm absolutely fine with supernatural themes so I'll probably pick this one up at some point. Thanks for the heads up!
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EmP posted March 17, 2017:

I liked this one. Back when I reviewed it, there was talk of a second game but it was up in the air because sales weren't great. Now they're working on an obligatory iOs port, then they have a tricky second game in development, but they're much more open to the idea of a sequel than when I left them. Which I consider a good thing.

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